Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fund NPR? Only if they do sports like this ...

There's been a lot of discussion lately about the funding, or more appropriately de-funding, of National Public Radio. NPR, and its cousin Public Television, are in a bunch of hot water with Republicans who don't like what is perceived as liberal bias. When the argument was at its hottest last month, some NPR executives were forced to resign.

But no matter how you feel about NPR, no one could argue to de-fund stuff like this. Station WBEZ in Chicago interviewed (or tried to interview) a Cubs fans on opening day. The interview turned into an instant classic (and remember, the game hadn't even started yet).

It's also an interesting lesson in how radio is embracing multimedia presentation. WBEZ incorporates video, blogging, podcasts and other multimedia formats. But let's not read too much into this. Simply enjoy the interview as a classic piece of sports media.

3 Comments:

Blogger Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

10:38 AM  
Blogger Corry Cropper said...

With beautiful interviews like that, I can only say: Fund it!

2:17 PM  
Blogger T.C. Corrigan said...

I know we're "not supposed to read too much into this", but once you do it's so much more interesting...

** First, while I can see this clip's value as a viral Web piece, when I initially watched this video I thought it was pretty troubling in terms of journalistic ethics/gender/power. I'm completely rethinking this in light of point 3 below though...

** Second, I'm unclear on what this clip has to do with NPR. I'll admit, I don't know much about the Chicago Public Media scene, but I'm not familiar with the interviewer from any of NPR's national programming--at least the programming I listen to. (Note: I'm under the impression that most of what NPR does is distribute programming, though it does fund some of its national shows). If this program received (any) congressional funding, I'd imagine it would have been through the CPB, which would be a distinction worth noting. The CPB has been under attack by the Right for decades, of course, for its funding of local public broadcasters. Also, I'm pretty sure at least some of WBEZ's national programming is produced by Public Radio International and American Public Media (i.e. "Wait Wait" and "This American Life"). In other words, while the value of public broadcasting is an important issue, I'm not sure this clip has anything to do with NPR. I could be wrong though...

** Third, and perhaps most important for evaluating the value of this video: it's an April fools day prank. As the interviewer says in the comments for the video on the WBEZ page...

"Yes, the video is fake. It was posted on April 1, 2011 as an April Fool's Joke. It went viral weeks after and people just decided to ignore the joke and send it around as real. It was my intention to fool you, but not in the way it ended up fooling people. Does that make sense? That being sad, Kate James (Henneman) did completely improvise the piece so kudos for her for an amazing performance.

We were actually up at Wrigley that day shooting scenes for a new web-series following Henneman (the character) throughout the summer. Look for it around Memorial Day."

** In the end, I think the public braodcasting value/ethics of this video are even more interesting when it's viewed as a fake, especially considering the rounds it's making on the Web...

** While we're on the topic of NPR's value, I'd like to note that WNYC's On The Media (which is distributed by NPR) provide terrific coverage of issues in sports journalism and sports media http://onthemedia.org/topics/sports/1

3:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home