Welcome to season 3, episode 2 of the Today is the Day Changemakers Podcast.
As we enter the new year, I am pleased to welcome my first guest of 2023, groundbreaking author and changemaker Tony Brasunas. Tony has blazed a trail all his own in the world of journalism, oftentimes clashing with traditional media outlets. His story is one of integrity and bravery in the face of impediments to change and free thought. He exemplifies all a journalist should be and has so much to teach young journalists in our ever changing media landscape.
From childhood, Tony has been accustomed to the act of going against societal standards, having grown up on a hippie commune in West Virginia, in which residents meditated in the forest and lived in tune with nature. He further expanded his perspective by living in China, and ended up producing a book from his unique experience. This continuous exposure to eccentric ways of living which incorporated mindfulness, meditation, free thinking, and introspective work allowed Tony to develop a heightened sense of awareness and direct it towards his observable world, specifically the media.
Having experiences in which content within his articles were censored by both the San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Huffington Post, Brasunas began his journey as an independent journalist for his own political magazine in order to compare the ways in which the mass media is manipulating facts. In doing so, he is contributing to the ascendance of independent news sources, created by censorship in corporate mainstream media. He attributes this shift to the altercation of facts due to bias. In Red White and Blind, Tony defines three types of bias, innocent, systemic, and nefarious. He describes innocent bias as unintentional, systemic as bias used in the attempt to protect a job or corporation, and nefarious as groups looking to deliberately manipulate. Brasunas characterizes humans as “storytelling creatures”, explaining that we must have a “balanced media diet” in order to be able to tell our own stories and decide our opinions rather than allowing corporations to do so. By applying meditative concepts from his upbringing, Tony proposes the idea of "cultivating a media consciousness" which allows us to step back and look inwards to examine why we believe certain ways of thinking.
I encourage you to approach both this new year and Tony Brasunas's Red, White and Blind with an open mind and a willingness to be inspired.
Do you have a story to share? If so, reach out to Jodi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Next week, Jodi interviews Wendy Liscow, Executive Director, Arts Ed NJ.
Have a great week everyone!