last week I listened to “Open Source” on NPR for the first time and I must say, I tuned in with a great deal of anticipation and excitement! “Open Source” is a radio show that uses blogs and internet sources as fodder, bringing the fast-paced independent reporting of the blogosphere to more traditional media outlets. This kind of “Old Media” meets “New Media” is exactly the kind of thing I feel will salvage what is left of unbiased reporting in mainstream journalism, and I was thrilled to hear about the show.
The show “Iraqâ€™s First Fourth Estate” covered Iraqi Director Haydar Daffar’s new documentary film entitled “The Dreams of Sparrows” which was released on May 26th 2005. The film deals with the challenges of rebuilding Iraq, and the effects of long-term combat, violence and strife on the people of that country. The movie appears to be very well made, and extremely effective in delivering its message. You can read more about the documentary, view the trailer, or purchase it on DVD at Harbinger Productions.
In general, I like “Open Source”, but what I did not like is Host Chris Lydon’s propensity to interrupt his guests. For example, while interviewing Director Haydar Daffar from a Baghdad rooftop, with marginal cell phone reception he repeatedly asked “Are you still with us?”, interspursed with as many as three rapid-fire questions at a time. Daffar was dealing with a three to four second voice delay, a terrible phone signal, and a somewhat limited ability to speak English, while trying his best to answer quickly delivered, ambiguous questions like: “What were you looking for?”, “What did you find?”, and “What were the rules?”
Daffar had no chance of answering these questions, and it very much detracted from what was otherwise a very interesting and well put together show. “Open Source” has a great deal of potential, and I think it is exactly the direction in which traditional media should be headed. If Chris Lydon settles down a bit and lets his guests speak without interruption, “Open Source” may very well mark a turning point in how we all consume media.