March 31, 2004
It's About Time
Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt have fiiinally sealed the deal on Newsworld, the NYO’s Joe Hagan reports.
Newsworld, a digital cable channel, is pretty boring right now. I can corroborate this description:
Currently, Newsworld is a bit like something Bill Murray would flip on in the hotel in Lost in Translation: a two-minute dialogue-free video essay on squirrels, followed by the news about a freak rotating-door accident in a Tokyo shopping mall.
The deal is that the new Newsworld — which will get a new name — is going to be a public affairs channel for young people. Gore likes the idea of guerilla news: an army of kids with cheap DV cams, capturing (and editing and uploading and optionally adding a hip-hop soundtrack to) their world.
He was also a big fan of MTVís late-90ís video-diary show, Unfiltered, which inspired him to meet with its creator in 2002 in the hope of producing similar programming himself. In the last year, Mr. Gore began building a rationale for a new television service: In a speech to students at Middle Tennessee State University in November 2003, he spoke of televisionís “quasi-hypnotic influence” on the electorate. “If people are just staring at a little box for four hours a day, it has a big impact on democracy,” he said. “We have to choose to rehabilitate our democracy in part by making creative use of these new media and by insisting within the current institutions of our democracy that we open up access to the dominant medium.”
Man, I thought I had put this behind me. But now I’m all excited about it again.