THINK GLOBAL: PUBLIC RADIO PRODUCERS UNITE TO LEAD A WORLDWIDE CONVERSATION ON LIVING IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY

Contact: Suzanne Perry
(651) 646-8791
suzanneper@msn.com
www.americanpublicmedia.org

THINK GLOBAL: PUBLIC RADIO PRODUCERS UNITE TO LEAD
A WORLDWIDE CONVERSATION ON LIVING IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY

Public radio stations nationwide will broadcast documentaries, features, commentaries, global call-ins and public forums on topics ranging from the environment and economics to migration and music

May 16-22 on the air; www.thinkglobal2005.org online

(St. Paul, Minn) April 26, 2005 — A coalition of public radio stations, networks and independent producers announce plans today to spark a global conversation on America’s place in an increasingly interconnected world.

The week of special coverage, "Think Global," will air on public radio stations across the country from May 16-22. Highlights will include documentaries, feature reports, town hall meetings, international call-ins, investigative reports, commentaries and cultural programs — as well as an interactive Web site in partnership with the nonprofit organization NetAid.

"The adage says ‘think global, act local,’ but that’s not so easy anymore," said Bill Buzenberg, executive producer of the project and senior vice president for news at American Public Media, the national production and distribution arm of Minnesota Public Radio. "Where we work, what we wear, what we eat, how we communicate — almost everything we do is part of a complex web of global interactions. How does that web work? Where do we fit in? This week of special coverage will help listeners connect the dots — locally, nationally and internationally."

"Think Global," the third annual Public Radio Collaboration, will help listeners understand China’s growing economic influence; the impact of free trade on poor countries; the role of oil in international politics; and “glocalization," or the tailoring of global products and media coverage to local markets. It will introduce them to filmmakers in Uganda, members of a fair-trade coffee cooperative in Mexico, Internet-based election monitors in Kyrgyzstan and a Japanese tofu maker.

Acclaimed public radio programs such as National Public Radio’s Talk of The Nation and On the Media, Public Radio International’s The World and Studio 360 and American Public Mediaís Marketplace and Being will air special programs as part of the "Think Global" week.

More than 200 stations have signed up to produce and/or broadcast "Think Global" programs. For more information about programs that will be airing in your market, contact your local public radio station.

Program highlights include:

LIVE GLOBAL CALL-IN. Listeners from around the world will discuss the impact of globalization on their lives by telephone, e-mail or text messaging from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, May 21. The call-in will be hosted by Robin Lustig of the BBC’s “Talking Point,” Dick Gordon of Boston station WBUR’s "The Connection" and Larry Mantle of Los Angeles station KPCC’s "AirTalk."

THOMAS FRIEDMAN AT THE FITZGERALD THEATER. New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman speaks to a live audience in St. Paul about his latest book, "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century." (Recorded for broadcast by American Public Media.)

DOCUMENTARIES.

  • "The Cost of Corruption" explores the role of corruption in the hyper-competitive global marketplace, with reports from Peru, Sao Tome and the Republic of Georgia. (Produced by American RadioWorks, the documentary unit of American Public Media, and BBC Current Affairs.)

  • "Global 3.0" takes listeners from Pittsburgh to China to India to Bangladesh to show how the high-speed movement of goods, people, capital and ideas is transforming everyday life. (Produced by American RadioWorks; co-hosted by ABC News correspondent Robert Krulwich.)

  • "Security Check: Confronting Today’s Global Threats." David Brancaccio of public television’s NOW hosts a program that examines the health and security threats that are side effects of globalization. (Produced by the Stanley Foundation and San Francisco station KQED.)

  • "America Up Close" examines the harsh realities of America’s globalized economy, from the perspective of our neighbor to the north. (Produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.)

  • "Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in a Global City." Frank McCourt, author of the book "Angela’s Ashes," narrates a program about Haitian, Ecuadorian, Polish, African and South Asian immigrants in New York. (Produced by New York station WNYC.)

  • "China’s World: Competing for Commerce" and "China’s World: Partnering With the Giant." The first report looks at the impact of China’s textile production on Romania and France and assesses India’s potential to match China’s growing economic might. The second shows how Kazakhstan and Argentina are tapping into China’s import market to speed their economic development. (Hosted by Lisa Mullins, anchor of PRI’s The World. Produced by The World and BBC World Service.)

