November 9, 2003

THEIR DEMOCRACY:

-AUDIO: 'Who's Democracy Is It?': Connecting with Iraqi Students (Day to Day, Thursday , November 06, 2003, NPR)

As part of public radio's week-long series Whose Democracy Is It?" American students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter High School for Public Policy in Washington, D.C., connected with Iraqi students in Baghdad to ask them questions about the dramatic changes in their country. The conversation, produced by Richard Paul, is part of a special program called That Democracy Show airing this Sunday on many public radio stations.

Obviously there's no way of knowing what methodology was used to pick the Iraqi students nor the political biases of those involved, but if you support the war and want reassurance that we're wanted there by the people of Iraq, give this a listen. It's worth it just for the mystification of the American students when the Iraqis are thankful to us.

Mr. Paul posted the following, quite helpful, comment:

I produced that segment. I'm glad you listened to it. To answer your question "what methodology was used to pick the Iraqi students" -- I went through a relative of a guy here in Washington who organizes a series of events at the DC Jewish Community Center called "Peace Cafes" that bring together Jewish teenagers and Muslim teenagers to talk about issues in the Middle East. This guy is an Iraqi-American and I worked with his -- either brother or cousin, I don't remember -- a college professor who lives in Baghdad. He drew kids who he works with in various projects that he's involved with. I went with the kids he picked because, during the course of the conversations we had, he seemed like a reliable guy who was willing to help. Plus he was on-the-ground in Baghdad so how could I say no. We originally thought we would do the convesation at the CENTCOM teleconferencing center in Baghdad so that the kids could actually see each other. Some contacts I have at the Joint Chiefs of Staff PR operation were trying to set it up. But my executive produers felt that having so many US military around might make the kids feel intimidated. In the end, we recorded it at the facilities of Iraqi Media Network -- the new state-run media in Iraq.

The kids from Chavez High School were, in fact amazed by what they heard -- both about the repression that the Iraqi kids lived under, and regarding how they felt about the US being in Iraq. Their mouths were wide open through various portions of the conversation. One of the kids said to me when the session was over, "I'm never going to believe what I see on TV ever again."

The 4 minute segment that NPR aired on Friday is part of a longer segment that is, in turn part of a three hour program that will air tonight. The program (called "That Democracy Show," hosted by Comedy Central's Mo Rocca) is three hours of high school kids talking about democracy.

Here's a list of stations carrying the show, or you can hear it at
http://www.wamu.org/thatdemocracyshow/

There will also be a live chat during the show at http://chat.msn.com

KUNM - New Mexico
WAMU Washington, DC
KERA - Dallas
WNYC-AM New York, NY
Minnesota Public Radio - Collegeville, Bemidji, Brainerd, Rochester, Duluth, Moorhead, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Moorhead/Fargo, Rochester/Austin/Winona, Sioux Falls, SD, Worthington/Marshall, MN
KWMU-FM - St. Louis
KRCB - Rohnert Park, CA
WMPG - Portland, ME
Michigan Radio (91.7 Ann Arbor/Detriot, 104.1 West Michigan, 91.1 Flint)
WUWF - Pensacola, FL
Maine Public Radio
WCAI/WNAN - Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
KUOW - Seattle
WYSO Yellow Springs, OH
North Country Public Radio (Canton WSLU Canton, NY, WXLU Peru/Burlington, NY, WSLJ Watertown, NY WXLG North Creek, NY, WSLL Saranac Lake, NY WSLL, WSLO Malone, NY, WXLH Blue Mountain Lake, NY)
WNIJ - DeKalb, Illinois
KWBU - Waco, TX
WBAA - West Lafayette, IN
KUSP - Santa Cruz, CA
KPCC - Los Angeles


Richard Paul
rlpaulproductions, LLC
http://www.rlpaulproductions.com
3704 Alton Pl., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 364-0860 - main
(202) 352-7259 - cell
Documentary productions/Fundraiser production


From what I heard, the program seems well-worth listening to.

MORE:
Tune in as teenagers talk about today's democracy (Pioneer Press, 11/09/03)

Public radio stations from coast to coast will participate in the part-taped, part-live presentation focusing on American teens. It will be broadcast from Washington, D.C.

The show got its conceptual start in Minnesota as MPR staff cast about for a week of special coverage on the health of American democracy. MPR created the national Web site (www.whosedemocracy.org) that will permit listeners to join an online chat. The Sunday show wraps up public radio's weeklong special coverage titled "Whose Democracy Is It?"

