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
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.