Category Archives: Youtube

Watching Talk Radio


Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center's Radio Row in St. Paul.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Ben Ferguson at the XCel Center

You can meet conservative talk radio host, Ben Ferguson, in audio form in our next post. But here you get to check him out in moving pictures. Ever wanted a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of conservative talk radio? That’s just what Youth Radio’s Ankitha Bharadwaj got–in a big way–during her visit to the RNC in St. Paul.

She tagged along with conservative talk radio personality, Ben Ferguson, who’s been broadcasting live all week from the RNC’s Radio Row. Ben got his start in radio before his 13th birthday. Now he’s nationally syndicated–and a force on and off the mic. Meeting Ben is shook some of Ankitha’s assumptions about a media landscape she’s been coming to know as an emerging young producer.

Let’s Make a Recording Booth

by Nate Hadden

Minneapolis-St. Paul — Wondering how Youth Radio’s RNC reporters record their scripts when away from our studios? Check out Youth Radio’s setup process for Alana Germany’s story on NPR’s All Things Considered today.

Youth Radio Runs Into Amy Goodman

Minneapolis-St. Paul — Youth Radio reporter Ankitha Bharadwaj has been hanging out at the “Radio Row” area of the Republican National Convention. Here she takes us on a tour of Radio Row:

And a little later…Ankitha ran into Democracy Now‘s Amy Goodman, who was about to be interviewed on Air American Radio. Amy was detained yesterday after she tried to gather information on the arrest of two of her colleagues at a protest at the RNC. Youth Radio’s Ankitha Bharadwaj went up to her and Amy gladly took our microphone (the black one she is holding) to give us the story as she talked to Air America. She even gave Youth Radio a shout out! Listen to it here!

And here is a good chunk of her interview with Air America, where Amy Goodman describes the circumstances of her arrest:

Cartoons & Politics

How do you make politics interesting? The same way you make anything interesting…in cartoon format! A cartoon in the form of Mr. Clean sold cleaning products to millions of housewives. Cartoons allegedly also made cigarettes more appealing to young people thanks to Joe Camel (R.I.P. Joe). And cartoons introduced me to the three branches of government…thank you, Schoolhouse Rock!

Now it’s 2007, and the game has not changed one bit. Nobody gets the message – unless it’s entertaining, that is – and what’s more entertaining than cartoons?

This past week I had the honor of watching The Simpson’s Movie as well as youtube after youtube video of political jokes followed by serious points. I even relived my childhood by sitting through that captivating Schoolhouse Rock video again. But to the lonely bill on Capitol Hill’s dismay, I think I’ve found a new favorite political cartoon. Only this one doesn’t just take <em>me</em> back to my younger days, it takes my mom back too.

The website challengeofthesuperduperfriends.com combines the Super Friends cartoon that my mother used to watch in the 70s with the politicians of today. George Bush is the evil Petroman, who is supported by his gang of goons. Senator Barack Obama is Captain United, leader of the good guys, who works for the betterment of mankind along with his own colleagues. Each character has his or her own identity, complete with story lines that match real life issues and weaknesses. For example, Hillary “Reform Girl” Clinton’s weaknesses are tobacco and cigars – oh, and she also avoids interns at all cost. As 9 Lives, Condoleezza Rice must live with the fact that she inspires nothing but mistrust between her and her comrades.

The comic is very well thought through and is supported by a very entertaining trailer – it keeps you waiting for the next clip in the series. The cartoon is one of many advertisements made by Viral Medium, a company that has done work for Excedrin and Goodyear, producing digitally animated combinations of 2D and 3D work that catches a viewer’s eye.

To think, all we have to do is animate real life things and then maybe people will pay attention. Not just kids, but ALL people. After all, I saw both The Simpsons Movie and Ratatouille in a theater full of adults. I am a grown person, fully aware of the problems of today’s world, and I admit: I watched Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and the only part of the movie I remember is the animation of the stranded polar bear desperately floating on a depleting iceberg as the camera zoomed out.

And yeah, it touched me.

