Well, yesterday we launched our latest Rap News episode (here’s the link in case you haven’t already seen it) and now that the dust has settled a bit, I thought I’d post a few random things on this new Blog of ours.
I’m really proud of this latest episode because it features some thoughts I’ve long wanted to get off my chest regarding “The News” – things that have inspired the Rap News project as a whole.
Believe it or not, Rap News was born out of a yearning for a saner way of “summing up” world events. It’s not that I was dissatisfied with a particular brand of News – ABC, BBC, MSNBC, Fox (although the latter does presents additional reasons for concern). I was dissatisfied with the “News” paradigm as a whole…
I don’t know about you, but back in the day when I used to watch TV News I’d sometimes fantasise about a News program that would cover not just a specific nation, but the whole of humanity; which could report and update us on the massive, long-term issues of our generation (and civilisation) rather than just the issue de jour – or de week.
People sometimes say that “history was made” on such and such a day. But history – our story – is being played out every single day, in both small and spectacular ways. And since “The News” is supposed to cover daily events (journalism) I’ve always wondered whether reporters and news-anchors could be more like historians – connecting past & present, reminding us of where we came from, helping us understand where we’re heading, and reflecting on the historic nature of what is happening today, in real time. Basically, what Robert Foster (the news anchor I always wish we had) does in every episode of Rap News…
Ok, I do have slightly high expectations of The News, I know! But when you think about it – we can’t afford the alternative: to wait decades to learn about ourselves in history books; or to carry on watching “News” that casts us as mere spectators of disconnected information about things that supposedly happen to “other” people, whilst ignoring the simple but fundamental truth that the News-watching demographic is probably complicit in most of what’s happening in “The News”.
I never expected TV networks to change or interrupt their regular schedule of disengaged information. So I thought somebody else should give it a crack, and that’s one of the reasons Hugo and I started making Rap News. So you could say that this episode is like a sort of manifesto for the Rap News project (or at least one of the manifestos).
Well, I hope this provides a bit of insight into Rap News and the ideas that inspired our latest episode. If I can, I’d like to post something after we release each new Rap News episode, so as to share some of the thoughts and ideas that don’t always find their way into the actual videos.
I want to conclude with an acknowledgement of the one and only Hugo, master of words and comedy, without whose art and poetry these episodes and messages could not be presented so powerfully. I’ve been ranting on about history, manifestos and paradigms etc because my main focus in Rap News is to craft the content and ideas of each episode, and most importantly, to come up with Robert Foster’s closing message at the end of each episode – “the Juice”, as we like to call it. But as you probably already know, what makes Rap News so special is not just the message (the News), or the medium (Rap); it’s the way they work together – Rap News 🙂
Till next time!
Photo courtesy of Kahlia Litzow