I hope no one’s stupid enough to give away their media to a corporate hater. At least charge ‘em for it. Jeez.
Note the insertion of the iReport ads soliciting free media stuck in here.
Practice safe media, kiddies!
I hope no one’s stupid enough to give away their media to a corporate hater. At least charge ‘em for it. Jeez.
Note the insertion of the iReport ads soliciting free media stuck in here.
Practice safe media, kiddies!
“Once we heard the gunshots and got up, we were watching out the window, and I actually started Tweeting it, what was going on,” said Jeremy Powell, who is the morning show producer on Dave FM.
Everything plays out now, moreorless, in real time. (Witness the dude in Pakistan inadvertently Tweeting bin Laden’s demise.) Via Twitter, uStream.tv, Facebook and YouTube. Everything except for crippling disasters in the rural American south.
NPR’s Morning Edition today focused on a small town in AL ravaged and wrecked by the storms of Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The worst series of tornadoes ever recorded in the United States.
We were able to watch this tornadic mayhem play out in real time from the Tweets, and the seemingly endless stream of citizen media, coming out of the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, AL areas; Tuscaloosa being the home of (fully wired) University of Alabama, so it’s little wonder so much media came from there.
There was so much out there to follow I gave up trying to curate it in real time, such as with a paper.ly product, as I like to try to do with real time disasters in the nearby (GA) area.
I just slapped a #tornado hashtag-generated column onto my TweetDeck and let that serve as my eyes and ears until I collapsed from pan media-watching exhaustion later that evening.
But there was no real time media coming from the more rural areas of AL, places also in the paths of some 300-plus tornadoes that day/night. Morning Edition finally caught-up with what’s on the ground now, for a national audience, almost a week afterwards, in Hackleburg, AL.
That story is here. No mention whatsoever of any Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. Internet = zero in rural AL? Or just another case of MSM herd mentality? Could be some of both.
One has to assume that rural AL is not wired for real time crisis communication use the way we’re becoming accustomed to now, though. And that needs to change.
UPDATE. May 5, 2010. This particular home was a total loss and torn down. Seems a new one is under way though, when I drove by in the heavy rains today along Peachtree Creek. Boy are people resilient or what?!
Post-flood. A tour of a flooded home, randomly chosen from many others just like it, along Hanover West Dr. in NW Atlanta, GA near Peachtree Creek.
Thanks to the homeowner, Bill Powell and his amazing attitude: “We’re gonna dry it out, clean it up, then we’re gonna jack it up.”
Thanks also to Jarred Opstad of Metro Furniture Restorations in Tucker, GA who took a moment to talk about the process of working on a seriously flooded home. A WaySouth Media, Inc. production. 9-23-09.
In all fairness, I also got a tee shirt when I went to the CBS46 “Blogger Summit.” And a nice highlighter pen thingee in the goodie bag, in addition to the Flip cams CBS6 news director Steve Schwaid and co. handed out to the 25 or so assembled Atlanta blogerati who filled up an empty studio with pizza and some lively chatter about community, social networks, and what bloggers can and cannot add to the broadcasting milieu on July 20, 2009.
Come to think about it, CBS46, or WGCL, did a remarkable thing this evening – they invited Atlanta bloggers and social media utilizers from the metro area into their station to talk about, er, stuff. I can’t say this has ever happened before in Atlanta – the MSM reaching out in such a way, other than that one ill-fated meeting at WSB-TV a couple of years ago, but that meeting was so pointless and futile it’s not really worth mentioning so I’ll leave it at “ill-fated.”
I admire their chutzpah at WGCL if nothing else. It may be a case of nothing left to lose so why not go for broke? But to widen the net towards taking seriously Atlanta’s numerous community content providers seems like a reasonable, if not likely highly lucrative, approach.
The chit chat at CBS46 was brisk and spicy, as was the A-listing of some of Atlanta’s longtime, well-regarded bloggers who showed. Spotted in the crowd were Blog For Democracy’s co-founders Catherine Smith and Melanie Goux, Peach Pundit’s Buzz Brockway, Dan Greenfield of BernaiseSource, Amani Channel of My Urban Report, Rusty Tanton of Georgia Podcast Network, Tessa Horehled of Drive A Faster Car, and Doug Richards of Live Apartment Fire.
(Oddly enough, as CBS46 isn’t a Cox Plantation property, a couple of reporter/bloggers from the Cox Plantation Big House showed too, but I’m not sure why they were there as they never said a word. Go figure. Your guess is as good as mine.)
