New journalism - Stories grow from the soil
This is two draft's of a project for the end of the summer
FUNDRAISING FOR THE REAL STORY
Stories grow from the soil, they grow from social/geologic conflicts. Thus an interesting place to start a story is from the mud and dust where it stands. With this in mind we are fundraising to offer new perspectives on an urgent reality. We will walk across Israel for 6 weeks, interviewing people in the communities we pass through. The countries' perspectives will come from the actual grassroots, from the mud and dust. Traditional media is already covering the story from the top down. Who is covering where it matters?
Visionontv has the track record and expertise to make high quality, immediate reportage available globally. We will be shooting and publishing 3 video interviews a day, 5 days a week (using visionontv's innovating mobile reporting templates and technology) for a total of nearly 100 interviews. We will build a website to permanently embed these videos as well as syndicating them widely to all contemporary media hosting sites and social networks. We will use visionontv's auto updating media player to embed the videos widely on appropriate sites around the web. We will work towards having hosting/publishing on partner sites such as (****) in NYC and the (****) in the UK.
We have most of the equipment, time and skills to do this - all we lack is a basic budget.
£3000 to cover 6 weeks of reporting
Video equipment: £300 (external mic, lenses, solar charging set-up)
Second backup camera phone: £500
Air fare £400 x 2 £800
Insurance £50 x 2 £100
Subsistence £100 a week (for both) x 6 £600
Backed support (publicity and social media etc) £100 x2
The plan would be to fund-raise on Kickstarter and ecwip) and leave the UK in *** 1st.
Walking across a country – reporting from Israel to Palestine #
The modern world is full of seemingly unsolvable problems. The conflict between Palestine and Israel has been ongoing since the 1940's and has now reached a deadlock. The are some cultural/media crossovers but at visionontv we have a very B&W view of the conflict.
On visionontv we have been aggregating together all the best non-traditional media news videos into a stream of contemporary media. In the Israel – Palestine conflicts we have had a huge bias towards news from the Palestine perspective (link) which is obviously the opposite of what you would see on traditional media (link). This mismatch is normal for traditional media but problematic if you are interested in building a new, wider/more balanced contemporary media.
Our wider project at visionontv is to template new media techniques for journalism (link) This is to counteract the normal new media approach, which is to have hundreds of cameras covering the same spot, few of them distributing their images and very few doing the journalism to put it into perspective.
Stories grow from the soil, they grow from social/geologic conflicts. Thus an interesting place to start a story is from the mud and dust where it stands. With this in mind we are fundraising to try a new template – new technology and old paths. We will walk across the countries involved in the conflict for 6 weeks, interviewing normal people in the communities we pass through – the countries' perspectives will come from the actual grassroots, from the mud. Traditional media is already covering the story topdown. Who is covering where it matters?
We will be shooting and publishing 3 video interviews a day, 5 days a week (using visionontv's innovating mobile reporting templates and technology) for a total of nearly 100 interviews. We will build a website to permanently host these videos as well as syndicating them widely to all contemporary media hosting sites and social networks. We will use visionontv's auto updating open media player to embed the videos widely on appropriate sites around the web. We will work towards having hosting/publishing on partner sites such as **** in NYC and the **** in the UK.
We have most of the equipment, time and skills to do this all we lack is a basic budget.
Budget £2500 to cover 6 weeks of reporting
Video equipment £200- external mic- lenses - solar charging set-up
Second backup camera phone £500
Air fare £300 x 2 £600
Insurance £50 x 2 £100
Subsistence £100 a week (for both) x 6 £600
The plan would be to fund-raise on Kickstarter and acwip and leave the UK in *** 1st.
Citizen journalism equipment update 2014
It seems this phone has issues with the adapter cable, so hold on any purchase for the moment.
We couldent get the moto G to work with the adapter cable, we trayed every way for a few weeks. So tryed the nexus 5 that had simuler issues but finaly worked useing a 3ed party camera app.
For a cheap first citizen journalism phone/camera I would recommend the 2014 version of the Moto G
Then you need Audio Technica PRO24
And finerly a mic adapter to plug them togather
As technology keeps updating, I haven’t tested these just based on reviews, please message me with your direct experience.
You could try something like this to stabilise the mobile as they are small and light so and hard to hold steady. You will have to reach and buy this yourself, report back if you find a good one.
