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


Enter your email address:

Entries with tag newsreal .

Stalled roll out of OMN

How to move on with alt/grassroots media producers linking to each other? Currently the shamelessly do not do this, even though they have repeatedly stated they do over the last 5 years.

1) Keep private messaging them on steps they can take, this works to an extent, as asked them to add more tags to their posts and they “broke” the User Interface on the #OMN software we are using by adding lots more – which is a good problem to have :)

2) Publicly talk to them as a alt/grassroots media group in blog post and their social media – this currently has little affect.

3) Talk to them in public as producer groups – this has had a limited affect with some of the groups, will try this more.

4) Public talk to them as individual's, this will generally get a private response and little action just words so far.

5) Name them as groups who do not link/share in public, this might be needed for some of the groups.

6) Name them as individuals within the producer groups and push for linking directly to them in public, name and point to the individual that this is a clear #fail a last stage.

Its a shame that this escalation is needed - linking is a clear path to success on the web – the right-wing blogs/producers do this, its a blank faced #fail that the left/progressive do not now and generally never have.

“Make the world you wont to see” LINKING is a strong path to this.

Looking for helpful/happy people to crowed source the active conversation to make this happen.

Lets start with these groups.


The Canary

Reel Media

Real News


ENR - the foundation report

Report on Islip Gathering

June 14th to 17th 2002




The gathering in Islip attracted an impressive attendance of representatives from a variety of alternative media organisations and independent video activists. Some had travelled from as far afield as Croatia and Germany. Eric Galatas, from the US-based FreespeechTV network, the event's sponsor, had travelled from Colorado.


The days were organised around a series of meetings and workshops, the agendas of which were decided and agreed by the attendees themselves.



The first item was to establish the goal of the project. Everyone present contributed their thoughts and the outcome was a distillation summed up thus:


Create a video structure (network)


  • Enable production and screenings of a regular monthly Newsreal: CDs, video tapes, cable, satellite

  • Online co-operative network resource

  • Decentralised

  • Cafes or local nodes

  • Resource sharing

  • Global distribution

  • Use multiple formats and approaches

  • Establish European satellite and cable channel, screening programs 24/7



  • Connects and empowers local and global (virtual) communities and groups

  • Distributes existing programs

  • Facilitates the creation of new groups and programs

  • Enables information (skills, clips, events) exchange


Connected to existing movements, shall bring about positive social change.



The group then split up into sub-groups to discuss strategies and problem-solving for three crucial areas:


  • Production of a monthly Newsreal (a complilation of segments from around European)

  • Distribution systems and publicity

  • Organising and fundraising



1. Production of monthly Newsreal

The workshop proposed the production of a monthly Newsreal defined as a compilation of segments of 5 minutes or less each totalling a maximum of half an hour (). Segments should be gathered and edited by a different group in different European countries each month so that workload and ownership of the project is shared. Countries outside the UK to provide English translated versions and all raw versions to go to non-UK countries for translation.


It was proposed that the Newsreal be made available in two formats: moultymedia(VCD) and VHS to accommodate different needs and facilitate wider distribution.


2. Distribution systems and publicity

The workshop proposed a three-stage plan to test and build an effective distribution system.


Stage 1: Test pilot the Newsreal using existing 5 minit segment to creat a news reel to be distributed to the current group. And locally screened. Usfull for fundraseing and explaning what the project is about.

Stage 2: Start posting out info on IMC video lists, Make a second “proper” news reel to be screened to sympathetic local groups. Assess feedback. Build a database of contacts of sympathetic groups and other interested parties who may be new to the concept of alternative media and conduct a second round of pilot screenings. Assess feedback and make any recommended changes to Newsreal. Assess and deal with any issues arising from production system. Make the project part of the IMC network – ie. Get it on the video IMC page.

Stage 3: the big lornch has to come after lydon as the main contacts will come from lydon…International launch of Newsreal. Proposed to coincide with the PGA (People's Global Action) conference in Leiden, Netherlands and the World Summit??? at the end of August screenings to take place in Leiden, other key European cities and possibly the US. Big publicity drive incorporating stunts and liaison with sympathetic journalists, aiming for national (as well as local) coverage in the mainstream media of all participating countries. Produce flyers and posters to advertise screenings locally. Post up info on Indymedia website.


3. Organisation and fundraising

The workshop proposed that participating organisations co-ordinate the production of Newsreal with independents sending their segments to the relevant group for that month. Each group should work on it for two or 3 months so they can get up to speed. Undercurrents can do the produces the first two pilots then I would sergest Cannal B produces the lornch issues and possebaly then the corations… its important that groups doing the production have a history of producing and segments (would argue that they should have produced 2 or 3 Newsreel segments before they take on responsabilerty for producing the news reel.


It was recognised that a large amount of translations would be required and that money should be sought for this.


