Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Communication Applications: This I Believe

This post considers a national communications project called "This I Believe."

From its website: "This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR [National Public Radio] airs these three-minute essays on All Things Considered, Tell Me More and Weekend Edition Sunday. This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. In creating This I Believe, Murrow said the program sought 'to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.'"

I've long listened to "This I Believe" essays on the radio driving into school each day (after all, one needs something to help pass the time in Houston traffic), and I occasionally check in at the This I Believe website to read what people have to say. Always, I find the essays--both written and spoken--interesting, noteworthy, and intriguing.

I don't always agree with what I hear or read, but I'm always eager to learn something new, to see how someone else views the world or to hear someone else's story. To use the parlance of this class--I relish playing the role of both sender and receiver.

For tonight's blog assignment, I'd like you to explore the This I Believe website (hyperlinked above), simply to see what's there. Then, find an essay from the 1950s that you think is interesting, and then find a more recent essay that you find intriguing. (As you will see, on each page there are multiple search options.)

Print both essays out, and bring to class tomorrow prepared to discuss WHAT the essays are about and WHY you found the subject interesting or intriguing. This will provide a discussion context to work on your own "This I Believe" essay.

Also, if you are interested, tonight on PBS the program Frontline has a show on Christianity in China. It airs at 8pm. These reports are always informative and interesting. Here's a list of shows so far in 2008. If you catch the China special, please leave your thoughts.

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