In addition to volunteering at public and community radio outlets as I wrote about in last week's issue, I also got some (intelligent) TV in there, too. A year ago I volunteered with the folks at WEDU (they're always in need of a few dedicated interns), where I delivered coffee and talk to Phyllis Busansky and listened to Ernest Hooper tell me why I (of the generation of non-newspaper readers) need to read the TBT*. (Insert clever jab at shitty paper here.)
Not that I even own a TV (or have time to watch with all my jobs), but when I do have some spare time, I am all about C-SPAN.org. You can watch archived programs and stream all three channels live 24/7.
Who needs canned/framed news when you can watch the rawness of politicos in action? Who needs grad school when you can watch the hip-hop summit and Bill Moyers delivering the keynote address at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Convention? I eat this stuff up! The exchange of information is awesome â back in May I watched a discussion between TNR's Jon Cohn and the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon, both of whom authored books earlier this year on health-care reform (I got a little story out of that, too.)
When I got word that C-SPAN's Book TV Bus was coming to the St. Pete Times' Festival of Reading, I was so there. I sent off an e-mail to the general info address and a week later got a call from a C-SPANner. Sweet Jesus, it was like speaking to God/Brian Lamb.
So I spent a few hours in front of the bus handing out tote bags and informing St. Petersburgers on the joys of C-SPAN Book TV. Surprisingly (or not), people under 53 have no idea what the heck C-SPAN is. I was happy to fill them in on its wonders. One passerby, a woman, 30-ish like me, had her hubby and two small children in tow. She took one of each of the brochures and signed up on all the mailing lists. I could see in her my sister-in-C-SPAN-obsession. I asked her to explain her love and she couldn't, but I understood - there just aren't enough words. Her husband rolled his eyes and continued pushing the baby carriage along as she and I winked our goodbyes.
Afterward, I headed home to pack. This is my last week at CL. I'm moving up north in search of ways to get paid for my public radio and TV fanaticism. Tampa Bay has been so good to me â I leave with an awesome resume, empty pockets and much love.