A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

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The European News real project - and being relevant

This is a DRAFT of a text i wronte 09/08/2002

The ENR was a global alt-media production/networking project in the USA it whent out on TV. I was reponsable for bring this project to europe after it had been runing in the USA.

This is my (failed) attempt to stop the project becomeing irelevent.

Every time this project takes a step I cringe, a shudder of shock go’s threw me. If we don’t ask the people who have done this before – and the are a number – then we are DOOMED to make the same mistakes and I for one don’t have much hart or spirit to go threw this sad alt-movement ritual.

So here is another go at wrighting up what I think the project is:

* It’s an indymedia style project- that is it is fundamentally decentralised and non-hieratical based on open publishing and non-re-editing of other peoples work.

* it’s a grass-roots project, that is it is about encouraging, faciliting and training people who wouldn’t normally use video as a tool for social change. In this giving them there own voice.

* it’s a project that is designed to link and strengthen existing video production groups and help to create new groups both within the indymedia network and outside it.

* it’s a project that at its bases is about creating a public focus for activist groups to facilitate and strengthen local campaigns and link these local campaigns together.

*** it’s a TWIN TRACK PROJECT, the euronewsreal it self is a tool for internal communication with in the movement. In this the existing video activist groups are mentors of the newsreal rather than creators – of course we will all produces segments but that isn’t our first priority.

*** the second track is OUTREACH – this is were the editing comes in, and our current higher production values are used to the best affect. The Newsreal is the opening segmemet of the screenings, ie. The first half. The main-feature is where the power of video as a tool for social change comes in, and it is this main-feature that we as existing video groups should concentrate on producing. Our job is to produces the main-feature such as globalisation and the media from Undercurrents, CannalB’s Genoa film, TroshenTV’s Europe film etc. This is the outreach social change part of the project.

* That is the newsreal itself is a tool for networking and training for the movement, its about strengthening connections and bring new people in, and hopefully (funding permitting) training them how to hold a camera steady (:

So fundamentally for us existing groups its more of a mentoring job. A good opportunity for thoues who need funding to apply for some to run training and networking meetings.

We will produces segments, but that isn’t the end all, of our job. The half hour newsreal is actually about creating a distribution network.

We will kill the grass roots nature of the project if we add a higheracky of editorial, not only will editing store up trubbal it will also take a much higher level of commitment – which I for one don’t have.

So at its base it’s a very simple “open publishing” system with no perment central higheracy. Its about expanding the alt-video moment at the grassroots and consolidating it at the level of existing production groups. It’s a low-level project to get us all co-operating. An internal networking project not an external social change outreach project.

Its power for changing the world is focused on the co-operation it creates rather than the half hour of monthly video. In this the video will have a much powerfuller affect than any highly produced project that founders on disagreements and the enevertabil burn out lack of support brings.

WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THE PAST!!!!

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