Thursday, December 13, 2007

Media that makes you think differently

Every morning and evening I listen to WBUR, Boston's NPR station. Lately, it's all been about politics. Which politician is saying what, what each interest group thinks about each politician, who has the most money, who's projected to win, why Hillary is referenced to by her first name and all the other candidates are referred to by their last names, etc.

The stories I find most interesting, however, are those where people are talking about their own opinions on the candidates. Not who they think will win, but why they're backing one candidate or another. Usually they're regurgitating what they've heard from another source, but every once in awhile you get someone who strings a few sentences together and makes me think, "Wow, they have really analyzed who they think will be a good president." We need more of this in our media - people talking about what's important to them and why, and letting us draw our own conclusions about the issue at hand.

Fortunately for us there's a non-profit working to help Bostonites do just that. Project: Think Different is an organization in Boston that (according to their website) teaches people to use public media, video, film and sound technologies to craft their ideas into creative messages that educate and move people." (Clearly they're not too picky about grammar.) They're essentially working to produce and help others produce media with its own unique message, which is often different than the message that mainstream media is pumping out.

They do have a concentration on urban youth, with workshops including, "We Interrupt this Message: Hip Hop as Media" and "Images and Stereotypes: Politics in Media Production." However, they encourage anyone who has something to say to participate in their classes. It's an interesting enough concept that even though I don't have a message right now that I urgently need to get out to the public, I might participate in one of their classes or volunteer to help support them.

What message do you want to get out to "everyone," and why?

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