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Sunday, March 18, 2007

the day American Idol changed the world

Some remarkable things are stirring in America's mass media, and I wanted to update you in case you see connections with your most urgent change interests

Back in 2004, at the open space final day - my session was: can we Londoners, Brits and Beyond take back the BBC (world's largest non-commercial broadcaster) so that it pays as much attention to truth and sustainability stories as sports?

Ten days ago, primarily 4 Brits Bono, Richard Curtis, Simon Cowell, Simon Fuller - announced an attempt to turn round American mass media. Next month, for the first time ever on commercial media 32 million American youth will be asked to celebrate African child alongside other youth celebrities

On the same day in a different part of California, Bill Clinton announced his wish : to help make Rwanda into a benchmark for Rural African health

3 years earlier the Bono wish had been one of the origins of Make Poverty History
and in between grassroots medic sans frontiers Larry Brilliant's wish
was the cause of his job acquisition at epicentre of

Do you see a new wave, a tipping point around mass media? One that could help us celebrate this 24 year old forecast connecting Death of Distance Future roundtables

However there are problem spots. Around 7/7 Geldof reports this conversation was the standard going on at Gleneagles:
Mr Schroeder] said to Bush: "Jesus, Blair is being a real pain in the arse about this Africa stuff, isn't he?"' Bush replied: "Yeah, I wish he'd give it a rest".

More relevantly now, the actual charities that will be featured by American Idol look like the usual global down NGOs Unicef and Save The Children; and none of the empowerment up African social entrepreneurs or Mandela-type choices.

It is a pity that Bono, Richard Curtis and all his red nose affiliates, and both the Simons could come so near and yet so far to beaming up grassroots Africa to the epicentre of American youth and future understanding for Africa.

Any ideas that go with the new flow anyone?

chris macrae us tel 301 881 1655


onet debates
which we would love to import to anywhere that virtual community debates Africa or empowerment development economics (the number 1 subject Sir Nick Stern is returning to LSE to animate beyond Climate)