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

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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Why do alt/grassroots media fail

Stupid individualism and the visionOntv CJ video templates.

Our templates for video journalism are designed to simplify and empower normal people to make coherent video news pieces using the tools they already have. They are successful at this if people fallow the template's – it says this at the end of most of them. The issue that creates failure is a standard one for the possibility of an alternative “stupid individualism”.

Our shared western society is based on a hegemonic false senses of individualism, were the reality is largely faceless bland conformity thinly covered by a surface of lifestyle fashion. This is the bases of consumer capitalism our “wealth” is built on. The current world view atomises any possibility of building an alternative and shows up as a block in most attempts to build one. The disparity of wealth on the surface and poverty of the underlying human condition (some more hippy types would call this “spirit”) is striking to many thinking and feeling people.

Our templates boil down more than 30 years of experience of awarded wining fast turn around video journalism to a A4 cartoon sheet. The instructions are clear and complete, if you fallow these, after a few attempts you will likely have mastered the bases of audio visual story telling and from this point of basic mastery opens a whole world of creativity and real genuine “individualism” of the less stupid kind.

Over the last 10-20 years of teaching few actually get this far and we know this because we have trained thousands of citizen journalist over hundreds of workshops at both undercurrents and visionOntv. Why? I would put into view my old friend/foe “stupid individualism” as the explanation (though would admit the are technical challenges as well).

The impotence of the template is more in what it doesn’t say. The is much more information in the omissions, this is how it fits on a A4 with pictures. It distils what does work and explains this. And leves out much that people do by default that dues not work.

Simply, people do not fallow the template, often they do not even pick them up and read them, they then go onto do what THEY think is video making, they do all the bits that the template purposely omits and very few of the bits in them, the result is almost always a dis empowering mess. This is the same outcome with all groups we work with.

We live in an individualist society, were we are all “empowered individuals”. The problem is evident in that this is our empowerment is an almost all an illusion, we are all dis-empowered individuals with egos let lose on dispoling mode. We think we are empowered because everything around us that works is on bureaucratic auto pilot, we don’t actually have to create anything original and lack the base skills to so when the rare option comes round.

Our templates are such a rear opportunity, if you can take your mind out of dispoleing mode and fallow the instructions – the first step and a rare hopeful sign for us as trainers is a budding CJ actually checking the steps on the paper template as they go though the filming.

This is a example of “stupid individualism” a block on many parts of building an alternative.

Some background http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism

DRAFT

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