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September 26, 2009

GCY is perpetually introducing me to things that make me think “HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS BEFORE?!” Last night was no exception. AFTER our incredibly eye-opening and very full day (not leaving out an incredible dinner at an authentic Guatemalan restaurant…) which you will no doubt hear about from other Fellows, we got a surprise. If we were exhausted from waking up at 5:45, traveling in the back of a shock-less van, pumping blood flow to our brains in order to ask relevant questions of the incredible people we had spent our day meeting and/or the inevitable food coma that a chile relleno will bring on… our excitement brought us back to life upon stumbling out of the van right in front of the San Francisco office of Current TV.

What is Current TV? Admittedly, this was my first question, but Ananda was practically hyperventilating with excitement and I generally trust her assessment of everything but the value of dresses in modern society… so you could say I was eager to hear the answer. As I found out from Andrew Fitzgerald, Current TV is a relatively young network with the advantage of having been born in the era of all things digital, thus Current operates completely digitally. If the complex and hypnotic as well as colorful display of lights in the control room says anything, then I think that they must have some awesomely cool gadgets going on in there not to mention really progressive ideas about telling the news.

Current’s target audience is 18-34 year olds and they like to focus on news stories that aren’t being told because today’s traditional news networks leave out A LOT. Current has a focus on citizen journalism—essentially encouraging everyday people to go out and film what’s going on around them! The whole idea is getting the news from people on the ground where the audience isn’t, and it doesn’t matter if the camera quality isn’t high definition because what really matters is that the story is interesting and it’s getting told when it otherwise wouldn’t. I’m sure you see how this is connected to all of us at GCY…

Andrew gave us a tour and then sat around with us and answered about a trillion questions ranging from “Oh my God that’s really Al Gore’s office?!!?” to tips for how to find the story that we want to tell. His advice was to turn the camera on ourselves, to tell our story of our journey. So that’s what I plan to do.