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Monday, April 06, 2009


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Ann Otoole

says it is a private video...


naw, its private...

Foobar Merlin

Watched it live yesterday partially - very interesting although it was hard to understand the audience's questions via the stream.

Troy McConaghy

"This is a private video. If you have been sent this video, please make sure you accept the sender's friend request."

(I got no friend request, and don't really expect the person who posted the video to send one to every reader of NWN...)

Hamlet Au

Ack, sorry, forgot to flip the switch, should be publicly viewable now.

Bernhard "Draxtor" Drax

Hamlet, James, not sure what name to use, now that we also met in RL ☺ Finally had some time to organize my thoughts after coming back to CA: I realize after this panel, that I need to much stronger position myself as the advocate of non-commercial media in these virtual spaces. Not quite the “Democracy Now” of Second Life, but kinda in that direction. It is a little worrisome, that everyone seems to have no problem using the term "citizen journalism" when applied to folks holding up a cell phone camera and feed footage of a car accident to a cable network in RL, or string together a series of snapshots from the latest fashion show in Second Life. Both have their legitimate place in the both worlds, but they are NOT citizen journalism....
In these transformative times we obviously need to protect against corporate influence in media more than ever before. Talking to Helen Thomas about the dual system we have in Germany (which is actually based on a concept brought by the American occupiers after WWII), where public broadcasting is funded by fees similar to BBC and has a supervisory body to shield against government influence, I realize that there is a deep deep suspicion against any type of taxes used for pub-casting. But is it not even scarier, when advertisers influence programming? I feel in Germany we still have pretty decent evening news, both on radio and TV and although the system is struggling in these economic times, I am strongly convinced (not alone here for sure, my hero Robert Scheer pounding the message every Friday on KCRW's Left, Right & Center), that the financial crises is not the reason for the collapse of newspapers but the betting on media as a profit venture. And putting publications into the rat race and submit news operations to the stresses of the capitalist system, where quarterly profits are king, certainly longform investigative pieces can’t survive. This has not only resulted in cutting and slicing newsrooms, but also has been corrosive to the definition of what the fourth estate should be seen as: keeping those in power in check, building strong institutions and citizens, who are informed and make informed decisions. I know, I am starting to sound like I am in an NPR pledge drive, but seriously folks: does anyone honestly believe certain (i.e. corrupt and unethical) politicians and corporations have any interest in a healthy (local!!!) independent media? No, they don't! They never had and the financial crisis now plays into their hands in that sense. So how do we solve this in web 2.o and web 3D? I have not the slightest clue how to create a viable new business model. But I know this: we need to be going back to remembering what good journalism always was: a job, that pays very, very little, seldom leads to better pay or more prestige or even celebrity (nor that it ever should, which is another bad outcome of the cable phenomenon), but is doing something extremely important: keeping democratic principles alive & well. Helping citizens really understand issues, not just supply them with stuff to be angry about or terrified of. And that won’t change, even though we now have cartoonish avatars with weird hairdo do the reporting (hey Wagner, where did you get that hair, hahahah…sorry, bad German humor ☺D
So: Thank you James for moderating the panel, you did a great job! What an honor to be in the Edward R. Murrow building, to breathe the air to talk to the next generation of students and help them understand, that they need not to be afraid, but excited to shape the future. If they hold the feet of those in charge to the fire, if they put them on the spot, if they, how Bob Schieffer put it at dinner “ask a question three times in different ways, and if they do not answer, that is an answer in itself”… Next time we do one of these virtual journalism summits, I hope we will go one step further – not only put Philip on the spot (as you did so well, James), but also our friends in the world of corporate media. Deal?

Hamlet Au

Sounds good!

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