In this day where the major media is owned and operated by the major corporations and so our environment reporting reflects the few and powerful, instead of what is actually occurring, it’s a good time to learn to be your own media. RochesterEnvironment.com sprung from this sentiment that a concerned individual was reading about a world in ecological crisis, but experiencing a Disney-like world where everything was going along fine.
However, after ten years of watching Rochester, New York’s environment and comparing all the news on our city from all online sources, this fantastic tranquility is just that—fantastic.
Mostly, what occurs in the media are sporadic explosions on toxic releases, brownfields that occasionally bubble up out of their containments, bad air-quality reports from agencies like the American Lung Association, or something else that, by its compelling Nature, forces itself through the media’s door.
Many other just as pernicious environmental issues are going on but they are not either as sexy as an inner city shooting, or ‘hot’ as a car crash, or ‘weird’ as people collecting body parts. Too bad that most of the really worrisome environmental problems (like Global Warming, Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome, the infestation of an invasive species disease like VHS, or the breakdown in water quality in the many lakes surrounding Rochester) don’t hit the front pages or splashed on the 6 O’clock news because the major media don’t thing these story sell. And that means we don’t usually find out about an environmental problem until it’s in our face as a major crisis.
Imagine a world where our media knew how to report on environmental matters, that is a continual investigation of all the possible threats to our environment, which keeps us alive and healthy. That would be a world where we knew how all our man-made products were entering in and reacting into our environment, like pharmaceutical and pesticides going into the waters we drink; objective cancer cluster studies that might reveal buried trouble spots of industrial waste; land that should be public land given away at cheap prices for those with money; the total effects of sprawl on our local fauna and flora, the entire range of possible effects in our area of global warming and the loss of biodiversity; how our local recycling programs are working, what potential environmental health problems lay on the horizon, and how our area is helping the Climate Change effort with our areas business and residential energy policies and practices.
In short, we need a media that isn’t afraid to give us an entire and unbiased picture of our environment so we can react to it responsibly—and timely. Baring a complete makeover of our media, which is flourishing in a hail of sexy, sports, political scandal, car crashing, lottery-winning, and (more often than not) just downright silliness, individuals could enter the public discourse on the media with their own observations.
One way to Take Over the Media is to create your own web site, like RochesteEnvironment.com and/or begin your own podcast. What is a podcast? Let Dave Atias [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] tell you:
"The hosts of the locally-based podcast, The Stuart Bedasso Show, will be holding a free, one-hour workshop for area progressives who are interested in producing their own podcasts. The workshop, called Podcasting for Progressives, will be run by Dave Atias, Keziah Kelsey and Erick Rodriguez and take place on Tuesday, June 5th at 7pm at Spot Coffee, 200 East Avenue in downtown Rochester.
A podcast is an audio file that is available for downloading on the internet to be played on personal computers or portable media players. Most podcasts are like online radio shows that are downloadable on demand. Participants will learn what a podcast is, how to produce one and strategies on how to publicize a podcast. Participants will also leave with a list of free resources that are available.
The workshop will show participants how to use the medium of podcasting to help promote progressive ideas as done on The Stuart Bedasso Show. The Stuart Bedasso Show is a weekly, non-commercial podcast that features talk, independent music and pre-produced comedy. The hosts, with special guests, discuss a wide range of topics ranging in scope and seriousness. They have been privileged to play independent music, in some cases, exclusives, before any local radio station has been able to. All shows are archived at http://bedasso.libsyn.com and are available for download for free. Internet users can also subscribe to the show using iTunes. For more information, call Dave at 966-9067 or e-mail email@example.com . Listen to The Stuart Bedasso Show Help The Stuart Bedasso Show get on Public Radio"