Publisher’s Note: November 2021

Ana Rose Carrico

Over the past 18 months, we have changed our definition of what it means to be connected. Practices that have been viewed as antisocial or unhealthy behavior, like social media, or multiplayer online games, have become preferred methods for maintaining relationships. We have all been forced to develop the habits of introverts, and regardless of method, our interactions are no less valid. 

The impact on CiTR & Discorder has been dramatic, especially as an organization which previously thrived on events and in-person interactions. We are first and foremost a learning institution, providing training and hands-on experience in media. Every article in Discorder and every show on our airwaves is produced by volunteers, and they are the ones that give CiTR & Discorder its unique voice. We aim to provide our platform as a media organization to as many different perspectives possible, in particular equity seeking communities and stories that may not be covered by the mainstream media. Our philosophy is to give our volunteers the skills and knowledge to express their ideas — and then get out of their way. Without being able to access our studio or offer in person training, we felt extremely limited in what we could provide during the pandemic.  

However, switching to remote connection, and support for this content creation, removed those previously “insurmountable” barriers by offering more resources to volunteers with physical, geographical, or social reasons for staying away. In retrospect, it’s glaringly obvious that a focus on accommodating people electronically would allow us to serve a larger population. It’s embarrassing and somewhat shameful — why haven’t we been doing this all along? Streaming musical showcases makes every gig all ages. Panel discussions can include voices from all over the world. Anyone with internet access can attend every performance, lecture, or museum tour from wherever they are, without worrying about capacity and usually without a cover charge. For us, it also means that we can offer anyone, anywhere, training and the ability to get their voice heard on the airwaves or in print, now that we have the tools to do so. 

As a textbook extrovert, I am overjoyed at the prospect of the return to in-person connection. On September 5th, CiTR & Discorder hosted the Victory Square Block Party, and I spent most of the afternoon on the verge of sentimental, sappy tears. I was worried that being in a crowd would cause me anxiety, but my excitement and joy greatly overshadowed any other feeling. 

I understand that I may not be in the majority. Who knows what  long-term effects the pandemic will have on our psyche. Regardless, it’s important that we don’t go back to business as usual now that we have the experience, and infrastructure, to expand our capacity. CiTR will continue to give those without the ability to jump in with both feet an equal seat at the table, and I hope the larger creative community will do the same.