Stupid individualism and the possibility of an alternative
Stupid individualism and the visionOntv templates.
Our templates for video journalism are designed to radically simplify and empower normal people to make coherent video news pieces using the tools they largely 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, I call it this “stupid individualism”.
The disparity of wealth on the surface and poverty of the underlying human condition (some would call this “spirit”) is striking to many thinking and feeling people. Our shared western society is based on a hegemonic false senses of individualism, were the reality is largely faceless conformity thinly covered by lifestyle fashion. This is the bases of consumer capitalism our “wealth” is built on. The world view atomises any possibility of building an alternative and shows up in as a block in most attempts to build one.
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 mastery opens a whole world of creativity and real genuine individualism.
Very 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 fowered my old friend/foe “stupid individualism” as the prime 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.
People do not fallow the template, often they do not even pick it up and read it, 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 it, the result is almost always a dis empowering mess. This is the same thing 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 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 “stupid individualism” is a block on many parts of building an alternative.
Looking at the tech and organising of UK alt/grassroots media
How meany sites link to anuther alt/grassroots media sits. from this list of 38 UK sites only 2 link to anuther site.
Many people find it hard to understand the underlining understandings that push projects based on flow and linking such as OMN and openweb. Here is a short list of activish projects.
Is a place for holding/hoarding closed data – this is used by the #dotcons to extract funding form “free users” when mainstream/alt silo projects finish, as 99.9% do, the data varnishes and is lost, and in this the effectiveness of any alt building is diminished. Silos do not use open licensing for content re-use. Just about every alt/grassroots media project is a silo. It's about capturing data. Its obvious that this is a unthought through issue of "churning"
Is an idea that you can be the big one, all the small fashionista websites aspire to be the big one and by doing this they are working to the logic of the #dotcon and working against the logic of the openweb. They are building a project to lock there users into their project. Portal and silo are overlapping (but different) ideas for building web projects. In the mainstream, Apple is a prime example of this working. In the alt/grassroots almost all alt/grassroots media projects are portals. It's about capturing users, just as silos are about capturing data. For a left wing group this looks much like "recreating the Soviet Union" the one party to rule the state.
Are for-profit data silos in the old days working as portals, more recently they are building out siloed networks as a pseudo networked portal. Its both sad and bad that many alt media projects unthinkingly aspire to be #dotcons
Is where ALL the value is on the open web. Without links content has NO VALUE. This is a obvious statement, its hard to understand the the lack of understanding around this simple thing.
Is a grassroots web standard that is still at the base of many of the dotcon world but is being pushed into the background of the openweb by building silos/portals in the grassroots/alt. RSS is like an open LINK with added data, thus adds value to the web. Its a powerful open tool that we still have. An API is like a geek control freak super power of RSS - the problem is in the complexity/control freak bit...
A subculture that is control/obscurity and more recently technical solutions to trust (wraparound right) this has always been a closing force on open projects. This helped to strangle the original successful alt/grassroots media projects and is pushing for the shrinking of the open web.
The unthinking desire for new/innovation/conformity. A wider subculture that churns the growth of alt/grassroots so little can grow beyond seedlings.
Are greedy dispoling of resources both human and money. The liberals that use bureaucratic funding to push out the geek/fashernista agendas over alt/grassroots projects. These are uneasy friends and clear (invisible) enemys.
Is both a technical thing of wires and frequency and an understanding of mutual aid and of “diversity of strategy”. It's native to the openweb and should be at the base of any alt/grassroots media project. In the closed #dotcon the widespread use of A/B testing is a pail controlled shadow of this.
wikipedia is an example of this. It's basic stuff open source project stuff. LINK
Looking at the tech and organising of UK alt/grassroots media. Do sites link to other alt-media projects? Do they support/display openweb standards (RSS)
First DRAFT (please message me with corrections/info)
Has a RSS feed, regular updates, copyright group silo, it has no outside linking
UPDATE: site back online, no visible RSS but can find a hidden one. Its likely copyright and a silo.
(Their website is hacked/down so posted the #failbook link used to have RSS and regular updates. Anyone know what's happening? Update they hope the site is back online soon.)
