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Citizen Journalism at PRWatch

| | | | | | | | is starting to do some more collaborative journalism, such as this discovery of photoshopped propaganda found by a volunteer citizen journalist in Spain.

This pro-Liberation photo is of a US soldier holding an Iraqi child with the added caption of "She's glad he's there. Are you?" This citizen journalist finds another version of the same scene that has a caption that says that the girl is actually a boy, and that his mother had just killed by crossfire.

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Calling on CivicSpace Community-Building Platform

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I've been getting up to speed on the latest and greatest web technologies, and one of the most promising finds that I've made so far is with CivicSpace Labs.

When I interviewed PressThink's Jay Rosen last June, he had mentioned that his nephew Zack was an open-source programmer who was working with the Dean Campaign. DeanSpace was the community-building platform built on top of the open-source content management platform of Drupal. DeanSpace has continued development as CivicSpace and has an impressive range of community-building and collaboration tools that should come in real handy for managing a decentralized volunteer labor force.

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Harvard Conference on Journalism & Blogging

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There's a big "Blogging, Journalism & Credibility" conference at Harvard that starts tomorrow. A lot of bloggers and journalists with institutional affiliations are going to be talking about a lot of concepts that I'm trying to implement for The Echo Chamber documentary.

For example, this post from BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis talks about open sourcing interviews.

In age of transparency, how do we become fully transparent to regain our credibility and trust? Let's reveal our full interviews (see Jay Rosen's and my posts). Let's reveal our process, our news judgment, the backgrounds and perspectives (and voting records) of reporters and editors.

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Using Blogs to Supplement a Direct Marketing Campaign

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I've been conducting an experiment over the last week to test how blogging can supplement a mini-marketing blitz directed at a specialized target audience.

Within 4 working days, I was able to contact the moderator of a Sundance Docs & Blogs panel discussion, contact and receive a response from all of the panelists, and receive an e-mail response from the editor-in-chief of indieWIRE who had just commented on his blog that "there is so much going on that the competition for attention is fierce."

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Contacting Sundance Docs & Blogs Panelists

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The Sundance Film Festival starts tomorrow, and there is an interesting panel discussion that is happening on Saturday called "Docs, Blogs, & the Changing Politics of America."

From what I've been able to see online so far, Sundance hasn't published the list of panelists anywhere. I've been able to contact panel's moderator and determine the following list and makeup of the panelists:

* 4 Documentary Directors (Robert Greenwald, Heater Rae, Alex Gibney & Aaron Raskin)
* 1 Blogger (Jason McCabe Calacanis)

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Open Source Documentary Integrates Filmmaking with the Internet

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WINTERPORT, ME, Jan.18 -- Independent documentary filmmaker Kent Bye is combining the filmmaking and Internet mediums by using the principles of open source content development. Working out of the basement of a log cabin in Maine, Bye has recruited volunteers from all over the world to help transcribe his documentary interviews. He is publishing these interviews on his website and collaborating with academic advisors from across the country in creating The Echo Chamber documentary.

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Establishing Institutional Authority in the Blogosphere

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Atrios had an insightful post yesterday into the psychology of blog linking called "You Link It, You Own It."

the less something you link to has the stamp of official authority, the more you've taken responsibility for it. That is, if I link to the paper of record, then I own the responsibility for it 10% and they own it 90%. But, if I link to "some person on the internets somewhere" who has no established institutional credibility (or lack of) then I own it 95%.

Echo Chamber Project blog is still in the incubation phase without any established institutional authority from any larger community. Outside certain filmmaking circles and a cover story in a weekly alternative, I'm a relatively unknown independent filmmaker and rogue journalist.

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Integrating Film, Internet, Blogs & Open Source

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I'm interested in trying to apply the principles of open source development to the process of producing The Echo Chamber documentary. So far, I've been using and its blog as the primary mediums to facilitate this integration.

I'd like share my thoughts for how the integration of the Internet and Filmmaking mediums could leverage the power of open source to find new methods to:

* Recruit volunteer help for post-production tasks
* Develop film content throughout the post-production process
* Recruit post-production expertise
* Market independent documentary films
* Create new economic competitive advantages through meaning creation
* Handle complexity and defy media logic
* Integrate objectivity and subjective judgments
* Reach new audiences

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New Methods of Creating Meaning

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The concept of Integral Filmmaking combined with the principles of Open Source could introduce new methods for how meaning is created.

Traditionally, the Mainstream Media or documentary filmmakers had the most power in determining what meaning was created through their editing judgments.

But combining the Internet, Blogging and documentary filmmaking mediums could allow the audience to create their own meaning from information instead of relying upon the "objective" mainstream media, partisan press or closed-source documentary films.

The Open Source tactics of the The Echo Chamber documentary and website could create up to four distinct phases of meaning creation that could provide a unique economic competitive advantage.


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What The Echo Chamber Can Provide

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Addressing the market demand in the previous post, here is what I tentatively see as what The Echo Chamber can provide to the market:

* The Echo Chamber explores the sociology of the media and brings a deeper understanding to the media's role of creating meaning and shaping the cultural consciousness.
* Provides an opportunity to investigate the media bias culture wars in the context of the build-up to the war in Iraq.
* Can be used as an outreach tool for individuals to bridge the polarized culture gap -- Grievances with the mainstream media provides a common ground for conservatives and liberals to come together and have further political discussions that bring a deeper understanding to each other's perspectives.

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