Journalists generally don't understand what journalism is
Journalists generally don't understand what journalism is especially amongst the trainee and starting journalists.
For many enthusiastic youngsters it is heroic individualism finding and telling the story and of course this is part of journalism but it's a just a part. What they often miss is that news is a flow as Dave Weiner says news is a river and the stories the journalism produce are the water that fills this river.
Why do I say this? If we think of news as individual items, isolated stories, one-off events then we miss the very power media plays in influencing and shape society. If we think of news as a day in day out flow of information through our society then we realise how powerful it is at shaping us. Just as a River given time will carve its way through the largest mountain, news over the years stories and world-views carves and shapes our societies – and thus creates the very young and enthusiastic fledgling journalist this short blog post is about.
The power in journalism is in shaping and directing the flow of the rivers, as am stressing here the water that fills them is only a part of the story. The fledgling journalist's fixation on the water and ignorance of the impotents of the rivers is part of the failure of contemporary per to per journalism and the strength of traditional media.
In traditional journalism you have the binding of wages and hierarchy to hold the river of news to an agenda. In contemporary journalism in the Internet age we have cooperation and aggregation to build our rivers of news. The challenge we have today is getting young and aspiring journalist to realise this and not to be seduced into the money and hierarchy of traditional media. But rather build their own independent media where they can truly have a voice and create rivers of news which both are sustainable and truthful and shape society in a more open idealistic and sustainable way.
Sparking a twitter torrent
A normal morning in Dalston, London. The visionOntv crew are slaving away over their laptops, as usual, on a Sunday morning, when I notice a very angry tweet from Jeff Jarvis, a professor of journalism in New York. Clicking on the hashtag I discover a torrent of impassioned truth-telling, of rude and direct passionate truth-telling, because the tag, which is "#FuckYouWshington", is the portal to a deluge of public fury.
"My dream is a virtual chant rising up in volume hour upon hour; FUCK YOU WASHINGTON!" Jarvis said originally, in a twitter post, before one of his followers (@boogerpussy) suggested turning it into a hashtag "#fuckyouwashington" (without the spaces and capitals). And, almost immediately, it turned into a catch-all hashtag, which people started using to share their thoughts about the media, the wars and other social issues.
"#fuckyouwashington making it easier for a kid to go to war than it is to go to college, making it easier for a kid to die than get a job" (@labgrrl)
"#fuckyouwashington for turning politics into sport, more important for your for your team to win than for the country to do what is right" (@alienrasta)
"#fuckyouwashington for telling us you don't torture and continuing to do it". (@LiberalPagan)
Sitting in Dalston we have a brief discussion about the equivalent hashtag for the UK. Deciding, we tweet:
"#fuckyouwestminster we need to take the social media conversation to the streets, UK joins #fuckyouwashington".
The results are instant.
"#fuckyouwestminster for scapegoating benefit cheats while claiming for moats and porn" (@realsociology)
"#fuckyouwestminster for selling off out public services for peanuts so your mates can make big profits at our expense" (@casi_insurgente)
"#fuckyouwestminster for cutting the taxes of corporations while rising VAT hitting the incomes of working families the hardest" (@jjarichardson)
"#fuckyouwestminster for unleashing uniformed thugs on defenceless students" (@ravensrod)
Though it wasn’t so much Jeff Jarvis' tweet, it was more Dave Winer's ☮ tweeted reply that set me in motion.
“Political action on twitter is meaningless. Shut off the computer, @jeffjarvis, get on amtrak, and camp out on the mall in dc. (@davewiner )
Get off the computer and onto the streets.
The way forward - some simple social/technical solutions
* Nurture basic journalism/story telling skills in alt-media to make better outreach media. LINK
* Linking is key, link to alternative resources where ever you can, the easiest way of competing with corporate news sources is by building a web of connecting linked alt-news sources.
* Aggregation is a way to make decentralisation work.
* Have the main way of inputing to any alt-project at a local level then let the content work its way up to the top of subject/geographic aggregation sites. While always keeping the valid link back to the original source. I know its hard but try and avoid building consensus/bureaucratic publish from the top sites/projects where possible.