UPDATE: website back online copyright, no visible RSS feed but you can find ones. Its a a bit of an aggregater but has been suffering from poor spam control. Its pretty much a portal/silo – but could be more.
(They used to have an interesting website for the tec used, but it ended up being just a silo, they look like they are rebooting? Maybe a another silo? we shall see.)
Update they are rebooting as a linking site, lets hope its not a silo.
Has regular good content, RSS, they are a product of the #dotcon social media wave and good at it. Copyright/CC is not stated. The site is a silo with no outside linking
No RSS feed, starting to look a bit “old left” regular updates, no copyright/CC notice. A silo with no external links
The Bristol Cable - Bristol
No visible RSS feed, it kinda probably tries to obey the 4 opens maybe. It's a WP blog site in this it's a media silo with no external links.
Port Talbot Magnet
no visible RSS feed, it mostly fails the 4 opens due to copyright, data and organising. It's a WP blog site, in this it's a media silo with few if any external links.
New Internationalist - based in Oxford
Has RSS feeds, it kinda passes the 4 opens using a CC licence for its content. It links to the visionOntv project.
The Ferret - Scotland, based in Edinburgh
Looks like the old media transitioning to the new media. No visible RSS feed or copyright/CC notice. Is trying to be “open process” looks like a WP site.
Strike! - based in London
looks like a archive of a print mag? Has a RSS feed :)
Positive News - based in London
Dated looking site, hard to read, no RSS feed and a copyright notice. A silo.
Slaney Street - Birmingham
Did not load
Manchester Mule - Manchester
Has RSS feed but last article end of 2015 so not an active site. Probably for fills the 4 opens.
Co-operative News - based in Manchester
Nasty looking site and no RSS, copyrighted, its a silo
No RSS, copyrightish, old looking site.
Marlborough News Online
no RSS, copyright
West Highland Free Press
no RSS, copyright, its a silo.
Star and Cresent - based in Portsmouth
No RSS, no copyright notice? Its a silo.
Morning Star - based in London
Has a RSS feed but its empty, copyright, silo.
Cambria Publishing Co-operative
publishes paper books?
Zed Books - London
paper books and online reading lists, no RSS I can see.
copyright, has a RSS feed, looks bureaucratic open.
Blake House - based in London
no RSS, fashionable calling card website with out content, probably copyright?
Calling card website with out content, no RSS, likely copyright.
Ignite Creative - based in Oxford
Calling card website with out content, no RSS, copyright.
Shedlight Productions - based in Southampton
calling card website with out content, no RSS, copyright.
Steel City Film and Media Co-op - based in Sheffield
its a #failbook page, maybe open?
Trafford Media & Communications - based in Manchester
(mostly a printer, but also do film production)
calling card, no site.
The Community Channel
The granddaddy of NGO media, no RSS feed, likely copyright silo.
Jammu Kashmir TV
it has content, silo?
Has a working RSS feed
Inform My Opinion
Has working RSS feed but it fails in my pod catcher, its a page on a #dotcon?
has RSS feed, copyright, silo?
Half finished calling card site.
Hastings independent press
No RSS, no copyright/CC notice, a silo with no external links.
Copyright, no RSS feed, has some old school widgets which might show external links. Its a local news silo.
Has RSS feed and CC licence, no external links on front page, its a silo but better than most.
Has a RSS feed, its a silo but the is hope for it.
its a blog in the old school sense, has RSS
its a silo with no RSS and no external links
The OMN an easy project for everyone
The OMN an easy project for everyone
Producer groups have to put in minimal effort only puting a linking sidebar on their site and providing a RSS feed into the network.
These can be:
* Tag based content list “you might be interested in this”
* Tag based site link list “blog roll”
* Tag based video player embed “good films”
Optional: a site can add a badge to say its a member of the network.
What do they get out of it?
Google juice from the wide links back to their website and their content.
Clicks and content audience for all sites of the network rather than just their own.
More commenting from cross site conversations in their CMS comment system
On social media (the #dotcons)
They get a wider sharing of their content to work its way round the FB algorithm restrictions.
More “likes” on their #failbook pages to help boost the 3% organic reach.
Well a warm fashernista feeling of being part of something whole/bigger.
A geeky feeling of doing something real geeky.
We join together to push the “undercurrents” up and into the “mainstream”.
