Journalist and broadcaster Philip O’Connor writes:
I was in the Hilton Hotel in New York where Donald Trump’s campaign was based on election day 2016, and the result shocked everyone – that shouldn’t happen if the media and journalism had done its job.
But it didn’t.
A major part of the reason for that was that nobody listened to ordinary American voters whose ballots decided the election.
So this time around, instead of sitting at a desk rewriting press releases or talking to academics and other journalists and regurgitating opinion polls that turn out to be wrong, I’m going to hit the road through all 50 states for 50 days and see what they have to say.
I’m going to visit diners and laundromats, gyms and gas stations, main streets and city halls to find out exactly what they are thinking and what will influence how they cast their votes.
To do this I need support, so I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign (see below), and there are sponsorship opportunities available.
For €10 (or a measly 20c per episode) you’ll get 50 podcasts, plus an e-postcard from the road every week, and €35 will get you a daily email. For €500 you can sponsor a whole episode, and if you have a big brand and want to sponsor the whole series, then I’m all ears.
The media business is broken, and this is me trying out a new way of making it viable while bringing you something unique that nobody else can or will do.
On November 3, I’ll be in New York, on the ground as the votes are tallied.
Watch the full CNN video. The cops asked the crew to move back. The crew agreed but didn't. Then someone spoke into the CNN team's ear pieces, the camera turned back to Omar & he began to broadcast w/out moving back. After 30 secs the cops arrested him.
The scene yesterday (above) at 2020 Kettredge Street, Berkeley, California
But the work-visa program that allowed for the exchanges has in recent years become not just a source of aspiration, but also a source of embarrassment for Ireland, marked by a series of high-profile episodes involving drunken partying and the wrecking of apartments in places like San Francisco and Santa Barbara..
The program has been a source of discomfort. James Howard, 24, who went to San Diego in 2011, said it was basically “party central.”
“There were 18 of us sharing a two-bedroom apartment, and the hundreds of Irish students around us were in a similar situation,” Mr. Howard said.
“It was my first time away on my own for any length of time. I’m glad I did it, but once was enough,” he said.
Cahir O’Doherty, the arts and culture editor of The Irish Voice, wrote a column in 2014 expressing distress at “the callous destruction unleashed by these loaded Irish students” of a house rented in the Sunset District of San Francisco.
“If you know the city you’ll know Sunset is one of the more desirable locations in which to buy a home,” he wrote. “So those J-1 students actually caught a big break by being rented to in the first place. Nice payback, guys.”
“They ripped chandeliers from the ceilings, they broke doors and they smashed windows; they even punched holes in the walls,” he wrote. “Then they abandoned the place without a heads-up or a word of apology.”
More than 150,000 Irish people have participated in the J1 program since it was introduced in 1961.
And 149,000 overstayed their visa.
The makings of a bit of a party, in fairness.
The CIA US Embassy writes:
“The US Embassy is inviting anyone who ever went on a J1 Summer Work and Travel Program, or any other US exchange program, to take the experience one step further and join the J1 Connect event on September 25, 2014 at the RDS in Dublin.
The day will include prominent J1 speakers from the world of politics, business, academics and the arts. Workshops will cover a variety of topics including understanding US visas, strategies for setting up business in the US, and coaching on professional networking. The day will end with a live band and networking reception. Whether your J1 summer just ended, or is a more distant memory, J1 connect is an opportunity to celebrate this ‘rite of passage’ exchange…”