In a couple of days, I'm going to do an event with some NPR colleagues about the election. The other people are reporters, who literally follow the candidates from city to city. I used to be on the campaign trail in previous jobs during past elections. But now I get "the view from the air"... that is, the airwaves.
I have to say, I have mixed feelings about the shift in my role. I think there's nothing like really being there to let you get a sense of the candidates, the crowd, and the messaging. But in our media-saturated world, sometimes the view from the air is a view from the ground. Since an unprecedented amount of Election 2008 has played out on YouTube, through e-mail, and through social networking, we get to keep a constant monitor on it from our perch.
It's been pretty amazing to see the blogsophere (black and otherwise) unfurl its wings. Blogging was a buzzword in 2004. In 2008, it's big media.
Today on our roundtable we picked up on a conversation about the Latino vote we'd had earlier in the show. One of our bloggers, Sharon Toomer, has black American and Dominican branches of her family ... and she was able to help us unpack some of the issues that unite and divide black and Latino voters.
I have to say ... since we are "the black show" ... with a mostly-white audience ... it's going to be interesting to me to see how we craft our approach to the election. If I do say so myself, we're doing some incredible booking.
Tomorrow's show will feature Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, James Rucker of The Color of Change, and Charlie Steele of the SCLC talking about passing the torch on black leadership. That's a dream show.
What I want next (and everyone else) is another chat with Obama and a first go-round with McCain ...