Radio Ambulate

Posted on October 25, 2015. Filed under: media that matters, politics, Social Media, technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Radio Ambulate logo

I recently discovered a great podcast in Spanish called Radio Ambulate. Its episodes are very interesting. It’s creators also do some podcasts in English. There was a recent episode about Guatemala called “Rununcia Ya” (Resign Now). In 22 minutes, it tells the story about how the Guatemalan people forced its President to resign. The Renuncia Ya movement started off as a Facebook post and grew into a series of mass popular protests.

Renuncia Ya episode (Radio Ambulate website)

Renuncia Ya episode (iTunes)

A follow up piece in English with Francisco Goldman is also worth listening to.  He wrote a recent New Yorker Magazine story about the events and the back-story entitled ”

From President to Prison: Otto Pérez Molina and a Day for Hope in Guatemala

Francisco Goldman Episode (Radio Ambulante website)

Francisco Goldman Episode on iTunes

When I lived in Guatemala (in the late-1980s), speaking out publicly against the government would get you killed.  It is heartening that, although corruption, violence, and political killings are still rampant in Guatemala, its people are now able to engage in political dissent in a public way.  Perhaps not always safely, but it appears that there is now more space to voice concerns .

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Peace Corps History and the Peace Corps Archive

Posted on March 2, 2014. Filed under: learning, media that matters, politics, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , |

Were you a Peace Corps Volunteer?  If so, please consider donating letters, diaries, and/or other items to the Peace Corps Archive at American University.

I made the video above about the Peace Corps Archive at a recent history event organized by Jesse Bailey who is the Historian of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington (RPCV/W).  He moderated a panel discussion about the history of RPCV/W.  The participants were all former board members of RPCV/W.  There were even many audience members who were very steeped in the history of the Peace Corps.  The event lasted more than 2 hours.  Here is a teaser:

Part one of the panel discussion can be found here:

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

A Fast Food Company That Cares for the Environment

Posted on October 19, 2013. Filed under: Art, food, interesting, learning, media that matters, music, politics, Social Media, technology, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , |

Here is an example of a fast food company that sources sustainably raised agricultural products, including Niman Ranch pork.  It has hired small media company to produce a video and an iphone application to tell the story of how industrialized agriculture is destroying the planet.  Watch the video they created (soundtrack by Fiona Apple):

and then what the behind the scenes video:

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

“Granito: How to Nail A Dictator” to air on some public television stations

Posted on June 21, 2012. Filed under: interesting, learning, media that matters, politics, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala in the late 1980s.  Since that time, I have tried to stay informed about what is going on there.  It is an amazingly beautiful country with a brutally violent history.  It was with great sadness that I recently learned that the United States will no longer send volunteers to Guatemala and many other Central American countries because of an escalation of drug war violence.

(As an aside, I recommend that you watch http://www.thehouseilivein.org/ for why the drug war is a failure.)

The purpose of this post is to highlight the national distribution of “Granito: How to Nail A Dictator,” which I have heard is an amazing film and will be nationally broadcast on public television stations starting on Thursday, June 28.

However, as I explained in the post below, many public television stations have decided not to air it at all (this seems to be true for WHUT and MPT), and some, like WETA, have decided to air this film only in the middle of the night. 

How is it that Antiques Roadshow can air repeatedly occupying many prime viewing slots and an amazing documentary film is relegated to the middle of the nightSee post below to help correct this problem.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

If you love great films, Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Posted on June 20, 2012. Filed under: Art, learning, media that matters, politics, technology, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Do you love great documentary films?  Would you like to see them on your local public television station?  A recent Center for Social Media report showed strong public support for public-purpose programming and popular anger that many public television stations decide to repeatedly air programs like Antiques Roadshow during prime viewing hours, while relegating meaningful documentary films few slots, frequently in the middle of the night.  In addition, many public television station choose not to air many meaningful documentaries at all.

Please help make sure that your local public television affiliate knows what you value. POV and Independent Lens both fund and distribute some of the best new docs on public television stations throughout the United States.  They publicize these films and release schedules for when they are going to air.  However, if you have ever tried to watch a documentary on your local public television station, you have likely found that the show that you want to watch is not airing on the date or time that was advertised.    Local affiliates have discretion over which shows to air and when to schedule them.   Here in the Washington DC area, we are lucky to have three public television stations, WHUT, WETA, MPT.   Unfortunately, WHUT, WETA and MPT frequently air ITVS’ Independent Lens, and POV and other great documentaries not on the dates and times advertised for national distribution, but mostly if they choose to air them at all, they air them days or weeks later, in the wee hours of the night.

Nationally, Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”) has decided to promote documentaries into a more desirable time frame.  This fall, PBS will program POV documentaries to air on Monday early evening time slot.  The purpose of this blog post is to encourage documentary lovers and all lovers of great films to encourage your local PBS affiliate to follow PBS’ lead and air Independent Lens and POV documentaries on Monday evenings, at the times and days that they air nationally.  To the uninitiated, this seems like a relatively minor issue.  However, for documentary filmmakers, the issue is quite important for building audiences and promoting their films.  Obviously, it is not desirable to have your film air at one in the morning, but having it air on a different date in every major city is also a tremendous impediment to viewers like you and me.   Please contact your local public television affiliate and encourage it air these great films during the same days and times are they are intend to be seen nationally.

