Beyond print: Quakers and the media (revisited)

Well, it’s been a while since I last looked into the topic of Quakers and the media; mainly, I was looking at movies, television, radio and other basic forms (other than print) to find where a person new to Quakerism or a Quaker looking for images of him/herself in the media to help reinforce or discover how the mirror of the media reflects.   It seems like these days, new media forms are challenging the old for eyeballs, multimedia has become more searchable with help from the Internet, and people are moving more toward the online world for actual interaction with media, rather than simply letting it reflect.  Here are a few ways Quakers are making it into the modern media environment (beyond print):

  • QuakerQuaker: So here comes QuakerQuaker, revised into a new shape and form, to bring Quakers together online using the social media network of today (aka the Internet).  Lo, and behold, one of the coordinators, Martin Kelley, brought a video camera to the recent gathering of Convergent Friends and captured modern day Quakers for the world (yes, I’m in there too…).
  • New York Yearly Meeting Minute on Torture: A quick overview of what a “minute” is among Friends, along with a wide panapoly of Friends reading it back; a great collaborative project for a video
  • Penn (of Penn & Teller) speaks out on Quaker atheism: Even serious folks are taking Quakers seriously 😉
  • I Believe” visits Quakers: helpfully, this video shows up in some search results, but can be hard to dig up; nice job with the big picture, Denis Wholey!

This is just a beginning–I’m sure you all have your favorites.  I’m just amazed at the variety of tools (note: Google video, YouTube channels, and even intermingling media using blogs with video streaming feeds).  As Quakers often are underrepresented in traditional media and are, as Martin Kelley said, “little more than a rounding-off error in religious America,” I’m just thankful that I can create a more engaging mental model of modern Quakerism than what’s chosen by the big media to be presented to me.

One thought on “Beyond print: Quakers and the media (revisited)

  1. Thanks for the nods Chad! Something I would stress is that the only limiting factor for us is shyness and a willingness to share. The camera I brought to California and used for two of my videos was a six-year-old point and shoot–a friend of mine found a comparable model for $15 at the local Goodwill last week! Other videos were shot with the webcam of my computer. These days pretty much every computer comes with a webcam and you can retrofit an older computer with one starting at the price of McDonald’s Happy Meal. Youtube is the only place worth hosting your video and it’s free.

    I’ve met Friends who felt they had to spend years developing video sharing sites or lay out thousands of dollars for some fancy camera but all this is unnecessary (and maybe an excuse to not get started?). Our reputation is for simplicity and authenticity and so the new medium fits us well: no one’s looking for us to have the gallant theme music or triumphant opening credits. If the medium is the message then the sight of Friends sitting in front of a laptop and just talking directly and honestly is powerful.

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