Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Media, Culture, and Grenada

Last November I took a trip to the beautiful island of Grenada, also known as the island of spice. The island is an inactive volcano that is mostly rain forest. I was surrounded by clear blue water and rich white sandy beaches. Grenadians are beautiful and friendly people that like to take life easy and one day at a time. It was like paradise! The most surprising part of my trip, however, was their media. The cable was made up of all the same American cable channels plus a few Caribbean channels. I didn’t miss a beat on any of my favorite weekly shows. Although their cable was clearly Americanized, they still found a way to show all local programming after a certain time in the evening. When I turned on the radio I wondered if that too would be Americanized. The programming was mostly Reggae and Soca music throughout the morning and early afternoon. In the evening I heard a lot of Hip Hop and R&B. I was even intrigued by the use of both American and Grenadian voice-overs and imaging. Observing all of this made me realize how much the U.S. is such a dominate influence globally. In my 24 years of growing up in the U.S I have been socialized to think a certain way about how life should be. The American philosophy, arguably, cultivates beauty as a physical trait, convenience as a necessity, and quantity over quality. This trip, however, allowed me to open my mind to the fact that there are other ways of doing things, and I want to know more about it. This revelation made me really consider programming and how to make it universal. WHUR WORLD is committed to reaching out to the world and providing quality programming for all. As an Assistant Programmer I’m constantly pondering different ways to develop shows and make them relevant to everyone. Although Grenada’s programming may be heavily influenced by the dominate American culture; including more shows and programs from other countries in American media might prove to be beneficial. Not only can it expose many Americans to other cultures and different mentalities, but it can also unify people by providing a chance to develop a better understanding of each other. It can also reconnect people that have traveled and dispersed around the world to their own cultures. Since I took that trip, my mind has been open to doing more traveling, and learning more about other cultures. I’ve realized that there’s more to life than what I’ve been socialized to think, and as a radio programmer at WHUR WORLD I have the opportunity to encourage others to open their minds by providing quality programs that offer a variety of information, music, and global philosophies.