Click here to send an email WETA: http://www.weta.org/contact

WETA, 3939 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

Phone: 703-998-2600

Or contact Maryland Public Television here: directconnection@mpt.org

Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Boulevard
Owings Mills, MD 21117-1499

Phone: 410-356-5600
Fax: 410-581-4298

Or contact WHUT here: http://www.whut.org/whut/?page_id=28

Howard University Television
2222 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059

For more context, see:







Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Lawrence Lessig Explains How to Fix Congress

Posted on October 27, 2011. Filed under: learning, media that matters, politics, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , |


Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Two Great Films

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: Art, media that matters, politics, Uncategorized, video | Tags: , , , , |


Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad’s acclaimed play, Incendies is a moving tale of discovery. Two siblings travel halfway across the world to piece together the troubled history that their mother almost took with her to her grave. Jeanne and Simon are young adults living in Canada, oblivious to their mother’s turbulent past. The siblings are set in motion after their mother goes into a catatonic state. Jeanne seeks to carry out her mother’s wishes and her brother seeks to distance himself from what he sees as the final manifestation of his mother’s incomprehensibility.

Visiting Lebanon for the first time, Jeanne discovers the horrors her mother spent her whole life trying to protect her from. Flashbacks to her mother’s youth during Lebanon’s civil war are effectively used to make Jeanne’s journey vivid and revealing. She walks through the same dusty streets and country lanes as her mother had decades earlier. Many are almost unchanged. The scenery is stark and beautiful. A language barrier is the least of her difficulties. She is fluent in two languages, but cannot decipher her mother’s history without significant assistance and determination. The hostility Jeanne encounters from the women of her mother’s native village, is striking for it ferocity. After all those many years, hatreds have not subsided. After discovering part of the riddle, she convinces her brother to join her to locate their missing family members. Although the story they piece together is brutal, it is also filled with love and sacrifice that is not easily forgotten.


Set in the South in the early 1960s, the relationship of a young white society woman, Skeeter, and a friend’s maid, Abileen, provide an important window into the world of discrimination that was at the time, not only condoned, but by some, even encouraged. It was a way of life that was enforced by law. What starts as a relationship of necessity, becomes a friendship built upon mutual respect. Having been waited on all her life by her family’s maid, Skeeter needs Abileen to provide her the how-to for her newspaper’s household advice column. As an aspiring writer, Skeeter longs to tell a far more important story, from the perspective of the maids in her town. As Skeeter becomes more intimate with the struggles of the black women who raised generations of white children, she, together with the audience, begin to lose respect for many of her white childhood friends as they attempt to perpetuate the repressive social structure. The maids, who at their time were seen more like posessions than people, are seen through the eyes of Skeeter to be resilient, loving, and beautiful characters. The richness of these characters and the white women surrounding them make this powerful story one that will bring you to laughter and tears. You can’t help but root for Skeeter and Abileen as they traverse the dangerous terrain that must be passed through to arrive at the truth.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

YES, I’m still alive

Posted on March 24, 2011. Filed under: media that matters, music, politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dear loyal readers, (actually I do have them), it has been quite a while since my past post. For that I apologize. There are many worthy mouse clicks out there and I have not been highlighting them for you.

I think my favorite websites these days are radio stations. In particular, KCRW for eclectic modern music, particularly Morning Becomes Eclectic, KRCC for eclectic music both new and old, and WXPN’s http://www.xpn.org/streams/xponential-radio

I also like to listen to KCRCC’s HD2 station in the morning. It broadcasts Radio Netherlands news in Spanish,La Matinal

Till recently, I would listen to BBC Mundo in Spanish, but they seem to have gone from a daily show to a weekly show.

Obviously, I love my local public radio stations, but sometimes I need some variety. Which brings me to another topic, National Public Radio (NPR).

Granted NPR has been getting some unfavorable attention recently. However, there is nothing like NPR anywhere on dial, and no better source of news anywhere, far better than anything even on TV for that matter. So why is Congress considering cutting funding for NPR stations? Without a doubt, we need to conserve federal resources, but cutting NPR is like poking out your eye to spite your face. It makes no sense, unless of course Congress wants Americans to be blithering, uninformed, idiots. Is that what they want? NPR’s show called “On the Media,” did a very good job of exposing the conservative activist who is partially responsible for the latest anti-NPR rhetoric. What cannot be denied is that NPR provides high quality news and unbiased analysis, something that is hard to find on radio or TV. It also upholds extremely high standards for journalistic excellence, regardless of what its critics believe.

