So often in our public discourse the plight of the poor is subsumed within the needs of the middle class (i.e., “a rising tide lifts all boats”) or all together ignored. While this familiar narrative unfolded during Tavis Smiley’s America’s Next Chapter forum (I’ll return to this point later), it was refreshing to hear the conversation begin with a focus on America’s forgotten class.
During his State of the Union address President Obama placed special emphasis on technology as an underlying force driving change in our economy. Before laying out his vision of a new era of American innovation, Obama noted that “thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.” While I was happy to hear the president talk about the internet and the promise of technology, I couldn’t help feeling that the focus on “winning the future” through innovation was a way to bypass dealing with today’s difficult challenges.
Last week I posted an interview with PBS’ Tavis Smiley about his America’s Next Chapter forum airing live on CSPAN right now. I am one of a handful of “official” America’s Next Chapter bloggers who are helping to moderate the online discussion of the event on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The panel […]
The lack of diversity in the media has long been a source of frustration for media watchers. Turn on network or cable television and its clear that the value of racial, ethnic and gender diversity continues to be ignored by decision makers at mainstream television broadcast outlets. The result of the lack of inclusion of new and varied voices in the national media is a largely white, male, elitist perspective devoid of the richness and complexity of American experiences. “We live in the most multicultural, multiracial, and multiethnic America ever, but there is no appreciation for diversity in our conversations and in the media,” said PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley during our one-on-one telephone interview today.
In an increasingly unpredictable midterm election cycle, young voter turnout could make a difference in highly contested races around the country. With President Obama on the campaign trail and new efforts to reach targeted demographic groups including millennials, there is still time to turn out the vote among key Democratic constituencies. But it will not be easy. Young voters are still not inclined to head to the polls.