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Max Lugavere Shares His Thoughts on Video Journalism
Max Lugavere is a filmmaker, journalist, and co-founding producer/host of Current TV, the Emmy Award-winning media company founded by Al Gore. A graduate of the University of Miami, he has worked with friend and co-producer Jason Silva to create the documentary, “The Textures of Selfhood". Hailing from New York City, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Question: How do you keep people from using Current as a platform for their causes?
Max Lugavere: Well, I know that it's a struggle that we've faced before. For example, we have a segment on Current where one of our journalists infiltrated the sort of skinhead sect in Russia. There's a large population, I guess, of neo-Nazis in Russia and, you know, that is a story that needs to be told and nobody else has really told it the way that we did but you, you know, you always want to be careful to not perpetuate their hate. You don't want give them a voice, you want to tell people what's going on without sort of giving them a soap box to stand on, so to speak. So that is definitely a tricky situation, but that has always been a tricky situation for any journalist. I think that with the sort of ability for... with the range of stories that are now being told and sort of with the information or overflow that is at all our fingertips, I just think that people are going to... their sensors are going to be more into it to detect what is bullshit, what is not; what is sort of, you know, worth reading up on, or what is not, and I just think that the more information the better.
The more information we have available to us, the more fine-tuned our filtering-our internal filtering devices-will get. It's not a one-way broadcasting network, it's sort of a communication with the powers to be in media in general, and with that will become a greater sort of medium, where the truth lies.
Question: What's the craziest story you've covered for Current?
Max Lugavere: When we first launched, one of the first stories that I covered with Jason was certainly crazy for me because I graduated from college like 6 months ago-prior to that point. I was going to purchase a fake social security card with Jason in Macarthur Park, and obviously Jason speaks Spanish so he was, you know, able to go in and really speak the language and get the job done, whereas I stuck out like a sore thumb. I wearing board shorts at the time and sunglasses... in the context of the segment I looked ridiculous, but at the same time it was pretty interesting for the two of us to really get to see that world. And so Jason, you know, bought himself a fake social security card which a lot of undocumented workers in Los Angeles need order to-at least on paper-be able to say they can legally work for whatever it is, a carwash, you know. And so we wanted to sort of see how that was done before...like seeing how everyone was talking about it and so we did that, and Anderson Cooper actually had us on the show to talk about what that experience was like. So that was definitely crazy, I mean, I was sort of... Jason was actually in the room, I was walking around Macarthur getting accosted by sex workers and drug dealers while he was getting the ID, but it was crazy nonetheless. I think, you know, we've covered the immigration situation in Miami; we've covered the homeless situation in L.A., all interesting topics. I can't say that we've really risked our lives to tell a story, it's not something that we want to do-we love telling stories. We're both passionate storytellers. But there are journalists on Current TV that are way more courageous in that sense.
Question: Where do you see Current TV in 5 years?
Max Lugavere: I think we have yet to see mobile technology really coming to fruition in the way that I think it eventually will. I think Current will be heavily involved in that when it does. I also think that Current has a long way to go in terms of mass penetration which, you know, for better or worse, all of our marketing up until this point has been very grassroots. It's just people that stumble upon the channel or see something about us on the web, tune in and then become hooked and then they told their friends. It's been very vital in that sense. But that said, it doesn't have the mainstream following that "The Hills" has and I think that that is sort of a crime, you know, and then, I think that in 5 years what I'd like to see is just Current being a massive hit, with people all over the world tuning into Current TV to see a perspective that you are not going to see anywhere else. We really want to enrich the dialogue between young people and the concept of news, it's just... it's all about information dissemination and I think that the more eyes, the more power you have, and Current definitely, we want to have the power, we want the influence, we want to use it for good.
Recorded on: April 14, 2009
Off-beat content is welcome, but it’s up to users to filter quality from crap.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".