The three-hour result might surprise adults a few years removed from their own youthful political activism.

During the show, the teens will talk about race and school lunchrooms. They'll discuss the levels a government should go to in its quest for terrorists and if that includes prying into personal lives. They'll argue over the best way to resolve the challenges before the United States.

The broadcast will remind listeners that a new generation of Americans is coming up that will enter government service, will seek social and political change, will express a social conscience.

The show's executive producer, Richard Paul, wove myriad voices into the whole, and said "That Democracy Show" wouldn't exist without the creative and fund-raising efforts of Minnesota Public Radio. That's a credit to the state of public radio here, and a credit to Minnesota.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 9, 2003 10:08 AM
Comments

I find it hard to believe that NPR would broadcast that. Unless there's some negative that NPR can insert.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at November 7, 2003 1:09 AM

I produced that segment (by the way, my last name is Paul, not Pau). I'm glad you listened to it. To answer your question "what methodology was used to pick the Iraqi students" -- I went through a relative of a guy here in Washington who organizes a series of events at the DC Jewish Community Center called "Peace Cafes" that bring together Jewish teenagers and Muslim teenagers to talk about issues in the Middle East. This guy is an Iraqi-American and I worked with his -- either brother or cousin, I don't remember -- a college professor who lives in Baghdad. He drew kids who he works with in various projects that he's involved with. I went with the kids he picked because, during the course of the conversations we had, he seemed like a reliable guy who was willing to help. Plus he was on-the-ground in Baghdad so how could I say no. We originally thought we would do the convesation at the CENTCOM teleconferencing center in Baghdad so that the kids could actually see each other. Some contacts I have at the Joint Chiefs of Staff PR operation were trying to set it up. But my executive produers felt that having so many US military around might make the kids feel intimidated. In the end, we recorded it at the facilities of Iraqi Media Network -- the new state-run media in Iraq.

The kids from Chavez High School were, in fact amazed by what they heard -- both about the repression that the Iraqi kids lived under, and regarding how they felt about the US being in Iraq. Their mouths were wide open through various portions of the conversation. One of the kids said to me when the session was over, "I'm never going to believe what I see on TV ever again."

The 4 minute segment that NPR aired on Friday is part of a longer segment that is, in turn part of a three hour program that will air tonight. The program (called "That Democracy Show," hosted by Comedy Central's Mo Rocca) is three hours of high school kids talking about democracy.

Here's a list of stations carrying the show, or you can hear it at
http://www.wamu.org/thatdemocracyshow/

There will also be a live chat during the show at http://chat.msn.com

KUNM - New Mexico
WAMU Washington, DC
KERA - Dallas
WNYC-AM New York, NY
Minnesota Public Radio - Collegeville, Bemidji, Brainerd, Rochester, Duluth, Moorhead, Minneapolis/St.Paul, Moorhead/Fargo, Rochester/Austin/Winona, Sioux Falls, SD, Worthington/Marshall, MN
KWMU-FM - St. Louis
KRCB - Rohnert Park, CA
WMPG - Portland, ME
Michigan Radio (91.7 Ann Arbor/Detriot, 104.1 West Michigan, 91.1 Flint)
WUWF - Pensacola, FL
Maine Public Radio
WCAI/WNAN - Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
KUOW - Seattle
WYSO Yellow Springs, OH
North Country Public Radio (Canton WSLU Canton, NY, WXLU Peru/Burlington, NY, WSLJ Watertown, NY WXLG North Creek, NY, WSLL Saranac Lake, NY WSLL, WSLO Malone, NY, WXLH Blue Mountain Lake, NY)
WNIJ - DeKalb, Illinois
KWBU - Waco, TX
WBAA - West Lafayette, IN
KUSP - Santa Cruz, CA
KPCC - Los Angeles


Richard Paul
rlpaulproductions, LLC
http://www.rlpaulproductions.com
3704 Alton Pl., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 364-0860 - main
(202) 352-7259 - cell
Documentary productions/Fundraiser production

Posted by: Richard Paul at November 9, 2003 9:43 AM

This made me laugh out loud: 'One of the kids said to me when the session was over, "I'm never going to believe what I see on TV ever again."'

What's going to happen when the next generation just don't believe the mainstream media? I know I don't anymore!

Posted by: Kay at November 9, 2003 12:50 PM
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