Friday, April 22, 2016

Plans for the Future at PPTS

Dateline: Columbia, Tennessee
April 22nd, 2016

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. America, and...?

If you remember this tag line, complete it in the comments below. You may win a prize. Beware, you may be revealing pertinent information about yourself that you may not want others to know... :)

It's been an interesting time around here of late. We've been mostly off the air, for several reasons. We've had medical issues (a few niggling one remain), we've had staff changes, we've had (and are still dealing with) some pretty severe technical issues, and then there's this.

We've been watching with interest the primary campaigns. So much has been happening at such a lightening pace that we have not been able (see staff changes above) to keep up, create relevant stories, gather the public figures to explain the goings on, and generally been a bit (ok, a LOT) hesitant to position this particular project in the line of sight of all the shenanigans going on between candidates, campaigns, debates, primaries, caucuses, recounts, news stories, arrests at demonstrations, issues developing before our eyes....just like you. It 's easier to report as an observer, but not necessarily better reporting comes from that. 

1. We need some volunteer citizen journalists to help us as this circus narrows itself down to about three main rings. Investigators, fact checkers, interviewers, and witnesses top our list of needed volunteer supporters. We also want a few dedicated journalism students who would like an intern opportunity to develop or hone their skills to join us. The show is also on the hunt for additional staff members (Producers, EPs, co-hosts, etc.) Why? More on that shortly.

2. By the end of May, we will be back on our regular schedule. The shows will air live every Sunday afternoon, between 2 and 4 PM. We will be as engaged as possible through the conclusion of the November elections, and beyond. But we really do need some financial support to make this happen. Not a lot, just enough. Nobody here is looking for a salary. We just can't continue to feed the needs of the production, time, and work from our own pockets. Asking for the help of those who receive benefit from our labors is both honorable and ethical. 

3. It is not that the show will be restructured so much as it will return to its original structure. We believe, and are committed to honest, unbiased, ethical, moral and legal journalism, be it print or broadcast. We would love to believe that those with a growing interest in, or desire to participate with real journalism might come forward and accept the offer posted above. Hardest, most thankless work you will ever love. Guaranteed. You can work with some of this industry's leading talent in multiple areas. High School or College more than welcome to apply. Contact the show for details. Soon.

4. So, what's all this really about? 

It's easy to fold up shop when you are the only one dedicated, or even interested in the product. When 20,000 people listen to that product each week, it gets a bit more difficult. PPTS is a product of a desire to engage, through civil discourse those of shared or opposing viewpoints with dignity, safety (as possible) and respect. We believe that people can disagree without being disagreeable. For the most part, that has been our experience on this project. We still do not suffer fools easily, and we do not allow tomfoolery on the show. 

It's hard work. It takes a lot of time. We have not been doing some things correctly. I know that because we have not had any, repeat ANY relevant feedback either on the show, or on this space, from those who seem to be listening. If nobody is listening, I got plenty of things to use those hours for, and so do the other members of the PPTS team. Believe me. I'm not ranting. I'm asking for your feedback, and input on what we are doing, and how we are doing it. If you like it, say why. If you don't like it, please say why. Participate, citizen!  For years, we have worked to empower you, citizen to get out, stand up, and do something about it--whatever the it of it was. We can only hope that you have done so, because you have not reported back to us and told us what you did about it. Frustrating, and crushingly disappointing. It's just really hard to have a conversation with yourself for two hours at a clip for more than a couple of shows. (People start looking at you funny!)

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be restructuring the organization. I need your help if we are to continue. That is a decision left to me. I'd like it to be with your participation and input. Yes, that means we'll have to crank up the networks again. Researchers, come forth! We will have to get into the water again. Yes, indeed. Legislative specialists, start your steno books! Technical support will be upgraded. Staff and studio and blog specialists, On YOUR Marks!

More as it develops. Thank you for hanging in there with us. It means more than you can know.


Bud Fields--The Tennessee Progressive