Jon Stewart’s Closing Rally Speech: “If We Amplify Everything, We Hear Nothing”

via tv.gawker.com 215,000 people gathered to celebrate moderation, rationality and compromise. Jon Stewart did a great job. Andrew Sullivan did just as good with his analysis: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/an-apoliti…

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215,000 people gathered to celebrate moderation, rationality and compromise. Jon Stewart did a great job. Andrew Sullivan did just as good with his analysis: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/10/an-apolitical-po…

Why Come To TVO’s #AgendaCamp? (and #ChangeCamp)

via youtube.com The AgendaCamp model evolved since last year, incorporating both open space and world cafe methods into a new hybrid, designed to help create a broadcast of The Agenda with Steve Paikin the night following the Camp. Great testimoni…


via youtube.com
The AgendaCamp model evolved since last year, incorporating both open space and world cafe methods into a new hybrid, designed to help create a broadcast of The Agenda with Steve Paikin the night following the Camp. Great testimonials.

Behind the scenes at AgendaCamp London @mikeminer @theagenda #agendacamp

Look at is this way: a byproduct of yesterday’s discussions and actions is a television program. When you add a public broadcaster to the camp event, you harness its expertise and resources to seek out participants from government, the business co…

Look at is this way: a byproduct of yesterday’s discussions and actions is a television program. When you add a public broadcaster to the camp event, you harness its expertise and resources to seek out participants from government, the business community, academia, etc., and also to take the work that participants have done and forge it into a debate to probe and share the insights revealed at AgendaCamp.

 

To me, this seems like a natural extension of the work that goes on at all camps. There, the community comes together to gather the information, to mold it into useful forms, and to spread that information. Public television is truly a part of that community, and events like this are a great example of public television doing exactly what it is meant to do.

 

Tune in tonight to watch as we broadcast live from the University of Western Ontario (and please join me on the live online chat that will go with it). What you will see is something new that TVO is working hard to help develop: open source television. This program is entirely the product of the community we are in, their ideas and concerns, and the resources here to help articulate their particular perspective on the province in the world. It’s very much like a bottle of wine, whose flavour and character is determined by the soil that nurtured the grapes.

I’m happy to see TVO continue the work we began together with last year’s AgendaCamp, making their own and tweaking the model from what they learned last year. Big thanks to Mike Miner for the shout out on this post!

The Dreadnought Moment has come for Pub TV – KETC by @robpatrob

via smartpei.typepad.com Plans for reinventing public media are alive and well in Robert Paterson’s work with KETC St. Louis. Amazing. Imagine every community having this kind of integrated community media asset. Read the full post linked above.

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Plans for reinventing public media are alive and well in Robert Paterson’s work with KETC St. Louis. Amazing. Imagine every community having this kind of integrated community media asset. Read the full post linked above.

A modest proposal for Canadian broadcasters and #CRTC

OTA HD television broadcast signals combined with the pleasure of the iTunes/Apple TV buying experience is a great combination to beat $100+ cable bills common in Canada. Most customers want the content that they want, when they want, in high qual…

5346530-Twitter _ Mark Kuznicki_ .@runmad Broadcasters shou ...

My friend Rune was tweeting about how great OTA (over-the-air) HD picture quality is with a strong signal, as good as Blu-Ray and better than HD on cable: http://twitpic.com/tk492

5346531-Twitter _ Rune Madsen_ The picture quality for ov ...

OTA HD television broadcast signals combined with the pleasure of the iTunes/Apple TV buying experience is a great combination to beat $100+ cable bills common in Canada. Most customers want the content that they want, when they want, in high quality formats and highly usable interfaces. Cable does not deliver this.

Broadcasters resist delivering this experience and have delivered themselves into the hands of cablecos by not supporting web delivery of high quality content on multiple platforms. The also are under utilizing the spectrum they have with spotty digital over-the-air digital signal strength.

The broadcaster vs cableco “save local TV” vs “TV tax” debate masks the true failure of both sides of this industry.

If we are to have a TV tax, a la the UK, I want it to go to a new form of public/nonprofit broadcasting, not to weak media conglomerates with weak business models riding the coattails of US content and cheap generic reality programming.

Open Source Journalism

Journalism and media are undergoing a massive transformation. Many inside are feeling the pain, not the least of which are the CBC’s 800 employees about to get the axe. Clay Shirky recently wrote an important piece about “thinking the unthinkable” in newspapers, highly recommended reading. I took note of this in his concluding paragraph:

For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the journalism we need.

My work with TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin has been fascinating and rewarding in this context of massive change in the media business model and questions about the future of journalism as craft and practice. I think that what is important during this transformation is to unpack, unbundle and reconfigure the elements that we think of when we think about “broadcaster” or “newspaper” and reimagine how they can be reconfigured to deliver more value to more people. Value that people want to pay for.

The Agenda: on the Road project is an interesting experiment along the lines of what Shirky describes above. What began as a way to bring TVO’s flagship current affairs program into local communities has developed into an ongoing experiment in open source journalism and community engagement.

Continue reading “Open Source Journalism”

Hacking democracy, Canadian style

A broad progressive (neo-progressive?) movement is emerging on the web, rallying Canadian netizens to defeat the Harper Conservatives in the October 14th federal election.  Dozens of sites and groups have suddenly emerged in the blogosphere and on Facebook with a single unified goal – to defeat the Harper government.

I’m helping with one of these campaigns, AnyoneButHarper.ca, which is a viral media and strategic voting campaign launched from a Facebook group in less than two weeks.  The idea is to create, distribute and share viral media that will drive anti-Harper forces to take action in the form of strategic voting.  The campaign includes videos produced by community members that are hosted on Vimeo and YouTube and a strategic voting widget hosted at Widgetbox.

The strategic voting widget is a democracy hack response to the current situation that progressive Canadians face. Today, the Conservative party can achieve a majority government and push ahead a neo-conservative agenda with only 38% of the popular vote. This is due to the first-past-the-post electoral system and a splintered centre-left  composed of four parties lined up against a united right wing Conservative party. Other approaches to hack this situation include sites and groups that facilitate strategic vote swapping between progressives living in different ridings supporting different centre-left parties.

Meanwhile our friends at Fair Vote Canada are creating a home for Ophan Voters – voters whose votes do not help elect anyone in a first-past-the-post system. They hope to raise awareness of the need for electoral reform, but they are challenged in building the momentum they need when the beneficiaries of the current system control the path to reform. It appears that fundamental reform is not gaining sufficient traction, certainly not in the short term.

Why now?  I think this activity can be seen as the result of some underlying forces:

  1. The social web and the technologies of so-called Web 2.0
  2. The experience of MoveOn.org and the Obama campaign in the U.S. election
  3. A frustrated and digitally enabled electorate, looking for change but lacking a galvanizing leader (like an Obama) to rally behind

Can regular Canadians, using the tools of the web, work around the limitations of first-past-the-post electoral system to snatch a progressive outcome from a system otherwise gamed in the favour of the incumbent Conservative party?

This emerging movement is going to try. It remains to be seen what it can do in the short three weeks remaining in this electoral cycle.