Inspired by a post by Earl Mardle I’ve added a new category to this blog, It’ll Never Work. I’ll use it to flag stories about experiments carried out in the face of scepticism. Well that’s the plan… though of course the theme of unintended consequences may apply.
Earl tells the story of an Italian prisoners making their own TV show as an example of the potential for democratising the use of media, and talks about his own experiment in this area in New Zealand.
When I managed Wellington Community Access Radio, one of the first things I did was set up a school holiday programme for kids to come in and make a radio programme with the support of the staff.
Some said it wouldn’t work because kids wouldn’t want to make radio, they would want TV. Well, we never had a spare place on the courses and the feedback from the parents ranged from comments that their kid had come home exhausted but elated to one mother who I will never forget.
She brought her boy in because she thought that, being radio, his illiteracy would not be a problem and he could take part with the other kids for a change. Of course she was wrong, radio is mostly about literacy, from research to writing, editing and reading scripts.
But she said that her son had come home that day not depressed, but full of enthusiasm for learning to read because, at last, he had figured out what the hell you could do with it that he wanted to do.