Badging the OMN
Is based on the #4opens to get a badge a site has to embed at least one linking embed somewhere (relatively) prominent on their site to become a member of the network. The Badge will link to the OMN project page, maybe this could have a list of OMN sites, as well as hosting the basic project docs.
Gold – 4opens
Silver – 3opens
Bronze - 2opens
We need some one to design these “badges” its up to site owners if/were they use them.
The OMN is a project of the 4opens and the PGA hallmarks.
Draw a line in the sand
None of the current alt/grassroots media projects link to each other. Message them and ask why and refuse to support them till they do #thecanary #Reelnews #RealMedia #Novaramedia is basic KISS of lefty/radical/progressive thinking.
What's the solution?
The minimum outcome a prominent small sidebar box front screen linking to other alt/grassroots project on each active project. it's a KISS no brainer and a line in the sand for lefty/radical/grassroots.
This can be done manually or as part of a bigger network project such as OMN
Outline of the OMN
Comments please and could do with some help to turn it into a coherent doc for outreach.
Many people ask what is the Open Media Network (OMN)
For activists it might be useful to see it as a rebooting of a “indymedia” project from were it should have been 5 years ago when it died.
A #4opens bounded network motivated by the PGA hallmarks.
At a basic level, Publish once and your article appears in many places linking back to your site/blog.
Link to um (LINK)
Its Many websites and a few aggregaters sharing a common open “data soup” built with people to people (trust) based tagging.
From this human community/data network many “new” radical powerful things can grow.
Its builds KISS from the legacy web (RSS) and moves us into the per2per semantic web (GNU social)
Licensing – #4opens
What is ethical aggregation?
Its networking other peoples content in a respectful way to build a network wide anufe to start to compete with the failing #dotcons
* Sections/sidebars of OMN links should be prominently displayed on each members site, preferably on every page if small.
* There should be no no-follow tags on valid links to member sites.
* The content is read (by link) on the original host site, comments are made on the original host site.
* This behaviour can be different for apps were the full content could be read in app. This should be agreed by both partys (can have a opt out tag for this as with many other parts of the network)
* The original source (RSS feed site) is always shown under the content title as a live link
* (Optional) the tags should be visible under the full article
* For apps no adverts should be placed next to CC non commercial full content (with out agreement), fine to have ads on a page next to links.
* A OMN badge is (optional) next to the link section and/or on the site about page – this can LINK to the OMN aggregate that the site gets its data flow from OR to the OMN project site.
If you haven’t realized yet the aggregating hubs/nodes are the new “indymedia” sites
* These can be by subject, country, region or city etc.
* Much of the “centralizing” parts of the IMC network are no longer needed as this is inherently a “open” project, rather than a centralizing project. Sites that would like to see them selves as IMC can of course follow these “unneeded” parts if they desire – this will lead to a “natural” grouping of IMC focused sites with in the “open data soup”.
* Existing indymedia sites can continue “outside” the network as their content can be brought in via RSS if sites are interested in it. Just to repeat nobody has to do anything.
* Posting is generally via individual site/blogs, but can be through existent portal/silos like indymedia or existing group sites such as https://www.opendemocracy.net if users prefer to publish on them.
The function of “nodes” will organically grow
* Publishing sites are the source of content these will likely just input a RSS feed up to the next level.
* Aggregating site, these are subjects, locality etc they will take in feeds from publishing sites and output (trusted) quality feeds to the next level.
* News/link portals will be regional, national, big subject sites, these will mostly get their trusted feeds from aggregating (middle) sites and a few trusted publishing sites.
As you can see from this publishing is the hardiest job as you need to create the content, second is aggregation as the is much work quality controlling and adding semantic data (tags) to the flow of content.
The easeast to setup and run are the “top” sites to add value to these will be more of a challenge. One way could be to create articles of linking overviews covering stores from the flows – this content can of course be feed back into the lower sites.
Every thing links to everything else.
What do these “nodes” do to be part of the OMN?
* They host flows of content based on tags from other OMN sites on subject that interest them.
* This content is brought in vier RSS from external sites and by atompub from OMN sites.
* They can tag/retag this flow of objects to direct it to other nodes/site sidebars.
