President Obama’s Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force got what they asked for when I presented a plan for the 200-year restoration of the Mississippi Delta following the effects of the BP oil spill, Katrina and Rita.
In a mash-up between traditional journalism, citizen advocacy and professional testimony, I broke the rules of traditional journalism by not only making a one-hour radio show from the event, but actually seeking to directly influence a National debate in what might be termed “reality radio.” Editors absolutely condemn this kind of activity on the part of reporters. “You report the news, not make it,” might be a typical City Editor’s remark to a young reporter.
Yet, do I deprive the nation of what I believe is a workable plan for the long-term restoration of the Mississippi River Delta based on a lifetime of experience as a Professional Geologist because I also have my own radio show and can report the event?
Evoking “reality broadcasting,” I extended this TV concept to radio by recording my presentation and using it in this radio show. Hearings like those held by the Task Force are often deadly dull. I broke another convention by presenting my remarks “in persona,” as the Backyard Sportsman, rather than using the more formal language of a Professional Geologist. My actual presentation, stumbles and all, are included in this broadcast.
I leave it to the listeners to judge whether this approach was successful or not.
I also sampled parts of the formal morning presentation and the break-out Listening Session that I attended. For the cooking section I recorded comments from an EPA delegate of Vietnamese extraction about fish sauce, one of the real secrets of Vietnamese cooking which has its roots in Western culture back to the days of the Roman Empire.
Ads on this show include those by Biloxi Bosoms and SIN, Inc., Synthetic Industrial Non-Nutritives, Inc., who highlights local culture by advocating Louisiana Nutra Burgers, made from the exotic nutria whose grazing habits damage the marsh grasses to the extent that the Louisiana has a bounty on them.
A 15-minute YouTube video of this event which includes my presentation is available at http://youtu.be/9k4yE6JTAd4.