At a time in popular culture when the work of Woody Guthrie has once again come to the fore with a few lines of his being sung by Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl and an Online campaign attempting to mark 20 years of the festival held in his honor it is comforting to know the traditions of his career are being upheld by Doug Levitt. The former journalist is looking to find new ways of bringing news of the problems facing people in areas like the ‘rust belt’ who have been largely ignored by the mainstream media, which has led to an innovative project Levitt has titled “The Greyhound Diaries”.
Doug Levitt has had one of the most interesting careers one could imagine as he appeared to have reached the pinnacle of his broadcasting career at a young age when he was working as an international correspondent for some of the world’s leading media outlets. Levitt himself admits he had spent much of his life yearning to explore his artistic side and began this exploration by joining bands and performing around the U.K. where he was stationed as a news correspondent.
In his own life, Doug Levitt points to the trauma of his own father’s death as being a major influence on his life and career as it was this event that pushed him to become an artist. Art, news, and politics have always combined in the life of Doug Levitt as his family have been important community leaders in Washington D.C. for a number of years.
Growing up in Washington D.C. may have given Doug Levitt a glimpse of politics few of us will ever see, but he readily admits the recession proof nature of the U.S. capital often left him unaware of the issues of poverty that affect millions of Americans each and every day. In 2005, Doug Levitt embarked on an artistic journey he hoped would last around six weeks spent largely traveling by bus across the U.S. Inspiration had come from Depression era artists and writers like Guthrie who had brought news of the social issues facing the U.S. at the time in a way Levitt replicates on film, in music, and through his extensive writings.