* Other sites can get taged based flows (with embed codes if needed) from there chosen “nodes”
* (Optionally) they can archive this content if they like.
This will seem stupid to many geeks, lets use simple text “twitter” tags to do the categorization of data objects in the OMN flow.
* @ before a tag means a person, that is, a RSS object with an enclosure that is a file contenting a open “contact” format file.
* # before tag is means a bookmark link to a site, the title will be the link.
(optional) Need a “symbol” for video, audio, photo etc.
These objects are tagged just like any other object and are stored/flow through the network just like text articles.
(optional) Can try having a different publish pages for each format that automatically add these tags?
It would be normal to create a new format to for each part of the OMN and geeks/fashernistas have done this over many times over the last 10 years.
Its KISS "stupid" for good, empowering, "normal" people to work on and create new products/services/connections in a "data common soup"
Geek talk - The future of OMN content flows
Move to mobile is key for real growth of atl/grassroots media. This is relatively easy as the will be a “open data pool” of semantically enriched content to dip into for quality new, video and audio content flow for building apps. But content is not king in this case, what has real power is the ability to publish direct from mobiles photos, video, audio and text direct to a node of the OMN (this could also be your source, blog/site/portal) in this we empower a move away from “journalism” on the #dotcons and back onto the “openweb”.
Get people (CMS's) to publish in "markup" (as well at html/corporate silos formats) so that content can be loaded/displayed natively on aggregating sites/apps in the formating of the aggregate site/app and display cross site comments – all from the original host. In this we are not only sharing links we are sharing content and discussion across the OMN.
There is nothing original in this all the #dotcons are doing this already and the are many open standards (mark-up being one) that allow this. The originality is in the “just doing it” and the KISS implementation of this push.
I don’t see this as radical, though I see the outcome as revolutionary.
3 small alts
Am following 3 small scale alts, all stumble, but they still exist a year latter, we need a diversity of self aware alts to see what works. The self aware bit is probably the hardiest as each like to see them selves as the one and only.
An alt media revolution?
Why do all alt/grassroots events have the same speakers
I start to understand why all alt/grassroots events have the same speakers. Looking about you send out invites to everyone who has done it before. To reach out to new people would be taking a risk, would be hard work to hand hold them though the process. The lack of time and resources leaves little focus than to just repeat the past. This is a hard realization and incite into poverty.
Am starting to feel slightly ashamed of not knowing this before. ideas please, we do need to fix this.
"To be honest you should be commended for putting it all together in the first place. No one else is doing it and it's essential. Every form of direct action is worthy and amazing given the world we live in."
"1 a bit of mentoring goes a long way
2 offer expenses and look for some funding - either grant funding or crowdfunded
3 offer speaker training events"
Your idea would work if we had the time and the funding, time is relative but funding for alt/left is tiny and hard to get. Almost all left'ish funding is dispelled in #NGO and #fashernista pointlessness. Ideas for diverting some of this waste might be a start? Actually it is a good time to try this, who is up for it?
Problem on the left “the is no alternative”
In grassroots movements
Social media tarts
Capturing the grassroots and building a career in NGO land for them selves from activists movements/agenda’s. They are fine as far as they go, every campaign needs some, but they tend to be competent anufe to unbalance movements towards the “soft”. For them to be useful the need to be a healthy alt to keep this from happening.
Individualism the issue of churning projects with falling outcomes is all that exists, some projects are a bit more together than most if they networked the could be a real start of a alt-media.
In the mainstream
Good will Liberals
Their support for dangerously naive lost course of the soft centre left makes them unbalancing “friends” with out a healthy alt movements will fall over to the “soft”
The Liberal Democrat Party
Its selling out is now obvious. It played the “bad role” of shifting focus away from a real left when needed. Many good will liberals lapped this up till they got a good sound kicking in the teeth during the “alliance years”
The labour party
Is a real left alternative, but it has hard coded DNA in its libryem rules and regulations to foul this out come. And the left in the party has a core “nasty” left who have a long blood soaked wrecking history. The influx of naive “soft” liberalism will be moulded by the bureaucracy on one hand and dispoled by control freaky on the other, this is not a stable mixture for a good outcome. This could be over come by real soughed community but I cant see one.