  • "Worlds of Difference: Finding a Niche" looks at how traditional societies are responding to dramatic changes in Newfoundland, Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, a small Mexican town and an Andean village. (Produced by Homelands Productions and NPR; commentary by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and National Geographic explorer Wade Davis.)

INTERNATIONAL FORUM. A live audience in Amsterdam discusses U.S. challenges to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. (Produced by NPR’s Justice Talking and Radio Netherlands.)

COMMENTARIES. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, author of "Globalization and Its Discontents"; former Irish President and UN Commissioner of Human Rights Mary Robinson; environmentalist and author Bill McKibben; former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo; Pico Iyer, author of "The Global Soul" and "Sun After Dark"; and Roger Cohen, author of The Globalist column for the International Herald Tribune, offer contrasting commentaries about the benefits and drawbacks of globalization.

THE ENVIRONMENT. New Dimensions World Broadcasting talks to scientists, native elders, business leaders and thinkers about how to follow nature’s lead to protect our planet’s health. The Earth & Sky radio series explores how humans and natural systems interact on a global scale. Round Earth Productions examines the ways NAFTA has affected Mexico’s environment.

MUSIC AND CULTURE. World Café, the contemporary music program produced by Philadelphia station WXPN, will feature cellist Yo Yo Ma and his cross-cultural Silk Road Ensemble, along with Benin-born world music superstar Angelique Kidjo. National Public Radio’s Performance Today during the Collaboration week will examine how rhythms and melodies from nearly every corner of the planet infuse the music played in concert halls, with studio visits by some of the world’s best musicians. "Music and Nature," the first program produced under American Public Media’s Classical Music Initiative, offers sounds from Samoa, the Florida Everglades, Thailand and elsewhere as it explores the way music reflects our changing relationship with the environment. Studio 360, the weekly program hosted by Kurt Andersen and produced by WNYC and PRI, investigates the impact of commerce on global culture.

WEB SITE

The "Think Global" Web site at www.thinkglobal2005.org will include:

  • Audio, text and images for each of the radio programs.

  • Interactive elements produced by NetAid, a nonprofit organization that fights global poverty. Visitors can take part in quizzes, polls and multimedia activities, as well as find information on volunteering, curriculum plans and tips on how to communicate with leaders about globalization issues. The site can also be found at www.netaid.org/public-radio.

  • A "Think Global Data Bank" of facts and quotes and an animated slide show of global images; operated by The Globalist, www.theglobalist.com, a daily online feature service about globalization.

Background

"Think Global" is the third Public Radio Collaboration uniting radio producers nationwide for special coverage around a theme. In November 2003, "Whose Democracy Is It?" included 34 hours of programming and aired on more than 230 public radio stations, reaching more than 24 million listeners. The first Collaboration, in September 2002, was "Understanding America after 9/11."

Major funding for "Think Global" is provided by The Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Programs are distributed by American Public Media and PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.

Stations and networks leading the effort include American Public Media, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, WNYC (New York) and KQED (San Francisco). International broadcasters including the BBC, Canada’s CBC and Radio Netherlands also play major roles.

The project leaders are Executive Producer Bill Buzenberg, senior vice president for news at American Public Media; Project Director Betsy Gardella, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at WNYC; and Editorial Director Jonathan Miller, a veteran international journalist and a producer for radio documentary cooperative Homelands Productions.

American Public Media(tm) is the nation’s second-biggest producer of public radio programs, reaching 14.5 million listeners nationwide each week. National programs include A Prairie Home Companion®, Saint Paul Sunday®, Marketplace®, Sound Money®, The Splendid Table®, Being™ and special reports produced by its national documentary unit, American RadioWorks®. American Public Media is the national production and distribution division of Minnesota Public Radio®. Minnesota Public Radio, along with its sister company Southern California Public Radio, belongs to a larger family of companies within American Public Media Group, a national nonprofit organization whose purpose is to develop resources, services and systems to support public media for public service. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be obtained at www.americanpublicmedia.us.