Friday, November 2, 2007

Global Media Awareness (aka "Is It Hot Where You Live?")

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I always wonder why the media outlets on Guam seem to never change. After I touched down last night - on the way up to Yigo - I wondered. Everything sounds and looks the same. The radio stations, the television station programming, bumpers and graphics all look the same. The newspaper layout, format and stories look like they did in the 90's.

What's Cookin'?
I've been home to Guam back and forth half a dozen times in the last five years, so I'm aware of the current changes in the media circle. But none that's too mind blowing. Why? Is "good enough" good enough? Maybe on an island rooted so far into its humble, local lifestyle they couldn't care less for the media-hungry/savvy ways of the mainland. But why not? They do it all the time on Guam - they just call it "gossip".

Regarding current media, one of the few notable "changes" on the island worth noting is that the newest buzz seems to come from a radio station that plays oldies. I love listening to KIJI FM 104! Great job Daryl, Ryan and the rest of the crew!

Although the lack of change adds to my homeland's "small-town" charm and timeless nostalgia, the island is also an international hub and melting pot to a new and media-savvy world.

Infrastrucure? Check. Media? Check. Oh wait a minute...
Back road to Andersen is paved and there are talks of building a new island road that connects the northern and southern military bases. A lot is happening before the military arrives in a few years. Because media changes constantly, I think that my beautiful island home needs to consider investing more into the media arena as well - not just for the sake of keeping up the media light for local radio skits, station promotions, political gain and typhoon conditions, but for the sake of commerce - and not the kind of commerce that is dependent on off-island resources (although it can help there, too) - but for the interest in and benefit of - local commerce.

With strong media in such a small, yet active consumer-driven community, the island should utilize the tools that are already in place and maximize the media to its full potential - shaking the island towards new methods of interest in addition to maintaining its traditional ones.