* QUOTE “content is just something for conversation” This opens the question of where does the interaction around content take place – this is still a unresolved issue and needs more thought and technical work – for now a diversity of strategy is probably the best way forward. While always keeping the valid link back to the original source.
* This is a controversial point - ONLY use the corporate social media solutions for link building and feeding people into contempery media projects – corporate social media solutions should be avoided as much as possible as original sources of distribution. DO use them and abuse them but its a common mistake to build real companies and communities solely within them. Its easy, publish on a alt-newsite site/blog then publish a link on facebook and twitter, you can use tools that do this automatically.
* Be open to using all tools, but try and come down on using free/opensource and open standards were possible. For two reasons
1) there is an opportunity for people to build things with opensource and openstandards using your project that you DIDN'T think of – this is actually where almost all innovation on the web comes from.
2) all corporate tools are bound up with the need to create profit before functionality and user experience so in the end they all have to sell out and focus on profit before users/content, its just a matter of time, the ones that don't follow this line run out of funding and all your work vanishes anyway.
* RSS and Creative Commons are your friends, use them well in every project you create.
That's really it, let's work together to use the “digital hole” undermining corporate media “to replace it with something nicer” its really not that difficult. Let's all Link and Aggregate based on open standards.
Hamish Campbell, (typed while) camping in the forest at the beach in the bay of Biscay.
The memory hole from 07/09/2010
The old-mainstream media used to dominate national, international and local news to such an extent that many voices were unheard and any radical story was systemically distorted.
With the onward march of the digitisation project (see more info LINK) the old-mainstream media is crumbling with the failer of its business model and the lack of any large scale replacement model waiting in the wings. This leaves a space which really needs to be filled.
Why radical media matters, this is a question that has been answered then forgotten repeatedly over the last 20 years.
Undercurrents grew out of a frustration with the limitations of mainstream media and made alternative media accessible to a wide ordnance. By nurturing grass-roots voices and empowering them to tell there “unreported” storeys using the powerful medium of video.
Indymedia grew out of the possibility of technology and created the ability for unmediated malty-media communication through a centralised collective process. That spread the idea of first hand reporting by normal people widely around the world.
Then many failed projects provided top-down solutions to this same problem of how to amplify the voices of the unheard. The is a wide and spreading NGO grave yard of failed “media projects”.
The current meteoritic growth of social networks and there maturing into personal life-streaming has provided a corporate controlled client server centralised solution to the same problem. But the issue of control and ownership is largely hidden from the view of million's of users. No such project as they are attempting has yet seceded on the open internet and if they were to succeed they would likely have to break the “key open bit” of the internet.
Lets briefly look at what happens next:
More and more “news” becomes personal and falls into the hands of a few dotcom “social media” companies.
The old media/which used to dominate that survives the “digitisation transition” is increasingly filled with easy and profitable corporate PR rather than the old idea of journalism which it claimed to champion.
The radical alternative is playing very little role currently, this has to change.
What is the problem/solutions?
Good media is hard to make
Distribution networks need to be built and most importantly sustained – media is a flow not isolated individual items, this is (surprisingly) not understood well in the social media age.
Whona-abeys will always take up the openings in media spaces – and there agenda isn’t radical though they will try and wear radical cloths. Its important to not let them set/keep the agenda.
The left/progressive has a strong tendency to be divisive and uncooperative – its important to build this into any project that can be sustained. It always about a diversity of voices not one unified central voice.
Currently the is a “digital hole” in the sustainability this leads to the problem of sustaining media spaces outside the personal or volunteer space. The fading hope of advertising saving the paid media space is unlikely to come true. At its best, Social media sees through Advertising thus rendering it much less affective if it is used to hide/obscure unpleasant truths and to make transparent the empty creation of needs and foles promises that it is based on. It is looking like Advertising is not going to plug the gap in “digital hole”.
This is what we need to do:
So we have to make something that is hard – easy
we have to build a diversity of sustainable media networks not many failed single sultutions.
we have to keep them open even when the will be strong voices for the one true way, the one authoritative voice dressed as consensus process.
we have to replace advertising as the financial model of in-depth journalism.
And standing in our way actually is very little, the old-mainstream is currently in a rout, the new/whonabeys have little real attractive to offer. And the openness and the tools we need are already close at hand. What are you waiting for “just do it” is the conclusion of how activist organise get to it (:
How do we work LINK to just do it