I used to complain on occasion that NPR's On the Media was too foreign, too fascinated with news from overseas. I do enjoy the coverage from overseas, but how much is too much? I enjoyed a lot of the coverage of the from-Russia show, and this week's from China. Co-host Brooke Gladstone has also spent a week in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Call me -- the founding international editor of ABCNEWS.com -- parochial, but I find it a bit laborious, or at least limiting, to listen to a whole show in a week from one country. Inevitably, a lot of the coverage will repeat truisms we've read elsewhere, and the mind will wander.
Why not some other special, themed weeks. OK, they did do "books" recently. How about, though, spending a week somewhere in the U.S. where the media landscape is changing? How about, say, spend a week in West Virginia and figure out what it is about the news coverage there that convinced voters Obama is a Muslim. What can we see about local TV and newspapers that tell us something about the U.S. trends, in general. And a parochial question: How are coal miners consuming the media and news? Are they more connected than they've been in previous generations, networking socially via the Web with like-minded folks?
Slightly drunken rantings here -- yes, I admit it, I had a little to much port this Friday evening, while watching Disney Channel's "Camp Rock" with my kids -- but I'm now listening to the On the Media podcast, and found myself back on this ground.