CBS46 wasn’t too coy about why they wanted us bloggers and SM users there. They wanted us bloggers and citizen journalists and writers and marketeers and promoters there to ask us to provide content. For free. To them. (Thus the handing out of the Flip cams.)
And that’s ok. I didn’t think we were invited in to be given paying jobs as journalists and anointed Queens and Kings of the ATL. CBS46 wants to try new things. I assume they need to try new things. They’re willing to experiment, in a rather large way, with citizen journalism and the news content they broadcast. My hat’s off to anyone willing to experiment with change in a traditional medium and not be crystal clear as to what, or even where, the road ahead is going to be. (That approach having been my personal MO for the last couple of years or so.)
But I gotta tell you, with so many places to give our content away for free, other than our own blogs, at some point I’m going to get hyper-picky. No one’s offering grownup money, so until they do we’ve got to be happy with a tee shirt, free pizza, and an occasional guest flash of our homemade news-style content wherever we can get it.
I don’t know if this is the formula for changing the world, and somehow I doubt it is. But in the Atlanta market at least it is a fresh approach and a start to messing around with the status quo of local news broadcasting as we’ve historically known it. (White anchor, black anchor, traffic chopper, and a whole lotta crime scene tape.) And that’s got to be a good thing.
So is the nifty Flip cam handed out by CBS46. I’ve been wanting one of those puppies for a while now. I got mine home and pointed it at the dog. She didn’t seem to mind:
June 25, 2009, 0700 GMT — Here is a revealing interview from Al Jazeera’s new media guy with YouTube’s head of news and politics, Steve Grove. Grove explains why YouTube has made the decisions they have lately (moreorless violating their own TOS) to keep YouTube as uncensored and as open a platform as possible for media dissemination during the Iran election aftermath.
Some of these issues regarding YouTube and media from Iran were discussed in my interview from June 22, 2009 with IT security expert, Ariel Silverstone. That is here.
From Tina Trent’s Crime Victims Media Report. Background: Eugenia Calle was murdered in her midtown Atlanta condo on Tuesday, February 17, 2009. Shamal Thompson is charged with her murder. This is Trent’s research on the criminal record of Thompson.
The Anatomy of Yet Another Unnecessary Murder: How the Justice System Failed Eugenia Calle and Is Failing Us All
What follows is a preliminary effort to piece together Shamal (aka Jamal) Thompson’s long and troubling journey through Georgia’s broken criminal justice system prior to February 17, 2009, the day he murdered* an innocent cancer researcher named Eugenia Calle. Ten months earlier, a DeKalb County Superior Court Judge named Cynthia J. Becker let Thompson walk free from what should have been a ten-year sentence for burglary. She did so on the grounds that he was a first-time offender.
He was not.
I gathered the records of Thompson’s many other criminal charges and pleas merely through Internet searches and a few phone calls to court clerks in Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties in Georgia. These counties and jurisdictions vary quite significantly in their commitment to making public safety information available to the public. Fulton County’s public records system is almost uniquely shameful in comparison to similar courts throughout the country, while DeKalb County’s records are impressively detailed and easy to access on-line.
This information is preliminary, based only on a few phone calls and web searches. If you choose to reproduce or quote this article, please understand that I am unable to guarantee its absolute accuracy at this point. Court records themselves often contain errors, and I can only reproduce what is entered on-line by the courts. However, I include the public records case numbers for every case I cite, and if anyone involved in the justice system (or not) wishes to offer corrections or add to this account, please contact me through this website.
Why Didn’t Judge Cynthia Becker Do What I Did?
As I handed my kid her Sunday morning plate of blueberry pancakes and simultaneously wrenched the remote out of her hand so I could tune-in the Georgia Gang (I’m getting really good at this maneuver), away goes Sponge Bob and up pops Phil Kent, who was deep in the momentary thrall of calling Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin “a liar.”
Kent says Mayor Franklin is telling outright lies when she says, as she did again recently, that crime in Atlanta is, statistically, down. Kent says Franklin is lying because crimes in the City of Atlanta are actually up, but there’s no way to prove this because APD is not providing accurate stats for interested parties – the “interested parties” being local journalism outlets such as The Sunday Paper and the AJC; that any efforts by journos-with-money to find reliable and accurate crime stats are being thwarted by APD and/or, I presume, City Hall.