 

Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California

Youtube CNN debate…

Entry number 1364: a young man named Gavin sitting in his stroller in Portsmouth New Hampshire asks: what are you going to do so I can go to college one day? The young man, no older than five years of age, is the perfect reason for this collaboration between CNN and youtube.com. Anyone can get their voice heard — from the wacky dude in the bee hat, disgruntled at the fact the Fourth of July fell in the middle of the week, asking, “How can I get more vacation time?” to the monotone teenager wanting to know what the next Democratic leader can do about legalizing marijuana. Any and every one gets a chance to air their thoughts.

Many of the questions posed are not only deep questions, which a presidential candidate needs to have a valid stance in answering- but many of these questions are platform forming questions, in fact an older gentleman named Dick submitted entry number 1363 asking “when are we going to hear a definite platform, instead of what we want to hear…” accusing the politicians of altering their message depending on which community they are speaking to.

This debate, in essence is a community much broader than any of the Presidential candidates have spoken to before- the world wide web! There, we will see how each Democratic candidate takes to this challenge, July 23rd on CNN live from South Carolina.

The only downfall to this new media merger is the fact that opposed to youtube’s normal process of the fan base selecting top material, CNN’s producers are choosing which questions will air. Going through the now 2,989 questions and finding 25-30 solid questions is a challenge CNN’s producers have taken on, in effort to help frame this debate — but this is where the error comes into play. Youtube’s beauty lies in the fact that the material is chosen by the people after being made by the people. Now CNN is asking the people to make the material, only to have it edited, produced, and framed in a manner suitable for CNN’s aesthetic — this is where reality T.V. loses its realness. I am curious to see which questions are selected and which demographics the individuals posing the questions hail from.

Either way, it’s a revolutionary concept that will reach the people.

 

-Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California

Mom, Where Does Information Come From?

One of my favorite movies is “Lord of War” with Nicholas Cage. There is a scene in the movie where his character has an epiphany about guns, and says: “Everyday I wake up and there is a news story with a picture of a gun in the paper, I think to myself, ‘Someone has to sell these guns…'”

Everyday I wake up and look at the paper and see pictures among pictures of anything you can name. And in the bottom right corner is a credit to the Associated Press. Who <em>is</em> the Associated Press?

Located in Manhattan on East 33rd Street, AP is a press conglomerate that works with many media outlets in producing stories nationally and worldwide. The acknowledgement of this media umbrella sent me on a bloodhound search for more ways people have tunnel vision due to media sources…OH! The internet.

For most of my friends my house is the internet hub. They come over, we crack jokes, eat something, and then before they leave they ask if they can check their MySpace. I respect that. Communications is a jones you have to keep up with or else – people won’t be your friend in real life because you didn’t add them as a friend on MySpace.

But the disturbing thought is when people only know about the handful of websites that have been popularized: MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, and Google to name a few.

Think outside of the box! Matter of fact, stop getting your information from a box! Everything you learn from is square: newspapers, books, computer screens, TVs, magazines, flyers, billboards, etc. And even more ironic than getting your information from a four sided item is that all of that information is secondary.

So this is my plea: the next time you want to learn something, take the road less traveled. Well, that’s any actual road nowadays.

 

Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California

Elections 2008

Coming around the first turn of the mass opinion derby…and a horse named “We Don’t Care” has breezed into the lead…

The 2008 race for the White House has been the biggest media-based campaign since Nixon went against Kennedy. In that race, Nixon lost to the better looking Kennedy thanks to their live television debate. Even though many political commentators said Nixon’s arguments were more valid, the more aesthetically pleasing Kennedy won.

With this sort of evidence, the current race is ON! Which candidate will make themselves look and sound the best on mass media? Or better yet…which candidate will make others look worse?

I’ve been doing some internet research, and the most entertaining and edifying thing I’ve found on these 2008 elections is youtube.com itself. It is the platform of the future! A way politicians (or rather, members of their parties) can make and broadcast anything from campaign support to campaign smut from the safety of their home.

Yes, youtube.com, along with Myspace pages, will determine our next President! Many media critics will tell you the candidates have found a path to reach young people and other American citizens who don’t particularly care about elections. But I say I’d rather delete my junk email and watch gymnast blooper video reels!

 

Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California