Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Weekly Media Diet

David Reich tagged me a week or so with the Media Diet meme. He got touched by C.B. at Flooring the Consumer who was asked by Blog till You Drop's Lolly. Arun was tagged by Ryan - who was tagged by David the same time as me. Life really IS a cycle of circles, a network of connections-wouldn't you agree? Pic is my under 30 yo niece reading the newspaper - a habit developed over the generations. Warning: this post is link heavy.

These are some serious media consumers. My media diet might be bland in comparison. What I read, watch and listen to creates my own little media niche. I feel each of us define & grow our own base of knowledge through the increasing mounds of available information. Sadly, the misinformation begins to outweigh the good stuff. There are influences along the path but those are for another meme - something like "major impacts to my thinking" or "what I've learned from gurus" posts.

Media I read - My hometown daily newspaper The Spokesman-Review - every day*. A carrier brings it to me. I prefer it in print but read it online in a pinch. Frankly, its a pain to boot my pc before the coffee is brewed. Plus, I spend my spare money on bikes and guitars so nothing remains for gadgets like Blackberry, iPhone or Treo. I like the smell of ink. I like the way a story can move me through a range of emotions. I like the box scores during baseball season. When traveling, I buy the local paper. Here is the main reason. At minimum, the front page of your local paper provides 5 things you can talk about - have a conversation - with anybody at any time. It also presents the opportunity to remember what they were - today it was the earthquake in China, a battle for superintendent of schools in the state of Washington, McCain talks about global warming, a local human rights activist retires, and the bonehead who refused to turn his cell phone off in flight resulting in arrest. I also like to read the NYT, SF Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Des Moines Register and Waterloo Courier online. Admittedly, not every day do I read and/or visit. Their email feeds alert me to stories of interest.

Part of my monthly diet, magazine and newsletters are a basic food group - The Nation, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Bicycling, Adventure Cyclist, Utne Reader, Wired, Washington Spectator, Real Money along with publications from the charities I favor. All of these are consumed hard copy and then recycled. Again, in a pinch, I'll access online. Like now - when I needed the links. The trouble with me reading online is I'm easily distracted. There are far too many places to visit. I am poorly disciplined and tend to wander.

Media I watch - live - Jeopardy, Dancing with the Stars & Mariners Baseball. Via tape - Grey's Anatomy, SNL and a wide array of movies. I currently possess over 1200 VCR tapes with 3-4 movies on each one. The earliest is from 1922 - Nosferatu - and the latest are current. My favorite HBO series are The Wire, Big Love, The Sopranos, Entourage, and Showtime's Weeds. I LOVE the big screen. Movies I've watched this year - with popcorn - are Juno, The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford, There Will Be Blood, and No Country for Old Men. I'm also fond of YouTube - a real easy place to get lost.

Media I listen to - right this moment it's Phil Lesh and Friends on Internet Archive. I listen to Stephanie Miller - laughing out loud at her morning drive time radio on the AM frequency. Occasionally, I'll catch local public radio - KPBX - on the FM. On XM, I listen to Bluesville, Bluegrass Junction, Deep Tracks - especially developing a fondness for Tom Petty's Buried Treasure and Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour. I catch the Tapers Section at dead.net along with GD Radio Hour hosted by David Gans.

While not strictly consumption but for pure listening pleasure - and community building - I jam with a bluegrass bunch twice a week.

My media diet has changed over the last 50 years but the basics remain the same. This week is not much different than the last 52! I've become more of a media glutton for no other reason than availability - heck, there's 170 radio choices on the XM. Frankly, it's astounding all of the message is available via the medium called internet. It is everywhere and there's still only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 days in a year, 366 in a leap year.

Choose willfully - consume wisely. Take your proper portions. And ride your bike now more than ever. The media smorgasbord will wait.

I'm tagging Mario, Cody, Robyn and Jackie. Realizing you are all focused, play when you can. Anybody else who wants to play, here's an open invitation. The weather is warming up in the NW.

*full disclosure - I work for the local newspaper