Kent cited The Sunday Paper’s recent story by editor Stephanie Ramage about crime stats in Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods as his journo-source in this matter. In the story, Ramage is hinting of a gross cover-up or manipuation by APD of the actual crime stats in Atlanta – a deeply serious charge with criminal implications for those involved, and an historical issue former APD deputy chief Louis Arcangeli has never been shy about going on the record about, at the expense of his APD job too. From The Sunday Paper:
“You are talking about a department that has a proven, documented track record of manipulating the numbers, so you have to consider that the police department might be doing it again,” says Louis Arcangeli, a former deputy chief of the APD who now teaches criminal justice at Georgia State University. “The amount of public concern is completely at odds with the numbers, and that’s troubling.”
(And the matter of The Sunday Paper being a credible news org was laughingly and haughtily dismissed by Jeff Dickerson on today’s Georgia Gang episode, but that’s a whole other can ‘o worms for a whole other blog post right now. Still, what else we got to help us out in the urgent and critical need for data-driven, reliable journalism? The Panda Press (AJC)?. Thus my plea here. Keep reading.)
Whatever Kent says, Mayor Franklin’s numerous attempts to cite magical statistics about crime in Atlanta are not getting any leverage in the court of public perception. Citizens simply feel crime is out of control. Everyone feels victimized by crime. (This I know from my own citizen reporting on the matter.) People feel Chief Pennington is out-to-lunch and indifferent to their perception. Pennington sure doesn’t help when he says citizens concerns are based on citizens’ “misperceptions.”
To heck with Chief Pennington though, as Atlantans Together Against Crime (ATAC) continues to enlist thousands to their grass-roots cause, with the next ATAC rally scheduled for Monday, February 23rd at 5pm at the corner of MLK and Joseph Lowery.
The big problem for Mayor Franklin is that the stories from the droves of crime victims in Atlanta are now being heard. It doesn’t really matter if crime is up or down, come to think about it. The thing that matters is, because of social media and the networks created in that medium, stories can now be told in new media ways they never were before. The pain of the people comes through loud and clear online… now that harrowing tales of death and survival on the mean street of the ATL are so easily told and shared. Yes, despite City Hall’s best efforts to tone down the citizenry’s rhetoric, voices will be heard.
But that’s one piece of the new media pie in the matter of Atlanta’s magical crime stats. The other is the hard, cold reality of what the crime stats really are now. Who do you believe? Are they up or are they down? Let’s put the matter to Professor Leonard Witt and Kennessaw State University (KSU). Why this place? Why this person?
Because Witt and KSU just received some nice bucks (1.5 million to be precise) to create The Center for Sustainable Journalism. Given the mission and the message of The Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ), seems Atlanta’s mysterious crime stats would be the perfect place to apply the resources KSU now has.
From the press release about The Center for Sustainable Journalism (CSJ):
KENNESAW, Ga. (February 7, 2009) In the midst of an annual conference designed to pinpoint the Southeast’s niche in the digital media revolution, Kennesaw State University announced receipt of a $1.5 million gift from the Harnisch Foundation to establish a center to research and develop innovative ways to produce and distribute news.
Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp announced the award and the creation of The Center for Sustainable Journalism Feb. 7 at the SoCon09 “Unconference” attended by more than 300 business, non-profit and media professionals, bloggers and digital media enthusiasts.
The center will be overseen by Leonard Witt, Kennesaw State’s Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication, eminent scholar and associate professor, who organized the SoCon09 conference. Witt is a pioneer in developing community-supported journalism models and exploring the potential of online social networks to disseminate news.
Full press release here.
Crime and the APD’s ability to control it aside, what is sustainable in Atlanta now are the networks and the crowd sourcing and the social media structure that would allow for deep and comprehensive dissemination of the journalistic, data-driven findings of a journalism project that would help the citizens of all metro Atlanta get to the heart of our mysterious and sometimes magical crime stats situation.
So what’dya say, CSJ? Wanna get crackin’ on tackling a community-based journalism project right in your own backyard? Enquiring minds need to know, and it might help a lot of people sleep better at night. And I’m always good for a quickie video package or two.
On Monday, January 26, 2009, AtlantansTogether.org held its first rally to raise awareness about crime in intown Atlanta neighborhoods — and what to do about it.
Citizens from a variety of intown Atlanta, GA neighborhoods spoke to WaySouth Media, Inc. about why they participated in the rally, and how crime has effected their neighborhoods.
The rally was held in the Little Five Points’ Findley Plaza. The crowd was estimated by a local media news outlet (AJC) to be about 175 people. Atlanta City Council members present at this rally: Mary Norwood (’10 Mayor of Atlanta candidate) and Kwanza Hall.
