Voices: Covering the Elections by Leaving the U.S.

Voices: Covering the Elections by Leaving the U.S.

SoundCloud Voices is a weekly Community feature focusing on new spoken word creators found on SoundCloud. It might be a podcast, radio show, audio book, interview, audio messages, a poem, anything! Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new post.

This week we’ve invited the award-winning team from PRI’s The World to share their take on covering the U.S. Presidential elections, and how they hope to engage an international audience around a seemingly national issue. If you live outside the U.S., they want to hear your voice! Read on to find out more…


Does the American President Have a Responsibility for Your Future?

by Marco Werman, Host, PRI’s The World 

We’re a radio show. But these days we live online and on your mobile device just as much as we do on-air. At heart, just like the rest of the SoundCloud community, we’re obsessed with the sound of things: people and places, arguments and dreams. And we need your help. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, some scene-setting: As you know, Election Day in the United States is just around the corner. So, in the days surrounding the election, we’re taking PRI’s The World on the road to examine how American presidential influence is felt, understood, and imagined by people beyond U.S. borders. While most of the world’s media will be headed stateside, we’re going in the opposite direction.

Now, maybe you’re in the United States. But maybe you’re a SoundCloud community member in Caracas or Mumbai or somewhere else. And maybe you see your own fortunes in the choice of leadership Americans are about to make. Even if you don’t have a vote, my hunch is that you’re watching the US elections very closely.

So I’m headed to London to talk to as many people as I can. Why London? Well, it’s a gateway city for perspectives from across the planet. I’ll be talking to people about a wide range of concerns: the health of the global economy; terrorism and security; the Arab Spring; and the changing role of the United States in global affairs. And I’ll be asking the people I meet to think about what an American president can or should do in today’s world. Do they see the job of a US president (and not only the current president) as a protector or as a policeman? Or do some people have little faith in the ability of American presidents to lead the world on the really big stuff, such as climate change?

I’ll meet up with London-based authors and musicians, scholars and scientists, activists and professionals, many of them immigrants, each deeply interested in the U.S. election and its outcome. And I’m going to capture the city in sound too, in all its messy glory, posting the sounds to The World’s stream here on SoundCloud.

I’ll chat with European commuters as they step off the train from France; take the pulse of London’s much-maligned banking centers; and visit Speakers’ Corner, the historic epicenter of free speech in Britain. I’ll also spend time at New Broadcasting House in central London, talking with journalists from the BBC’s dozens of language services.

But I want to hear from you, too. I want to know how you see the US presidency–the whole institution of the American presidency as it relates to the world. I want you to think more deeply than just telling me who you’d prefer as the next president, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. Instead, tell me what you think about the American presidency. How would you sum it up? How much is an American president responsible for things that go on in the world outside the United States of America?

To the point: why does the American president have a responsibility for your future, wherever you’re from? You might not have a vote, but I bet you wish you had a say.

Check out the big orange SoundCloud record button at http://theworld.org/elections and share your thoughts with us. Please keep it short, clean, and respectful. And, while you’re at it, follow The World on SoundCloud.

The world is watching this election. We’re listening to the world. And that includes you.

PRI’s The World is a daily one-hour radio program focused on international news and culture. Produced in Boston, it is a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH, Boston. Follow The World on SoundCloud and at TheWorld.org.



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