Money to be raised by:

  • applying for grants (not-for-profit status of the project to be established beforehand)

  • profits from sale of Newsreal at screenings, through universities (People and Planet to distribute), festivals and other outlets

  • income from sale of Newsreal to FreespeechTV for monthly screenings and sales to mainstream media in European countries

  • we need to think about - sponsorship from ethical companies



Who are we and what is our purpose?

Participants agreed that we need to be able to define who we are and what our purpose is for those who may wish to get involved and for fundraising purposes. A number of definitions were proposed and this is still an area to be agreed on.


What happens next

  • Pilot Newsreal to be produced ASAP and copies sent to all participants to arrange small scale local screenings

  • Separate working group e-groups to be set up to facilitate ongoing discussions and organization – this is tempery – we need a new working websight.

  • Definition of project and purpose to be discussed online (Islip list) and agreed on

  • Grant-making bodies to be approached for 'emergency' funds ie small amounts, to cover production and administrative costs of pilot screenings

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.


History of The European Newsreal

Hamish’s history of The European Newsreal

The has been much talk about doing a European wide video newsreal for the last 10 years or so. Undercurrents, which grew out of the UK anti-roads movement was in its latter additions an attempt at covering geographic wider story’s. However it wasn’t till the digital camcorder revolution and the communication revolution of the internet made video documentary work at a grass roots level sustainable.

I was working with undercurrent in Oxford covering demo’s and teaching the actional video activist course at Ruskin collage. The European Newsreal came out of 6 months of funding I wangled, which left me free to …. I had been thinking of doing a European video production/screening network for some time, had raised the issue at a number of European manifestations and alt-gatherings. Had meet many good and committed video makers, B- of CannalB (Berlin) in Genoa had impressed me with her work ethic, Marion from Munich had translated the 9.11 film I had brought back from NY IMC. I visited croater were I meet Iva and Oliver who were making original videos and organising screenings. With such good committed and driven people something should be possible if they could all be connected together and a common spark ignited.

At the time I was supplying short edited news stories for World in Crises a weekly 30 minute report for Freespeach TV in the states. While chatting to Eric by e-mail one day the subject of a European news program came up, FSTV had been running the Indymedia Newsreal for the 6 months at this point. Eric had some development funding which had to be spent before the summer so the European wide news project was pushed into fast gear with the help of Anna Bragga (who was planning a new alt-media magazine) and Paulo we organised the Islip gathering by inviting all the nice people I had meet that summer to Oxford.

The idea was to produces a “Europeanised” version of the American project. Keep it very simple with the minimal of rouls and constraints, build it up slow from the core (and committed) group bring in new people as the project grows. The project was to be firstly very simple with no aimless politicking (the pain of progressive IMC type projects) to consist of a page of structure and a paragraph mission statement. The dynamics of the group and regular face to face meetings would keep the project on the productive path. With this in mind it was decided to make the project affiliated of the IMC rather than a direct IMC project, making its out look much more open to non activist ghetto ideas and techniques. For me it was very important that these simple processes need to be agreed from the very beginning then changed by experiences of producing the half hour video. Being very aware of the problem of all talk and no action from the endless activist dream world of East Oxford.

One of the core ideas for me was that we would use blagabel video CD’s for screening and distribution rather than VHS as this would allow a non-centralised and most importantly robust distribution network. VHS being analogue doesn’t work at all well as a non hieratical distribution medium. Its is difficult and time consuming to copy VHS on a small scale. With latter practical but (blind) desion to use VHS we were committed to uncontrolled DV masters being distributed, unrestrained exploitation of others work being a re-accruing problem and is one of the main sources of paranoia in the activist ghetto that I felt we need to avoid this (or at least mediate it) from the beginning. But with most of the innovations I had in mind they only surfaced latter as people directly experienced the issues. This agen is a damming theme from the ghetto that experiences and innovation is seen as a threaght rahater than encouraged. In the ghetto the is little respect for the hieraceys of knowledge involved in knowledge and craft production, this childish attitude is both a blessing when it challenges the existing power structures and a damnation when it undermines real solid alternatives.

We set up the Islip list as a means of achieving this early consensus so that the gathering itself could be the place were we got to know each other and actually share the practical skills of producing a pilot issue of the project. Very few alt-projects are sustainable, the ones that are sustainable tend to be focused on small and closed cleacks, almost all of the IMC networks embody this. In such projects it is generally a small tightly nit core who do most of the work, surrounded by a shifting periphery.

Islip was a faler at creating such a functional core… it instead instutuanlised a fundamentalist and paranoid muddle which the project is now struggling with. The project dose exist but it suffers from a lack of clarity, dignity and warmth that very much questions its long term sustainability. Perhaps after the meeting in May this might be opened up as the paranoia and megalomania of activism may have died down anufe for a solid, practical and interesting project to grow from the current weed racked ground.

Myself am getting on with a more defined project from the start – European wide video activism traing caravan. Funded and role defined from the beginning.

Hamish Campbell, Oxford 2003

Showing 4 results.