media shock host
- In the beginning...
- there was the Chicago blizzard of 67. My father had to borrow a Volkeswagon bug and a shovel to get my mother and I home from the hospital. For some reason, I don't like cold weather. Except for two years in the Bay area when I was young, I grew up in the cold midwest. I always wanted to move back to San Francisco.
- There wasn't much to do in Indianapolis except read, go to movies (I probably saw nearly every movie between 1976 and 1985, often multiple times), listen to music, watch too much tv, play with computers (got online the summer after eigth grade and bought an Atari 800 the following summer with money I earned programming computers) and curse at Dan Quayle and the conservative newspapers his family owned. Actually, I did more than curse. I wrote letters which even got published.
- Then suddenly...
- (actually it was more gradually) I sort of backed into journalism. I was always fascinated by the media, but I considered myself a reader not a writer. My first year of college I was involved in the anti-apartheid movement. Sixty of us were arrested and the conservative local paper was openly hostile to us and the tv stations and campus paper were clueless and inept. To get our message out, I started co-writing propaganda (leaflets and op-eds) and serving as a "spokesperson."
- I lived in and worked at a pretty unique dorm at the University of Illinois, Allen Hall. It was a living learning/center with classes in the dorm like music in protest, independent film and the first class taught at the school on the Vietnam war . There was also a guest in residence program, and a wide range of people came through including activist David Dellinger, singer Jean Redpath, independent presidential candidate John Anderson, the United Mime Workers, filmmakers Frederick Marx - who later did Hoop Dreams and Laurie Dunphy, and Martin Lee and Norman Solomon of FAIR.
- I interned at FAIR in New York during the summer of 88 and did research for Norman and Marty's book, Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media. I started writing media criticism and doing media activism (influenced by going to ACT-UP meetings and protests when I was in New York). During the Gulf War, I was in New York and helped organize a large and creative march on the networks which was made into an innovative video by Paper Tiger TV called "Operation Storm the Media."
- And finally...
- I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and was working with Paper Tiger. I got tired of writing media criticism and rarely seing anything change, so I decided to also start writing about things that weren't being covered. I did an internship at the Center For Investigative Reporting (Frontline documentaries on General Motors and Rush Limbaugh.
- I started writing about how traditional media was trying to grapple with new technology in the fall of 92. I learned a lot more about the internet. I went to far too many trade shows. I decided to see what it was like to actually sell the software I saw hyped so much at trade shows. I quit. Now I work as a research associate at an internet start-up called Narrowline, continue to do freelance writing and suffer from information overload.
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