NPR's 'Planet Money' podcast goes live for economic development
Since it was launched in 2008 to explain the global financial crisis, NPR's "Planet Money" team has tried to simplify the economy in a way that's both fun and informative. The team produces a blog and podcast, and contributes to NPR shows like "This American Life."
Now, it's taking to the stage for a live event that will attempt to answer the question, "Is America Screwed?"
amNewYork spoke with contributing editor Alex Blumberg.
So, is America screwed? Depends on what you're comparing it to. Compared to any other time in history? No. We have smartphones, ... we're living in a magical wonderland compared to most of human history. However, the economy is changing, and the argument of our show is that there are certain things that are causes for concern. We'll talk about those in a fun way.
Will the event be more like a show or a lecture? It's very theatrical. There's going to be lots of surprises and lots of humor. We hired a theater director to help us stage it. It runs the gamut from simple things like [show co-host] Adam Davidson talking with video PowerPoints to a live illustration of the U.S. economy with props, literal bells and whistles, and audience participation.
What are the challenges of bringing a radio show to the stage? The main thing is trying to figure out how you make it something that belongs on stage as opposed to something transplanted from the radio to the stage.
What do you hope people come away from the show with? We hope people will come away with a different way of seeing what's happening to the economy. But mainly we hope people come away feeling, "That was really fun. I had a great time." Normally, on our podcast we want the mix of informing vs. entertaining to be 50-50. For this, we're notching up the entertainment.
On TV: "NPR Presents Planet Money Live: Is America Screwed?" is at The Bell House on Wednesday at 8 p.m., 149 Seventh St., Gowanus, 718-643-6510, sold out.