When Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! debuted in 1998, it was considered a weird curiosity, a very silly "news quiz" nestled in the schedule of an otherwise serious news organization. Now, it's arguably the network's second biggest weekend show, after Car Talk. Peter Sagal, host of Wait Wait, joined us to discuss dirty jokes, Gene Simmons and the show's first ever live cinema event. Wait Wait Live is playing tonight at movie theaters across America.
The Afternoon Magazine
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.
The state of Illinois is about to make giant reems of data available for the public. But data is borderline useless without some kind of mediation. Dan O'Neill and Brant Houston are hosting the first data hack-a-thon at UofI today - offering programmers a cash prize to the best algorithm.
Henry Radcliffe, Community Engagement Producer, WILL
Tom Carrino, Economic Development Manager, City of Urbana
Guest Host: Craig Cohen
In 2008, as the nation’s economy was in freefall, the downturn was especially hard on the community of Janesville, Wisconsin. That year, a century-old General Motors plant closed. For the workers that were laid off, that meant seeking new employment in a decidedly difficult economic environment. The next three years in the lives of residents in Janesville are chronicled in a film entitled As Goes Janesville – it premieres on Independent Lens tonight at 9 on WILL-TV. Then, tomorrow night, the film will be screened again as part of WILL’s Community Cinema series at 6 P-M at the Champaign Public Library. We'll talk with two people involved in that screening and discussion.
Tom Kacich, Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor
Guest Host: Jeff Bossert
A new poll in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District shows Democrat David Gill with a slim lead over Republican Rodney Davis, 40 to 39-percent, when Gill led by 6-percent just over a month ago. The survey of 400 registered likely voters paid for by the Gill campaign was taken September 26 and 27. Champaign News-Gazette Enterprise Editor Tom Kacich weighs in on what this poll means on November 6th.
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.
Candace Clement, Campaign Coordinator, Free Press
The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center this week is hosting the 2012 Grassroots Radio Conference. It’s an opportunity for community radio stations to gather and discuss a variety of issues. WILL is a media partner for the conference. Another key organization in the endeavor is the media reform organization Free Press. Candace Clement manages Free Press’s initiatives on community media, and advises on the group’s efforts to expand support for public media. In her role with Free Press, she has also advocated for greater transparency when it comes to commercial TV stations’ public files. She'll tell us about those efforts.
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.
Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director, the Project for Excellence in Journalism; Journalist and Writer
Next week, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on some aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including whether a federal mandate to purchase health insurance is Constitutional. The legal challenge to so-called "Obama Care" has brought the debate over health care back into the national spotlight. According to new research conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, most of the coverage of the health care debate by mainstream media since 2009 has been focused on the politics surrounding the legislation, and not the substance. Craig Cohen talks with Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, about the results of the research.
Brant Houston, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting, University of Illinois