If you reply upon NPR, to keep you informed and/or entertained (This American Life, Car Talk, etc…), please make sure you speak out and put up some financial support of your own behind your local public radio station. I doubt that the Senate would be foolish enough to cut NPR’s funding, but it would not hurt to let your Senator know how important NPR is to you and your community. Preventing local NPR affiliates from using federal funds to buy NPR programming is a despicable ploy by Congress to pull the rug out from under the American people. Don’t let them do it.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Best Film of the year: The Cove

Posted on June 21, 2009. Filed under: interesting, learning, media that matters, politics, video | Tags: , , , |

I saw the film today and also heard the producer speak. Here is an excerpt of the talk he gave at SilverDocs: http://boo.fm/b31943

It is a moving film called “The Cove,” about efforts to save dolphins.  Please take action by visiting http://www.takepart.com/thecove/

Below is a review I just read:

From: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/the-cove-trying-to-save-23000-dolphins-from-slaughter.php

The Cove – Trying to Save 23,000 Dolphins from Slaughter

by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California on 04. 9.09

the the cove diver underwater with dolphins photo
Photo via TheCoveMovie.com

Each year, starting in mid-September, 23,000 dolphins are slaughtered in near secrecy in a cove in Taiji, Japan. Richard O’Barry, the leading dolphin trainer in the 1960s and trainer of the dolphins used in the TV series Flipper, has been trying to stop this slaughter for years. We covered the stories of activist Hayden Panettiere trying to expose the slaughter. And last year, we covered the story of a brave set of film makers lead by director Louie Psihoyos who have teamed up with O’Barry and other activists in an effort to show people the intolerable killings. They’ve now created a film called The Cove showing their efforts to get through the intense security and record what happens there.

the cove slaughter of dolphins photo

The Cove is a powerful documentation of more than just this mass killing of dolphins, whose meat is later labeled as some other type of larger whale and sent for sale in markets, despite the incredibly high levels of mercury it contains due to pollution. The film is also a story of the power of commerce, the government corruption, and the culture of loving something to death that all culminate at this tiny cove where anyone trying to see what happens is intimidated until they leave.

the cove film team photo

Psihoyos and his team undertook an operation to set up secret cameras and document what happens in the cove – the round-up, the selection of a few dolphins for sale to aquatic entertainment centers, and then the slaughter of every animal left in the ring of nets.

The International Whaling Commission does nothing to stop Japan’s extreme whaling habits. The citizens of Japan do nothing simply because it is kept under such tight wrap, people don’t even know that dolphin meat is being consumed. It has taken the activists involved in this film to get it as exposed as it has become so far.

The film is intense, it’s message clear and urgent, and its passion contagious. Right now, it is being screened in various locations, but needs funding to be completed and shown on a larger scale. And time is running out – the slaughter is set to start again this September.

If you want to see the film, try to catch one of these screenings. You can also watch snippits at TheCoveMovie.com. And, of course, if you want to take action immediately, there are ways to do that too through petitions and changes in your own daily life.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

From Media Re:public (by Persephone Miel)

Posted on June 6, 2009. Filed under: interesting, media that matters, politics, Social Media | Tags: , |


Blogging for a cause – global voices!


You should read Global Voices Online. You should write
for them. You should re-publish Global Voices stories from around the
world in whatever medium you produce. You should give them money.

Why? Because how  will you find out what Bahraini Mahmood Al Yousif thinks about Obama’s choice of Egypt for his speech unless Amira tells you?

I keep asking myself why did Obama choose the most
repressive regimes in the Middle East to honour not only with his
presence, but also to use as a launchpad for his Utopian vision of a
peaceful and democratic Middle East? A vision that will continue to
remain as illusive as a desert mirage for us Middle Easterners.

Then I try to select an alternate of the 22 Arab countries where he
could have used instead, but I fail to find a single one which could be
worthy of such an occasion.

Bloggers React to Obama’s Address

indiaelectionsOr how would you find out about Mariam Zouaghi,
a Tunisian student sentenced to six years in jail for her online
activities? (search for her Google News turns up 3 articles, none in
English) without Global Voices Advocacy?

Global Voices is important to me not because it brings us “citizen
media” from around the world. As I have opined repeatedly, I don’t care
whether media is “citizen” or “mainstream” and I live for the day when
those words (as Henry Jenkins proposed so eloquently here at Beyond Broadcast) have gone the way of the term “horseless carriage.”

I care about good stories and authentic perspectives. And I care
about the lives of people in countries that mass-market legacy media in
my country ignore except when there’s a war or a US economic or
diplomatic interest at stake.

Full disclosure: I’m friends with many of the people who make Global
Voices what it is and I’m writing this today in response to an
interesting challenge that could help bring some more money to Global
Voices. But I’m not doing it to help my friends, I’m doing it because I
know how hard they work, how many amazing new projects they’d like to
do and how important they are to the project of bulding the
cross-border connections that we all need to become  global citizens.

It is election time in India. Painted walls tells stories of political
loyalty. India is rich with political symbols some more obvious than
others. Congress’ symbol — THE HAND. Photo by Carol Mitchell via Global Voices and Flickr.

This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about. Check it out.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

« Previous Entries

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...