How Healthy Is My Media Diet?
John Raatz is the founder of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment (GATE), an evolving membership community of creative, business and technical professionals in entertainment and the media, and others who realize the vital and expanding role the media and entertainment play in creating our lives, and who aspire to consciously transform that process for the benefit of all. He speaks with us about the possibility of a transformed entertainment industry and the impact of the media in the pursuit of a more peace-filled world.
“I believe that our media diets, that which we consume in the form of media and entertainment, radically affect the states of our mental and emotional situation." — John Raatz, founder of the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment
Q: John, as you know, this series of interviews is focused on how we can facilitate the emergence of a more peaceful world. You are truly doing that, making huge waves in the world through your vision of transforming the entertainment industry. What do you see as the connection between media and entertainment, and our evolution to a more peaceful society?
There’s an old adage that says, “Whatever you give attention to grows stronger in your life,” and I think that most of us have media diets that do not give us peaceful nutrition.
We experience so many images, so many sounds, so many of the sensual aspects of war and violence through film, through television programming, through news shows, through newspapers and magazines. It’s no wonder we live in a world that is filled with as much violence as it is when our media diet is comprised of so many such images.
I’m not advocating, by the way, that we completely eliminate those kinds of images when they’re a part of a storyline, for example, in a movie or a TV show, but I am suggesting that we need a new set of values.
Another adage that I like is, “A new seed will yield a new crop.” I believe that we need new media values for a new world. That’s one of the purposes of transformational entertainment in media.
"Whatever you give attention to grows stronger in your life."Author Unknown
Q: I think a lot of people believe the answer is just to turn it off, and yet we don’t want to turn it off. We love our media. We love entertainment. What you’re doing is really innovative because you’re not saying, “Turn it off.” You’re saying, “Let’s just transform the message.” What has the response been like so far?
The response has been phenomenal. It was actually more than I had expected, and I expected quite a bit. But the response worldwide has shown me that this is an idea whose time has come, and I’m not the only one promoting this kind of an idea, either. There are many, many people worldwide who believe that entertainment and media is a powerful force in our daily lives, and can assist us in the shift and the transformation.
Q: What is your vision for what that would look like—a transformed entertainment industry?
I’m not sure I can answer that question. I think it’s very much in the state of process, in the state of development. I do believe we can have more balance. There’s an audience of people out there who are starved for programming that uplifts us, that inspires us, that shares the wisdom of the world with us. I think, for starters, if we had more programming that reflected those kinds of values and preferences that we would be much, much better off.
Q: Do you think the entertainment industry has a responsibility in creating this shift that’s happening on our planet right now?
I do. I think they have a responsibility for having contributed to it in its current condition, and I think they have a responsibility to help turn it around. It isn’t just for profits. I have nothing against the entertainment companies making a profit. I hope they do make a profit. I just hope that their executives and others in seats of power can open to the idea, the possibility, the reality that there are lots of people out there who want something more. They want media and entertainment that reflect who we have become and who we are becoming, with more holistic, humanistic values.
Interview with John Raatz, “The Peace Diet”. Excerpt from Let It Begin With Me.