The thing I remember most about watching that series was thinking to myself, "girl, you don't know a damn thing about Chicago" and deciding that I was going to hit the books. When television is done right, it can have a powerful affect.
And, so can the Internet. The Center for History and New Media has been working since 1994 to use "use digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past." And, that is what the American Experience series and the companion websites, are all about, too; engaging the public to facilitate a better understanding of history. (I guess that's why I'm here, also.)
Yesterday, I received an email from PBS. After I got over the initial shock that someone at the iconic institution (and my favorite televison program; right up there with the West Wing) knew my blog existed (the janitor, maybe)I carefully read the communique:
I am writing to let you know that PBS Engage is featuring American Experience’s Executive Producer, Mark Samels, as part of the ongoing PBS Engage series called “Five Good Questions.”
The blog series features a PBS celebrity or insider and asks visitors to send in questions to be answered the following week. The blog series has been very successful and we are thrilled to have Mr. Samels as our feature this week. [He was a Senior Producer on City of the Century, by the way.]
This is a chance for you to ask any questions you may have about producing for American Experience, documentary filmmaking, American History, or whatever else is on your mind. We’ll pick five questions for Mark to answer and post his responses next week on the Engage blog.
Please visit the link and post your comments and questions here.
What a wonderful opportunity! It's not quite as good as an email saying Ken Burns would like to have lunch with me, but as far as getting up close and personal with those who give history a good name it couldn't get much better. Teachers in particular might present this event to their students as a way of engaging them. Tell a kid it's on the Internet and they are usually there.
History as pop culture; will I see the day?