David Neuman / Al Gore
"Our democracy has been hollowed out. The opinions of the voters are, in effect, purchased, just as demand for new products is artificially created. Decades ago Walter Lippman wrote, "the manufacture of consent...was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy...but it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technique...under the impact of propaganda, it is no longer plausible to believe in the original dogma of democracy . . . we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum and create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the Rule of Reason . . . [w]e must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Worldwide Web. We cannot take this future for granted. We must be prepared to fight for it because some of the same forces of corporate consolidation and control that have distorted the television marketplace have an interest in controlling the Internet marketplace as well. Far too much is at stake to ever allow that to happen."
Former Vice President Al Gore, in an Oct. 5, 2005 speech at the headquarters of The Associated Press
Photo Linked From: http://www.mit.edu/people/ed_k/beard.jpg
On Dec. 12, 2005, a description of Current TV's new distribution model was posted on the MediaRights.org website, written by Shira Golding. An excerpt:
"Current rejects the 30 minute viewing block, opting instead for much shorter content units called "pods." From "Current Courage" to "Current Blogger" these thematic shorts are generally 5-8 minutes long and introduce the viewer to one individual or concept. What all the pods have in common is that they seek to "reflect what is happening in the lives of young pople while highlighting voices and perspectives that aren't always seen," explains Anastasia Goodstein, Manager of Viewer-Created Content at Current."
UPDATE: Al Gore's Oct. 5, 2005 speech on the future of American Democracy to a group of new-media practitioners gathered at The Associated Press headquarters in New York city: http://mediagiraffe.blogspot.com/2005/10/media-future-al-gore-on-tv-and-threat.html
LINKS TO STORIES ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF "CURRENT"
From the Current website:
Current is a new, independent cable and satellite TV network. Here's what we're up to:
There's plenty to watch on TV, but as a viewer, you don't have much chance to influence or contribute to what you see. This medium - the most powerful, riveting one we have - is still a narrow vision of reality rolled out in predictable 30-minute chunks. It's still a fortress of an old-school, one-way world.
We want to bust it open.
We're rethinking the way TV is produced, programmed, and presented, so it actually makes sense to an audience that's accustomed to choice, control, and collaboration in everything else they do.
So, we're creating a network in short form. Whenever you tune in to Current, you'll see something amusing, inspiring or interesting. And then, three minutes later, you'll see something new. It'll be a video iPod stocked with a stream of short segments and set to shuffle.
We aim to connect to every facet of real life, so the rotation will include Current Soul, Current Gigs, Current Fashion, Current Lies, Current Tech, and lots more.
These segments will be anchored each hour by the Google Current: an up-to-the-second zeitgeist, a glimpse into what people around the world are searching for and talking about right now.
Finally, there's the Current Studio: our participatory production program, anchored online and open to anyone. The Studio is a cornerstone of this network, and your opportunity to produce, program, and get the word out about our network. If you jump in and get creative, you will see the results on TV.
Current launches later this year, but the Current Studio is in need of your help today. We want to start building a pipeline of your productions and getting a sense of what you want to see on-air well before launch.
We're going to work with you to take a look at what's going on in the world from a fresh perspective: yours. We are excited to begin. We think the process - and your participation - is as important as the final product.
See also: Opinion: "Al Gore's TV revolution", A St. Petersburg Times Editorial
Our profile of Current TV web team member, Robin Sloan
COMMENTARY ON CURRENT: