During the Arab Spring, almost everyone got their news from Twitter, and one man managed to make himself a hub for a lot of a newsreaders. Andy Carvin works for NPR, but he's not a reporter. Last year, Carvin Tweeted incessantly, sometimes over one hundred times an hour, spreading videos, rumors and stories that would have unnoticed from across Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Carvin provided important context for many readers, but some media critics were uncomfortable with Carvin's retweeting of unverified rumors, and the fact that he did all of his Tweeting from outside of the middle east. Carvin has now written a book about the Arab Spring called Distant Witness.
A few weeks ago, astronomy was back in the news after a meteor exploded over Russia, injuring scores of people, the same weekend that an asteroid narrowly missed the Earth. Phil Plait writes about these kinds of phenomenon for his Slate blog, Bad Astronomy. He says that, while we should be worried about extraterrestrial threats, in the end, there's only so much that we can prepare. Phil Plait is speaking at the University of Illinois on Friday, March 8th.
Brandy Doyle, Policy Director, Prometheus Radio Project
Vanessa Graber, Community Radio Director, Prometheus Radio Project
Guest Host: Craig Cohen
Throughout the week here on The Afternoon Magazine, we have been speaking with attendees of the 2012 Grassroots Radio Conference, which begins today at The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center. The conference offers an opportunity for community radio stations to gather and discuss a variety of issues. WILL is a media partner for the conference. Among the topics that will be discussed in the coming days – low power FM stations. Many of the folks there come from such stations; others may be seeking to start their own radio station. One of the organizations working to create a network of such low power community radio stations is the Prometheus Radio Project. Two of the project’s members – Brandy Doyle and Vanessa Graber, join us.
Joseph Torres, Senior External Affairs Director, Free Press; co-author, News for All The People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media
When we think about the history of media in America, it’s easy to think of it in terms of technology – from the rise of newspapers to radio to television to the Internet and beyond. Or you could look at media as a vehicle for reflecting and even contributing to social change – from Colonial-era newspapers encouraging the American Revolution to TV cameras bringing the civil rights movement into 1960s-era living rooms. But there are other ways to examine media in America. Joseph Torres, along with co-author Juan Gonzalez, recently placed the history of media under a different sort of prism – that of race. In their book News for All The People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media, Torres and Gonzalez explore how America’s racial divisions have played a major role in the development of our media system. Joseph Torres will appear at this week's Grassroots Radio Conference in Champaign/Urbana.
David Leake, Staerkel Planetarium Director; Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Parkland College
Illinois Public Media's Craig Cohen speaks with Staerkel Planetarium Director David Leake about the "Transit of Venus." The planet will pass across the sun for six hours, beginning at 5:09pm the evening of Tuesday, June 5th, and then not again until the year 2117. Parkland College invites the public to view the transit using Staerkel Planetarium telescopes. The public is invited to park in the C-4 parking lot on the west side of Parkland College, and south of the planetarium, and then walk to the telescopes
With Michael Cheney (Professor of Communication and Liberal Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield)
With Peter Kimble (Computer-Assisted Instructor Specialist with the Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois)