Lisa Goldman, Sokari Ekine, Haitham Sabbah and I headed across town yesterday to the legendary Bush House to appear on Have Your Say, a new radio show that our friend Kevin Anderson is helping put together. Have Your Say is an “interactive radio show” – one of the producers said, “Don’t ask us what that means, because we don’t know.”
What it seems to mean is that it’s an hour-long radio show that tries to integrate input from phonecalls, skype, instant messages, emails, discussion group posts and, I suspect, via mental telepathy. Alongside host Steve Richards is Rabiya Parekh, who sits beside him in the studio, managing messages coming in from emails and SMSs and reading them on the air.
Our gang with Steve and Rabiya
While Steve tried very hard to integrate the four of us into the flow of the show, the content made things a bit challenging for us. The show began with a focus on the bombings earlier in the day in Bangladesh, moved on to a debate about whether or not California inmate Stanley “Tookie” Williams should be executed, and ended with a debate on the superiority of the World Cup or the Olympics as the world’s dominant sporting event.
This led to odd questions like Lisa trying to offer the Israeli perspective on Tookie Williams and the Crips (“there isn’t one”) or us trying to channel our respective regions’ opinions about football versus the olympics (football in every case). But we all got to speak a bit about blogging in our regions and the goals of Global Voices. I’m hoping the crew at Have Your Say will think of Global Voices as a way to find participants for these shows in the future.
It’s interesting for me to think about how a radio show adapts to take advantage of the Internet. I’ve worked a bit with the team behind Chris Lydon’s Open Source radio show, and it’s a fascinating contrast to this show. Have Your Say is devoid of opinion from the hosts – it’s designed to be a space without agenda or bias. Open Source is strongly opinionated and agenda’d, has a strong dose of Chris’s personality, and focuses on a single issue for an hour, which makes it a bit easier to engage than when the issue changes every ten minutes. I think I prefer the long-form model Chris uses, but I’m cognisant of the fact that Have Your Say is very new – about five weeks old – and I’m very excited to see where it goes as it grows up. Thanks, Kevin, Steve, Rabiya, for having us on your show.