Please share and embed!
A WaySouth Media video report from an early morning vigil on January 8, 2009 for Atlanta restaurant, The Standard’s, popular bartender, John Henderson, who was murdered while closing the restaurant on Wednesday, January 7, 2009.
City of Atlanta intown neighborhood residents express their outrage at recent, drastic cutbacks to city protective services, such as police and fire, and vow to organize to do something to end the perceived crime wave many residents feel has plagued Atlanta in 2008 and now 2009.
City of Atlanta residents Tessa Horehled and Kyle Keyser (himself a victim of recent violent crime) have organized Atlantans Together Against Crime and Cutback (ATACC). The website is: AtlantansTogether.org.
Wow. What a year it’s been! 2008 was one for the ages. And one whereby I got out the camera and the Windows Movie Maker and became a hardworking citizen v-journalist… or whatever you care to call it. Here are some of my video highlights for 2008. In no particular order:
1.) Coming in with the most views, over 32K on YouTube alone, is Tornado Rips Downtown Atlanta. My queendom for a bat-light with that one. But people still clicked-on. I have since picked-up a light at an Abracadabra Video yard sale for about $20.
2.) The video quality came out poor in this one. The usual compression issues I struggle with. But I have since decided that Vimeo’s quality is so much better that I will use that sharing site from here on out, rather than YouTube. Still, Obama SC Volunteers remains a fave for 2008 as even though Obama didn’t win SC, it captured the essence of the Obama win overall. Eyes on the prize. Eyes on the prize.
3.) By far THE best, most informative conference I’ve been to in the new media realm was the heavy hitter-ridden 1st Computation & Journalism Symposium at Georgia Tech. An interview from that with Michael Skoler, Executive Director, Center For Innovation In Journalism, American Public Media is here.
6.) Brrrrrr… this one done for Insider Advantage (a client) makes me cold because it was so freakin’ cold that King Day outside of Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue during a Presidential election year. It makes me laugh though. Poor FP Bill. His meds were way off that day. Heck, Bill’s meds were needing adjustment all year long!
7.) I think my personal, all-time favorite moment captured on tape in 2008 was the infectious laugh of an unsuspecting Bernita Smith. Bernita battled not only Republicans all year long, but a wicked-ugly diagnosis of breast cancer too. Bernita is the face, the laugh, of one tough fuck-you-to-cancer Georgia peach.
Thanks for clicking-on throughout 2008. May our 2009 be half as interesting and exciting as 2008!
Back in July, I caught a few moments on video at Manuel’s Tavern with Reverend Joseph Lowery… talking about, at the time, the Obama candidacy. And hope. And promise.
Jeff Jarvis, bless his annoying heart, points his readers and ‘sumers to a wonderful video today… shot entirely by a still camera, but one that happens to also shoot HD video. You can get into one of these Canon 5D MkII’s for about a grand. Let me repeat… A GRAND.
Here’s what a pro did with it, just after buying one off the shelf and charging that puppy up:
Granted, the shooter here is a pro (a shooter for The Guardian in China), but he demos a product that is perfect for the pro’sumer level. And one that can help a newly-mined multimedia-ist take their journalism endeavors right on to the next level.
Remember folks, don’t get discouraged – just get using. The more you use any kind of gear, the more comfortable you will get with it all. One of these days, I’m even gonna take my Panasonic DVX100 off of automatic settings. I know that happy day is coming!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of citizen journalism and The Huffington Post and The Huffington Post’s citizen journalism project, OffTheBus. I’m a user and a cheerleader and a content creator for plenty of time-consuming, life-sucking, rather tiring citizen journalism initiatives. I won’t bore you with the details or the self-congratulatory remarks. You can read about them here. Or here.
But Arianna Huffington and Jay Rosen, bless their visionary hearts, are now, or soon will be, accepting awards for OffTheBus right and left (see Arianna’s thank-you letter to her OffTheBus contributors at the jump or here); however, OffTheBus is a grossly flawed business model… because it doesn’t pay the contributors.
Thus, I sure hope no one is considering adopting such a model as a business. Not seriously at least. As something else maybe, but not as a viable business model.
Creating cool, headline-grabbing platforms to harvest the collective mindset is not new media; it is new media slavery. And I for one will not continue to give away my content or my services for free. I’ll go further to say that any media outlet thinking they’re going to cash-in by soliciting totally free journo-content from Joe Public will be gravely and financially disappointed. (Hear that iReport?)
