samgreenspan187 karma2019-08-07 17:33:14 UTC
I'm really glad to answer this.
First, I want to clarify that Bellwether is not the first endeavor of speculative journalism. Pretty much any financial/business reporting is speculative (what are the markets going to do? How will this new CEO change the company?) , as is most political reporting (how will this new policy change things? Will this politician live up to their campaign promises?). The podcast "The Big One" from KPCC was a fantastic work of speculative journalism about what happens if and WHEN Southern California is hit with a massive earthquake. See also: the weather report.
As for conspiracy theories and disinformation and fake news—this was not something I really thought about when I got into making Bellwether, but certainly one that I've paid a lot of attention to over the past couple years. I wound up becoming a fellow of the Institute for the Future's Digital Intelligence Lab, which was founded by Sam Woolley, one of the foremost researchers on disinformation and "computational propaganda." In talking with him and his team, I got to wondering if speculative journalism might also be used to combat disinformation as well, in that it might inspire audiences to do their research after engaging with a story.
I'll shout this from the hills: MY GOAL IS NOT TO CONFUSE PEOPLE, OR MIX FACT AND FICTION. I am telling stories in a way such that it might not be imminently obvious what's real and what's not, but I'd much rather have people be inspired to do their own fact checking rather than just take my word for it, or not.
So, for Bellwether, everything you hear me say and everyone you hear me talk to is 100% real and lives up the guidelines of "normal" journalism. But that's presented within a sci-fi frame that is a way of me expressing opinions and what-ifs in a way that I can't do (and, frankly, can have more fun doing) than as "just" a journalist.
I hope that it's more than popcorn entertainment. I'm covering difficult topics, and this is my way of covering them in a novel way.
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samgreenspan102 karma2019-08-07 17:11:47 UTC
Great question! Gonna have to break this down into a few parts:
samgreenspan52 karma2019-08-07 18:12:21 UTC
Also, sorry, I did misread this question. I'm trying to do this as quickly as I can and glossed over the end of your sentence. I do actually really like Reason, and delve into the Ricochet podcast from time to time.
samgreenspan47 karma2019-08-07 17:24:43 UTC
Current rotation (in no particular order)
Today In Focus
Longest Shortest Time
This American Life
How To Survive The End of the World
An Arm and a Leg
Have You Heard George's Podcast (listening through for a second time now)
the memory palace
Welcome To LA
samgreenspan46 karma2019-08-07 18:37:45 UTC
Well-put. Though I do defend the label.
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