Before Internet, before iPhones, before blogging, people got their news from one place: the radio. Families would tune in every single day to learn what was happening in their country and around the world. Have you ever heard of War of the Worlds? In 1938, so many people were listening to and depending on the radio for their news that they actually thought a fiction story about aliens taking over was real. Oh, how things have changed. Now we depend on news apps, TV, and websites to tell us what’s happening around the world. For those of us who want a break from the daily technology-dependent society we live in, we have National Public Radio (NPR). Good old fashioned journalists who just want a chance to be heard.
In “The Giant Pool of Money," Ira Glass and Adam Davidson put a unique spin on a depressing story. We all know the economy is bad, we all know it hasn’t gotten any better, so why should we care to listen? Because this piece will educate you and keep you interested. Audio clips are common in almost any radio journalism piece, but they’re usually just music to keep your attention. In this piece, we hear sound clips from all different areas that they are interviewing in. Probably the most effective was when Davidson attended a black tie dinner. He included a clip of people talking and eating dinner. This completely helps to put the listener into the situation. It feels more like a friend is talking, rather than a radio journalist.
Another important aspect of this piece is that Davidson puts the information in layman’s terms. Not all of us speak fluent economics, so if it wasn’t for Davidson, it would be impossible to understand. The interviews are extremely helpful to help the listener feel for the person who is talking. If they are struggling, we can feel their pain. If they are prospering, we can hear the sound of confidence in their voices.
In “Bad Bank,” Ira Glass and Tim Geithner attempt to explain the big banks in America. They are trying to help the average citizen understand just where their money is going. The journalists put on a sort of “skit” to help explain. This is a good idea…in theory. It makes it easier to understand. However, it’s extremely difficult to listen to. It’s like being in school. I listened, but in all honesty, I didn’t really comprehend. In the beginning, there were no interviews. Just the sound of the journalist’s voice. It was hard to pay attention. I truly do appreciate the idea of explaining the system, but I’m not sure this was the right way to go about it. If someone really wanted to learn, they should probably just read about it.
Since not all of us can be in D.C. on Sunday, there will be a movement in Denver on Saturday in solidarity with the Tar Sands Action. While I wish I could be there more than anything, I’m pumped about joining the action here in Colorado. If you aren’t sure what the Keystone XL Pipeline is, you should definitely read this. Essentially, the pipeline is the death of our environment. It’s just another step towards increasing our dependence on dirty oil. How so? Well, if this is approved, it will be a pipeline running from Nebraska to the Gulf Coast of Texas. It will not be lessening our dependence on foreign oil, but rather causing us to become dependent on Canadian oil. Not to mention the environmental risks. Any minor leak, and it’s complete and utter devastation for the American water supply. Do you hear me now? There’s not denying it, this pipeline is a terrible idea. Thousands have stood up, and so should you. So join the fight. Tomorrow, downtown.
What: Denver Tar Sands Action Solidarity March and Rally
When: Saturday Nov. 5th, 11 AM - 1 PM
Where: From the Denver Federal Reserve (1020 16th Street) to the Canadian Consul Office at the World Trade Center (1625 Broadway)