The Green Party
Has the same issues internally as the labour party, though the top is more soughted. They have a real loon issue to deal with at the grassroots.
The nationalists of all flavourers
Are looking like the ONLY hope of a differences as they push a open loon issue of a sense of belonging agenst the over-wash of globalisation. Not a good outcome but better than the rightwing war happy, poor kicking loons who are the Torys.
A disaster in and a bigger disaster out…
What would alt/grassroots/21centery left look like?
If anyone is interested I would wright a outline of what a few strands of a real alt/grassroots/left network project would look like :)
Hamish sailing away on a lifeboat, this is not a metaphor
Hope filled tributary's feeding fresh water to the polluted mainstream
DRAFT of 3 examples of “working” contemporary alternatives and their malcontent’s.
The Village Butty
A lovely project provided originally by a hard-working individual with small funding and continuing energy. The need, boaters need a warm dry open common place, if their unique contemporary “village” culture is to survive the long term slow and grinding pushing out of CRT and local councils, not to menturn the self inflicted internal sabotage of its own often mad dispoleing crews.
The village butty is a re-booting/rebrinding of the older james's butty for hiar, the early project had burned out then faded due to the the off balance of money making outreach and community value boater use. In the end it alienated both and with a waning of good will and no money coming in the butty was going to be sold. A new younger more energetic crew came in to save the day, with a real crowed funding outreach, boater community lead, the butty was saved.
But the is a denial/unknowing of the need to balance/manage community that is pushing this out of balance to the money making side (fair anufe the failer of this side of the balance was the resion for the need for the reboot). But if this understandable swing reaction is not brought back into balance then the good will of the community side of sustainability balance will be lost and with out this it becomes harder to keep a boat working on the water, aspesheraly in such a small place as London. The boater community provides the couler and direct practical support when needed, as well as its own headaches ;)
This needs a community hart-hart gathering to unblock the constipation that is currently blocking the shit from coming out, a bit of composting will need to be preprepared for this gathering for the resulting smell not to drive people away.
The London Hackspace
One of the few continuing/ongoing “secessess” of alt-DIY organising in the UK. It is not only a fantastic place full of interesting, competent and active people, its organised in a way/model for how grassroots could be expanded out to fill in more social spaces.
Was originally set-up and run by a competent invisible affinity group as the space grew this became an opaque affinity group, with suseass and increasing membership this opaque group became visibly dysfunctional due to dilution and burn out of the original core crew. Affinity organising, while still core, was submerged into bureaucracy, hard rules and angry trolls hitting each other with them filled the online spaces and left the real world space dulled and filled with low level broken.
The space continues and a big smoky flare up and resulting gathering helped to resolve the surface issues, but the underlining fractures have not been addressed to truly sustain the project, lets hope it survives the move to the next premisses and continues to grow and mutate.
The Hive Dalston
This one started well but fell into an ideological clash that became hidden in a smoke screen of personalty politics. The lack of any clear vision made it impossible to resolve as the underlining tensions were blocked from being spoken. One side pushed the other aside and took over sole running of the project, it became a ideologically driven shadow of what it needed to be, in this it moved to being part of the problem rather than part of the solution, making it hard to continue to support the project in any way.
This is not beyond rescue, and the balance between (selfish/stupid) evil and (open/growing) good is still in the air. One solution, a moment of evil, a bit of power politics would put this project back on track, light and dark need each other, some times the devil is right.
To move all these projects on we need to reknit the broken bones of the past.
Media Democracy Festival at Goldsmiths (review)
The alt-media gatherings have been suffering from the tyranny of the funders for more years than I care to remember. The is a big problem of the chattering classes in alt-media.
This is a DRAFT over view of the gathering from a working grassroots perspective.
Comments in italics are by me.
=== Festival ===
To help build a movement for#MediaDemocracy we're holding a big Media Democracy Festival at Goldsmiths, University of London on October 17th 2015.
9am - 10am: Arrivals/ registration - Great Hall
== Speakers ==
10am - 11.30am: Great Hall
The day will start with some great speakers setting the scene and explaining why Media Democracy is so important. Confirmed speakers include:
Setting the scene with “big” speakers and panels is a disaster that creates the very thing you should be trying to avoid.
