|Springboard: Exploring the Digital Age: Interview with Rebecca Roberts|
You've had great success in the Bay Area with DIGITAL WEST. How will SPRINGBOARD adjust to have a national appeal?
More and more, it's clear that the technology and science revolution is not simply a product of Silicon Valley; it's in the start-ups, laboratories and garages of Minneapolis, Austin, Raleigh, Boston and countless other towns. With the national production, we'll be able to tell more stories from outside Northern California and attract guests of national importance.
What fascinates you about the series' ambitious goal of examining the convergence of science, technology and culture?
I have always thought that humans are much more interesting than machines. Thatís not to say that technology isn't fascinating, but it's never as fascinating as the people who invent it, adapt it, and find creative uses for it. At Springboard, we get to interview all those people, and get them to tell us their stories. What could be better?
Is it challenging to discuss subjects that, at first glance, might seem to have a narrow audience?
Sure. But finding the part of a story that makes it relevant to a broad audience is one of my favorite parts of the job. The best compliment we can get from our audience is "I'm not into technology, don't even own a computer, but I love your show." We get that a lot. The second best compliment is, "I've been in this business for 35 years, and hate most press coverage. You all get it right."
Any surprises SPRINGBOARD' has in store for its audience?
We'll be out of the studio a lot more this season -- on location in Northern California and elsewhere. We also have a terrific staff of on-air reporters that will be making regular appearances.
Why is it an important time in history to examine technology and culture?
We are bombarded with new inventions and new sources of information every day. There is no disputing the fact that technology is changing our lives. But the more interesting question is how is technology changing our lives, and what do those changes mean? The Digital Revolution is overwhelming if it's not explained within the contexts of how we live and think.
Will this show appeal to non-technology oriented people? How so?
Of course! Television at its best is the business of telling stories. And the stories of people using technology are always more interesting than the technology itself. If we do our job of telling compelling, relevant stories, then the show should appeal to everyone, from poets to gear-heads. We will never tell you how to partition your hard-drive, we promise!
And do you consider yourself a techno-geek?
I do. I don't have the training or experience to be a true geek, but if I had to, I could take your computer apart and put it back together. But I think the real pride of being a techno-geek is simply being in love with this topic. I can't get enough.