Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We Need Your Help

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We need your help. When we started our new schedule two weeks ago, the entire staff made a mighty effort to get two weeks ahead so that we could promote our programs and start building a wider audience. That was before the outbreak of this new wave of violence in the Middle East. Now please understand something - Here on Earth is dedicated to shining a light in the world's darkness and bringing hope and inspiration to its listeners. Finding the light in this particular situation is a huge challenge. Hence, the lag time last week. It must have seemed to some of you that we were fiddling while Rome burned. We got back on track with Joe Elder today, and tomorrow we're doing a program about a new video game called Peacemaker that teaches players about the real complexities of the conflict. Here's where you come in: if any of you have any suggestions regarding angles, organizations, individuals, or visionaries who can illuminate the current crisis, give people direction and/or hope, and suggest a possible path to peace, we'd like to hear about it. You can post your suggestions right here on my blog or send send them to hereonearth@wpr.org. Thank you so much! This is your chance to be a real collaborator.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Week Two and Still Panting

Dear Friends,

Those of you who were listening lastTuesday when Charlayne Hunter-Gault was my guest might have noticed that she seemed distracted at the start of the program and out of breath. Well, here's a little sneak peek behind-the-scenes. It turns out that our star reporter was having her telephone line worked on that day, and when we called her at the start of the program, her cellphone was running out of juice. So she took to the streets and was literally running around her neighborhood trying to get somebody to let her use their landline while talking to me on the air! Now, that's a first.

I hope you liked the conversation with Colin Channer and Kwame Dawes today as much as we did. I worried that a program about new writing from Jamaica might be too obscure, but Bob Marley, the reggae beat, great guests, and two good callers carried the day.

Please let us know what you think. I love it when you write back.


Monday, July 10, 2006

We're Off and Running!

Hi Guys,

Today was a big day for Here on Earth - we began broadcasting on our new weekday schedule- three o'clock Monday through Friday - out of a brand new studio that's been converted just for us! And, to make sure that absolutely nothing would be familiar, I'm typing this on a brand new keyboard that, for the first five minutes, recorded everything I wrote in numbers rather than letters!

Anyway, everything went off pretty much without a hitch. It's a bit crowded in Studio B, but it feels cozy and intimate, as a radio studio should. I feel certain we are likely to attract a much wider audience in the new time slot, with a lot more callers to draw from. I feel encouraged that our program today, about African-Americans returning to Africa, attracted two African callers in addition to a few Wisconsinites: Annette, a Franco-African originally from Martinique, and our old friend, Hadde, from Mali, who has happily migrated with us from weekendsto weekdays. Thank you, Hadee, and to everyone else who called in today! We're hoping to create a much more interactive program, with many more opportunities for all of you to help us shape the program. So, please, by all means let us know what you think. If you didn't get on the air today, you can still register your thoughts on my blog, by emailing us at hereonearth@wpr.org (the email wasn't working today for some reason, but we'll fix that), or by posting a comment on our forum.

A heads-up for next week: On Tuesday, my guest will be Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to summit Mt. Everest. He just returned from leading a mixed group of teenagers - some sighted, some blind- on an expedition to Macchu Picchu.

Any great show ideas out there? We'd love to hear 'em! Keep those cards and letters coming! And, by the way, we'll be posting some pictures from my trip to Italy later this week, andLisa Nett has a review of Favela Rising she wants to share. I saw it too. Great stuff.

Bye for now,