= Aral Balkan =
A designer & social entrepreneur creating independent technologies that protect our fundamental freedoms & democracy.
Flash and fashion is what I see on his website, am shore he is a nice guy but - Have been on his site now for half and hour and I still don’t know what he is building – think this is to do with his strap line - Independence ★ Democracy ★ Design – he is building him self so he can speak at gigs more expensive than this. FAIL
= Natalie Fenton =
Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, a founding member of the Media Reform Coalition and Board Director of Hacked Off.
Agen am sure a lovely person but not building alt-media, she is talking about alt-media in academia speech in articles that are not assessable to “grassroots people” - must admit I asleep trying to reading the PDF's and am probably in one somewhere.
= Kam Sandhu =
A journalist and co-founder of Real Media, an independent news website and aggregator that campaigns for public interest journalism and against mass media distortion. Kam has written and produced several short documentaries, and also founded RealFare, where she spent over two years reporting on the effects of austerity on welfare and inequality before Real Media.
She works hard and is doing outreach grassroots media, but, she is directly responsible for building a portal strait out of the 20th century as her tool for outreach.... if she was talking about this experience it would ad-value – but she won’t be.
= Michelle Stanistreet =
Michelle is the elected general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (UK and Ireland). Michelle worked as a journalist for 10 years at the Sunday Express newspaper as feature writer and books editor.
Just to say I am a member of the NUJ and been to conferences, still occasionally go to branch meetings, more for the free beer and the chance that it might have changed than the union it self. The NUJ and altmedia history is interesting and would be good if she was talking about that directly.
11.30am - 12pm: Break, and the great chair re-arrange, Great Hall
== Open Space Unconference ==
12 - 6pm: Great Hall (with breakout sessions in various classrooms)
The bit that should add value! :)
The bulk of the day will be a self-organising open space unconference facilitated by Johnnie Moore. Everyone will be free to propose a session that answers our central question: How can we create media democracy?
Sessions already lined-up include:
* Drew Rose from Bristol Cable and Danielle Batist from Positive News doing a session on Media Co-ops.
Good background and positive news have done a interesting crowed funding relaunch – did it work?
* Andy Williams from Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Sam Kinch from Hastings Independent on Community Journalism.
Academics – what do they bring to building in a practical way?
* Jonathan Heawood from IMPRESS and Natalie Fenton from Hacked Off with an update on Leveson and why a recognised press regulator could be good for small publishers.
The more traditional media side of the event
* Mike Flood Page of Open Democracy's OurBeeb will be asking does public service broadcasting have a future?
The more traditional media side of the event
* Matteo Bergamini from Shout Out UK's and Susana Giner from Youth Media Agency on Changing Perceptions of the Youth in the Media.
NGO's are rarely about media, more about social work, will this be talked about?
* Open Democracy's Adam Ramsay on How Climate Change is Reported in the Media.
Traditional media agen
* Richard Hering from visionOntv on How to Build the Citizen TV Revolution.
A altmedia project that needs a re-boot to escape sliding into a NGO world, am involved in this one.
* Bectu Writers, Producers and Directors branch members Chester Yang and Marcus Relton on their plans for a progressive internet TV station in partnership with the trade unions.
The is a long abortive history to this subject – have they/will they address it?
* Gail Bradbrook from Compassionate Revolution on collective acts of civil disobedience and media reform, looking at the legal side of sabotaging the media, brainstorming cheerful subversive actions.
A local NGO'sh media project?
= Film =
Alongside the open space they'll be screenings of related documentaries including:
The Fourth Estate with a Q&A with Director Lee Salter
El Diario de Agustin (Agustin's Newspaper), with a Q&A hosted by Alborada.
10 minute summary presentations running on a loop from Centre for Investigative Journalism:
The Centre for Investigative Journalism – An introduction to the organisation
Data Stories - Using data to find, write and explain news stories, from Excel to SQL
Interactive Storytelling - The cutting edge of innovation in digital narrative methods
Advanced Online Research - Tips and tricks for getting the most out of the internet
The FOIA: Problems and pitfalls - Getting the most out of your requests.
Information Security – Keeping your communication secure
Company Accounts – ‘Follow The Money’ investigations into illicit finance
= Workshops =
Half hour taster sessions run by the Centre for Investigative Journalism.
