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
Cafes or local nodes
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.
WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THE PAST!!!!