System Interrupt! Why do we work as media makers?

Intro: this is some very basic notes that i took during the conference workshops... but i didn't listen to everything or take anywhere near complete notes... you have been warned!

What role do we play in communities? (as media activists)

Article in time magazine about Michael Moore. - but ?reaching appropriate target audiences? Media can help people to document a different history from that which is traditionally recorded.

Phillipines experience. Millions dying - not asking why they are dying of hunger but why they have never lived. also proud tradition of alternative media. 'progressive' media began to take root in the late 1880s . put out a solidarity paper which was instrumental in demanding reforms.

1972 - martial law: attempted to directly suppress the rights of the people underground press during this period which encouraged the people to engage in forms of resistance - including armed resistance

journalists have a responsibility to take part in the process of social change.


- the role of history contextualisation - how the past influences the present

further thoughts

how do music and theatre and imagery

spectacles - e.g. christian right - are we missing something??

news and sport and soap opera!

trying to get people actively involved in news

interesting that first intro was about michael moore and not reaching people - when he actually does seem to be reaching people: he has got an (?) achievable objective: getting rid of bush.

examples of where/how video documentation has changed and influcenced activism:
  • engagement of people - links between may '68 and anti-war/iraq protests. uses of samba band and involvement/enjoyment of participators.
  • also john pilger documentaries - eg carlton tv in the uk
  • tapping into the education system, involvement with secondary education and media studies courses

issues with ideas of power surrounding 'christian festivals' - bombard people with publicity, lack of human stories in mainstream media. good example: 5 yrs ago only maybe one documentary on in the cinema, now there are three on just at the present time in melbourne and they're all really exciting. ggod way of expanding activist networks/getting people involved

what kind of film reaches people? e.g. fahrenheit 9/11 has taken 3x as much as any other documentary film in just 2 weeks. indymedia video activism, on the other hand, appeals to the converted - but v. important for building community.

important to remember there is not one truth

journalists = leeches ==> can make you feel like a scumbag, but you need to remember that you are being a conduit - getting messages out to other people.

more discussion on michael moore... F-9/11, Stupid White Men, Bowling for Columbine. etc....

reliance of left on 'heroes' Michael Moore even supported Wesley Clarke in the race against Bush - idea that it is anyone but Bush - but Wesley Clarke supported/was instrumental in Serbia


Tina Turner: "We don't need another hero"

thought the movie last night - The Take - was fantastic. Lot of criticism - too slick, too corporate, etc, etc - but, hey! you inspire me! it's amazing.

you don't need heroes - but perhaps we need tangible heros.

shameless plug for 3CR screening of F-9/11

cross-overs of activist and mainstream media.

jaded-ness with traditional/current journalistic means - for example (by comparison) EcoTV at the Students of Sustainability conference just giving video etc equipment out with out really

70% of people stop reading after the first two paragraphs - need to use the facts and info available to get the important info into the first two paragraphs (for example)

some problems with the idea of 'empowering' people through the movie - implies that the film maker has 'power' that can be given to people, a kind of paternalistic concept that we should be struggling to avoid.

clarification that

-- GarconDuMonde - 17 Jul 2004
Topic revision: r2 - 17 Jul 2004, GarconDuMonde
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