Data Stories - Using data to find, write and explain news stories, from Excel to SQL, led by Juliet Ferguson.
Might be interesting, but about producing media.
The FOIA: Problems and pitfalls - Getting the most out of your requests, led by Sid Ryan.
Useful basic stuff – but with out working alt-media what good is content?
Interactive Storytelling - The cutting edge of innovation in digital narrative methods, led by Marina Calland.
The problem is in the basics – not the cutting edge...
Information Security – Keeping your communication secure, led by Tom Sanderson.
This is a subject that needs a open descusern – were this will likely be a closed presentation?
== Party (and live crowdfunding) ==
6pm - late.
Live crowdfunding of media projects, spoken word, live music, and DJs. In the evening we're partnering with Filanthropy to organise a party from 6pm - late in the Student Union. This will include the opportunity for 3 projects to pitch to the room and invite pledges of financial and other support from the crowd (who will be able to decide which projects get £5 of their ticket money, plus anything else they feel inspired to contribute).
If you've got a media project that could really do with £500-1000 to help get you started then APPLY NOW http://s.coop/mediaform for your chance to pitch to the room!
= LIVE BAND: United Vibrations =
We're very pleased that incredible local band and festival favourites United Vibrations will be joining us for the party.
= SPOKEN WORD: Anthony Anaxagorou, Deanna Rodger and Potent Whisper =
These amazing wordsmiths will be kicking the party off with their inspirational lyrics and wordplay.
== Who's coming to the Media Democracy Festival? ==
We've already got loads of great projects and groups signed up to participate, including:
Real Media - an aggregator of independent news
Good project but needs to move out of 20th century thinking, think they might manage this and could become a core of a rejuvenated alt-media.
Hacked Off - the campaign for a free and accountable press
Trying to save the mainstream media needs to be done but its a loseing battle – and a distraction if this is the main option.
Consented - "a multi-media platform for those who aren’t accurately represented by the mainstream"
its another wordpress blog I have not heard or seen – could be useful as a part of a wider network but vanishing pointless isolated.
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom - for a more accountable, freer and diverse media.
Trying to save the mainstream media needs to be done but its a loseing battle – and a distraction if this is the main option.
Positive News - the world’s first publication dedicated to reporting positive developments, recently transformed into the first a global media co-op.
Interested to find out what they have been upto.
Bristol Cable - a media co-operative – created and owned by people in Bristol who run free events, a multimedia website and a free quarterly print newspaper.
A local media portal - could be useful as a part of a wider network but vanishing pointless isolated.
The Centre for Investigative Journalism - Investigative journalism, critical inquiry, and in-depth reporting and research.
Takes up a lot of NGO'ish funding to help prop up the falling moral standards of traditional media – some one has to do it. But with out an alternative....
The IMPRESS Project - for independent self-regulation of the press - and looking set to become the first recognised press regulator under the Royal Charter that came out of the Leveson inquiry
Some one has to do it but were is the alt?
People's Assembly Against Austerity - bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice.
A functionally closed silo group filled with bureaucratic infighting and power politics – more part of the problem than part of the solution
Permaculture Magazine - an independent reader supported magazine all about practical solutions for self-reliance.
Posh people doing things posh people do – nice if you can afford the lifestyle. Could be a “healthy part” of an alt – if the was one.
visionOntv - who aim for the widest possible distribution of video for social change.
Has some interesting offshoots and what’s left of its video embeds are an actual functioning alt-media even if most of the tech is half broken. Am involve in this one http://openworlds.info/
Hastings Independent - the local non-profit community newspaper for Hastings & St Leonards on Sea
Could be part of a alt-media network if the was one.
Radical Film Network - a network for which those involved in radical film culture to work together and support its development, growth and sustainability.
Nice people doing nice things, but with the closeting of alts its rearguard and academic.
Shout Out UK - an independent news network that, via journalism, film and events, aims to show young people that politics has a direct impact on everything you do in life.
A 20 century portal I have not heard or seen, could become part of an alt.
Youth Media Agency - the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting, over 300 exciting media platforms.
Its NGO with not much going for it as far as my glance at their site sees.