The increasingly techno-sophisticated masses will soon get very restless for cash for their labors. The people who give enough of a shit to actually pick-up a camera and go out and commit citizen journalism give enough of a shit to soon become pro’sumer grade in their work. Then pro even. Better plan to pay ‘em. Lest you’ll be stuck with freebie, amateur crap that an increasingly media-sophisticated public will soon become very restless with – and reject.
AllVoices, another citizen journalism platform, does pay their contributors. Now which would YOU choose?
I thus took a comment moment to thank Off The Bus for their media vision and leadership. It was an honor and a thrill to have been part of the 2007-2008 political process via Off The Bus. My comment back to Amanda and John and the other wonderful OTB editors is re-pasted here:
Thank you Amanda and John, etc. so much for giving me the opportunity to participate in the political journalism process in innovative and exciting ways that were not open to me elsewhere. Being an OTB contributor has renewed my passion for journalism, taught me new skills, returned me to my MSM roots while allowing me to try new things, and provided a wealth of ideas and concepts I will take with me and share with many as I grow my small media business locally.
It’s been an honor and a pleasure. I like to think I played a small part in these historic media times. OTB made that possible, and inspired me to look for any way I could to get involved in the new political media going on around me over the last year or so.
Plus, doing totally indie, one-woman video packages was just a whole lot of fun! You should see how I can unfold my tripod now with a few flicks of the wrist. Even an old NABET camera-dude would be impressed. Well maybe…
All the best as we all move forward.
In the Now Herding Cats Department… while I find it amusing that there are people out there who feel media+The Internets are somehow, someway at all “manageable,” I like, and thus will evangelize, about two new tools that help control spin and lies and gross fabrications in media. Both tools are seeking crowd-sourced, computated journalism goals.
One is being hatched here in Atlanta out of Georgia Tech and is designed to flesh-out what we see/hear online via video. That’s Videolyzer. The other is SpinSpotter.com, spawned from the brains of a liberal and a conservative working together. (And they say it can’t be done. Hmph.)
From the NYTimes on SpinSpotter.com:
Any attempt to judge news articles could rely on experts, a broad audience of readers or a set of formulas. SpinSpotter combines all three, but for now the formulas are still being adjusted, the audience is not yet big enough, and it remains to be seen how unbiased or effective the experts are. SpinSpotter grew out of a longstanding obsession of Todd Herman, a conservative former talk-radio host who is the company’s chief product officer. “I thought of this 10 years ago,” he said. “The things I’d see in mainstream media drove me crazy.”
The chief executive officer, John Atcheson, is politically liberal, and he and Mr. Herman say they tend to balance each other out. “We don’t delude ourselves into thinking we’re going to eliminate spin, and that’s not even our objective,” said Mr. Atcheson, who has been an executive of several technology companies. “We just want it to be transparent, above the surface.”
As this is Blog Action Day for Poverty, at 1:30pm today, Blog For Food will be bringing you a live-stream interview with the founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Bill Bolling. Please embed the link in your blog or share it with your network via Facebook , Twitter, etc.
It will be there for you to use and share!
You’re in the New Journalism Army now with Allvoices! A citizen journalism platform I, gasp, have yet to submit content for, but I’m sure I eventually will. Have you? Seems a little “globally” for my typically southern-fried focus, but should anything ever happen around this neck of the woods…
Allvoices has a better interface than iReport. You can see that right off the bat. But unlike iReport, there’s no lure of getting your stuff on a CNN global property, either broadcast or, for instance, the Politics page… as has happened to me on occasion. See circled headline I wrote myself on screen shot below. (If you can’t make it out, it reads “The South Is In Play”:
However, Allvoices does promise cold hard cash! And who doesn’t love that? Only thing is, you have to garner about a zillion views to your CJ product to start raking in the dough.
Best advice I can offer if you’re looking to spin the CJ wheel o fortune? Have your cam(s) always at the ready. You’re a soldier in the New Journalism Army now, kiddo. I’ll let CNN’s Major Generalissimo Paul Ferguson rap to you about the hard reality dope: you really gotta be the only cam on the scene. In America at least.
Expectant dad Amani Channel is geared-up and off to SC with his freelance co-hort, Mario. Amani’s wife is not real happy about all this gallivantin’ around, not with her looming due date. (See video.) But what’s a freelance TV-type to do? It’s hurricane season; make hay while the sun shines. You can follow Amani and Mario’s excellent weather-related adventures via Amani’s Tweets on Twitter here. Amani’s live-streaming channel on uStream.tv is here.