When Sri Lanka banned goods from the north during a war with the Tamil Tigers, newspapers had to find the paper they needed for publishing. Kannan Arunasalam made this short documentary film about people who take their work in journalism very seriously.
Via Brain Pickings
Michel Montecrossa continues his underground assault on currently active oppressors, liars and cheats who simply don’t know how to live properly. I like this guy, Montecrossa. He’s hitting something that is sorely lacking these days and he keeps hitting it cheerfully and with conviction. He digs himself and what he does and that is good because it puts irony in the dumpster where it belongs. You know, of all the basic forms of humor, irony is actually the most depressingly childish. Here is Montecrossa countering the bullshit from Rupert Murdoch and keeping it simple.
Here’s a wonderful animation that takes us inside a newspaper’s world of print and ink. Chaos ensues as the world waits on the edge of disaster. Words become danger and begin to fail as the stories get worse. The film was directed by Bastian Böhm and Nico Uthe from their own story.
In 1924, the Oakland Tribune and American Theatre held a contest in which people submitted their dreams. The winning dreams got made into films and the dreamers won $25. This surreal piece came from a dream submitted by Mrs. L.L. Nicholson. It more closely resembles a dream than many films since then, including Hitchcock’s Spellbound. It involves a couple on a trip and a missing baby.
The United States government is attempting to physically destroy the Wikileaks organization. The ‘Cablegate’ release of diplomatic communications has begun to reveal that Western democracies maintain shadow governments that are outside the reach of their electorates. They appear to have a system in place that is not subject to the outcomes of elections. For me, that is the main thing suggested by the leaks.
The Obama administration is fully engaged in a very serious information war that threatens to turn the public eye toward the inner workings of a government sliding very quickly toward a new form of corporate/government fascism. The obvious connection between government, corporations, and the military is now under public scrutiny as we watch officials tell companies like Amazon and Paypal to cut off the Wikileaks operations. A democratic superpower is influencing, through threats or friendly suggestion, the behavior of companies that are enormously powerful on the Internet. It has become clear that we absolutely cannot expect any form of free expression to exist where Amazon or Paypal are concerned. The fact that Amazon controls most of the book trade in the U.S. is an emergency and should ultimately result in a move toward a more open source form of book selling. I would not want to be in the position of trying to sell a book on Amazon that contained thorough investigative reporting on U.S. government secrets or corruption. One call from Joseph Lieberman could shut everything down for my book.
The important thing about the Wikileaks is that they change journalism. They open a deep wound in the side of government that bleeds secrets, incompetence and corruption. The wound will continue to bleed because there will always be someone willing to leak the information. It’s simple human nature. There will always be a place to send that information and there will always be journalists to sift through it and print it for us to read. If this Wikileaks is killed, another will pop up.
Wikileaks is nothing more than a reporter sitting at a desk answering the phone and taking notes from a confidential source. Wikileaks is a reporter. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have openly declared themselves to be extremely dangerous enemies of a free press. They have already begun threatening university students who try to download or link to the Wikileaks data (the data is here, by the way). They will stop at nothing to end Wikileaks. We should be prepared for this. They will stop at absolutely nothing. Just wait for the leak. Then you’ll know.
Here’s an excellent article by John Naughton at the Guardian Newspaper about how governments now must either live with open access to information or try to shut down the net.
YouTube has built an open-source application called YouTube Direct that allows news organizations to request and accept uploaded videos from citizen journalists anywhere in the world. The idea is to give news organizations the ability to put out a call for videos on a specific news story and then review the direct uploads to select the ones they want to broadcast on their web sites or even over the air. The video creators get to keep their videos on YouTube for access just like any other video on the site. There’s more information available in their Citizen Tube information area.
The camera in the hands of the average citizen has proven to be an extraordinarily powerful tool for news-gathering over the past few years. Instances of police abuse, natural disasters, and political turmoil have been captured by cell phone cameras all over the world. This seems like a very smart move by YouTube that could have a profound effect on the news. I can see this as a major benefit to smaller start-up news organizations that mostly rely on the web.
It remains to be seen, however, if YouTube makes this widely available to small sites and creative outlets, or if they stick to a larger scale more corporate membership. That would be disappointing, but it would still broaden the availability of citizen journalism.