Through the Cracks - a news website devoted to coverage of reporting, storytelling and news startups made possible with the use of crowdfunding.
Its a dotcom silo that will fad into irrelevance.
Alborada - a UK based magazine, events and documentary producer covering Latin America
Could be part of building an alt?
London Socialist Film Co-op - arranges screenings where people can see films and take part in a panel discussion.
I like their side bar link, but have never been to one of their screenings.
Inform My Opinion - a podcast series on various social, political, economic, environmental subjects and activism (mainly in London), featuring voices of people who are well-informed and those who want to speak.
Small, they have a RSS feed so could be part of an alt.
Let Me Look TV - broadcasting videos they like or have produced (mostly activism stuff), and helping others broadcast their material too.
Can only find social media...
Stop the War Coaltion - Stop the War was founded in September 2001 in the weeks following 9/11, when George W. Bush announced the "war on terror". Stop the War has since been dedicated to preventing and ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.
Mouldy chestnuts come to mind, closed and bureaucratic.
Goldsmiths Deptartment of Media and Communications
Goldsmiths Student Union
== Media Democracy Meetups ==
In the run up to the Festival we've been hosting a monthly Media Democracy Meetup in London
If you think Media Moguls and Press Barons have too much power and influence in our society, want to protect and democratise the BBC, would love to see media co-ops in every community or just work as an independent journalist, photographer or film maker, then this Meetup is for you.
We want all the various threads/ groups working on some part of Media Democracy to talk to each other more and hopefully become a rich tapestry and the beginnings of a power movement for Media Democracy in the UK.
Come along to meet more Media Activists, help organise the Festival and feed into our forthcoming Media Activism Toolkit. See also our related Media Democracy Facebook group.
Were are we
Its important to understand the perspective/world view am coming from to understand what am saying about the state of the alternative. Anarchist/socialist/libertarian/liberal leaning on the start and tapering off the end... am reacting against Hierarchical/conservative/authoritarian. This is a classic enlightenment divide so we should all be well aware of living it – even though few actively think about this lived experience. The views in this series of posts need to be read with this in mind.
The options for an alternative to our current world view/experience/mindset is narrow and limited, largely it is a collection of failed traditions, unexamined and repeated by each amnesiac generation. The normal world, I will call it the “traditional” world for that is what it actually is is so dominant and global that any alternative is but shadows, the “occupy moment” is a obvious example. How did we come to this?
A very broad outline is needed before we go on, the 19th century was Capitalism, the 20th Liberalism, and the 21st century is Anarchy. Each ideology is a short form for the strongest thread running thought the dynamic parts of the global economy/culture. That is 19th was industrial production, then social democracy/welfareism and now digital libertarianism’s of the internet.
In the 1980's Thatcher and Reagan were the avant-gardist of demolishing idealogical alternatives, they were part of a movement that spread all around the world entrenching a right-wing ideology “the is no alternative” and “the end of history” this has been ingested and become part of all our structures/buroceseys/instations and a core part of everyone who grew up over this time and the generation after. This right project pushed the end of the 21st century back into the beginning of the 19th century at the same time that the “digitisation project” was sweeping in the 21st century of Anerkey. We now live in a hybrid time of 19th century ideology, crumbling 20th century social institutions and the future of the economy running on shackey 21st century arackic just in time/horizontal working of the dotcoms.
Thus at the start of the 21st century much is broken and little working today has “value”. Together with the last 2 century’s environmental legacy of climate change puts us as humanity in a shaky position. The ingested legacy of Ragen and Thatcher puts us as individuals in a shaky state to shape a path for humane survival.
A quick side note, this actually is not an environmental issue at all as in the planetary environment will look after it self as it has for millennium, speshers extinction on a large scale is the norm not an exception in planetary terms. The problem we face is a human one, saving the environment is a side issue, in a few thousand years with out us the environment will stabilise and diversify agen to replace the catastrophe that we are building with our destructive muddled thinking. The issue is can we save the things we value, the shifting environment being the thing we build this value wiithin.
Ok am going to leave this here half finished... and carry on in a scatty but overarching repetitive way in further posts :)
To look at what works in the alt and what doen't work - and the are some bit that do work to cheer you up :)