Citizen Media Watch

mars 7th, 2007

Citizen journalists banned from video reporting of violence in France

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

In France, neither filming nor broadcasting violent content is allowed for anyone else than professional journalists. This is the result of a law that’s recently been approved by the French Constitutional Council, writes InfoWorld. This disturbing news has met with outrage from bloggers and anyone concerned about free speech. The fact that the decision was published on the date of the Rodney King beating hasn’t exactly made the council look any better. The police officers who beat Rodney King were filmed by a citizen journalist.

Reporters without borders issued a statement voicing their concern about the law being a threat to free speech.

The sections of this law supposedly dealing with ‘happy slapping’ in fact have a much broader scope, and posting videos online showing violence against people could now be banned, even if it were the police who were carrying out the violence

Happy slapping is when a gang beats up someone, films the event and spreads the film – just for ”fun”. This is what the law is meant to prevent, but as it is written, it will effect citizen journalists doing important work.
Reporters without borders goes on to talk about how important ordinary citizens are as ”recorders” of the authorities’ activities around the world, naming Egypt as a recent example where bloggers have revealed scandals involving security services. Video recording played an essential part in revealing the widespread use of torture.

In the field of human rights, it is them and not professional journalists who have been responsible for the most reliable reports and information – the information that has most upset the government. Reporters Without Borders thinks it would be shocking if this kind of activity, which constitutes a safeguard against abuses of authority, were to be criminalized in a democratic country.

Odebi, a civil liberties group in France, has collected some of the response to the news.

In Sweden, anyone can actually be a journalist in the sense that there is no required education you have to have in order to call yourself a journalist. You need to work as a journalist to be a member of the journalists union and get a press card though.
I am not sure how this works in France, but I am assuming they have some kind of journalist card to define who’s a professional journalist. If not, it would be interesting to know how they distinguish between citizen and professional journalists. And what about journalists who blog on their free time? If I, for instance, would film a French police officer beating up an innocent person, and I would blog about it here, would that be against the French law? I don’t blog here as a journalist, but as a citizen.

(via Beta Alfa)


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februari 26th, 2007

One more tv channel launches video clip site

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

KlippshowenEverybody just has to have them, it seems. Social media in the shape of video clips from our fun everyday moments are hot. The next big media site to take the step is Sweden’s Kanal 5 (channel 5), who now have announced that Klippshowen is live on their site, and that it will be coupled by a tv show starting March 5.
I’m not sure if there’s a problem with the site or if I lack some plugin, but I’m not getting the videos to load.
From the titles and the presentation though, I can see that the focus is on ”crazy clips”. This seems to be the trend on most of the Swedish short clip sites. While it’s understandable, I wish we could see more diversity. I for one would love to see more art videos, short interviews, local coverage and people trying out the program format for creating their own home video shows, to name but a few areas for social video media.

(via Beta Alfa)


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februari 23rd, 2007

Aftonbladet Plus subscribers invited to upload videos to "Mitt klipp"

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Mitt klippAftonbladet‘s new video clip site ”Mitt klipp” (”My clip”) is up and running. Now members of the paid subscription service ”Plus” can upload videos. Anyone can visit the site and look at the clips.

I see this as the next step from the successful video clip toplists such as ”Klipptoppen”, ”Bebistoppen” and ”Resatoppen”.


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februari 21st, 2007

Bubblare.se bought by Eniro

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Swedish youtube clone Bubblare.se was bought by Eniro (well, 48.1% percent of the shares in Netclips AB which in turn owns the video community, and the option to acquire the remaining 51.9% of the shares) yesterday. The price: 1 million euro.
Eniro is one of the leading search companies in Sweden, with 4800 employees and branches in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Poland.
The big companies are now well aware of the value in social media sites. Here’s a statement from Cecilia Geijer, Vice President of Eniro and soon to be Chairman of the Board of Directors of Netclips:

We see exciting opportunities in video communities, video searches and video advertising. With this acquisition, we can increase the dynamic content of our services, primarily on our portals, but also in search services, such as eniro.se. Bubblare.se is a popular site in Sweden and will generate additional traffic to Eniro´s other services.

(via Media Culpa)

Previous posts about Bubblare.se:
And the winner is… – Bubblare.se awards best video clip with a ”Guldbubbla”
Bubblare.se announces award to best video clip
Bubblare.se’s top eight viral videos for 2006


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februari 8th, 2007

Video clip on citizen journalism

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom


iCommunity.TV points to a video clip which is the result of a 3-month documentary production course at Cambridge Community Television. The video is about citizen journalism and its implications. Though a bit long (15 minutes) and overloaded with voices saying ”citizen journalism” over and over, it does feature some of the field’s top names and their reflections. So it’s well worth watching. There’s also a part focusing on vlogging which is interesting.
Interviewed in the video are among others Lisa Williams, Ethan Zuckerman, Chris Daly, John R. Stilgoe, Steve Garfield, Janaka Stucky, Susan Fleischmann, Remus Brice and Bill Densmore.


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februari 8th, 2007

Geotagging makes YouTube videos local at iCommunity.TV

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

iCommunityTviCommunity.TV is a new mashup service of YouTube and Google maps. As I predicted, geotagging will be big this year, and this is a good example, even if it remains to be seen how widely used the site will be – so far there are about 26 ”place channels” which lets you watch video related to a certain city. Each videoclip is pin-pointed on a map. The geotagging and sorting into different news categories is done by the site’s users.

It’s interesting to see that the site has journalistic ambitions.
– We like to think of it as an experiment to further explore the potential of citizen reporting, says Chris Haller of eParticipation.com, the company behind iCommunity.tv.
The focus is said to be local news, but there are also a bunch of entertainment/music clips with local connections. You can subscribe to the channels for different cities or news categories.
From the front page presentation:

We believe that Youtube.com offers more than diet coke+mentos and the beer cannon. This website is dedicated to giving citizen reporting a video platform, by adding location to news footage hosted on Youtube and distributing it through various local news channels.


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januari 29th, 2007

Revenue sharing at YouTube in a few months time

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley announced Saturday at the World Economic Forum that they will start sharing revenues for original work.

We are getting an audience large enough where we have an opportunity to support creativity, to foster creativity through sharing revenue with our users. So in the coming months, we are going to be opening that up.

Nicholas Carr at Rough Type points to other reasons than supporting creativity possibly being behind the move.

This is a smart strategic move on YouTube’s part. It’s an even smarter move on Google’s part. As for the users: Don’t quit your day jobs, guys. The money’s in aggregation.

So far, no details have been announced as to how the revenue sharing will work. I4U News points out the gray-zone of what is original work, for instance lip-sync videos.

If you get paid for something you definitely need to have your copyrights in order.


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januari 29th, 2007

Stockholm Film Festival goes MySpace

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

As a way of reaching new groups and awakening their interest, Stockholm International Film Festival has created a MySpace account. On their MySpace page they will feature unique interviews with some of the festival’s directors.

In a press release, speaksperson Elisabeth Somp writes (my translation):

The use of new platforms for information is a logical step in Stockholm Film Festival’s ambition to spread knowledge about and inspire communication around film. Myspace is one of the most visited web services in the world, where members can build networks and meet others with the same interests from around the world.

Currently the page shows clips from last year’s festival.


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januari 23rd, 2007

And the winner is…

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

Bubblare.se: The Guldbubbla of the year – best video uploaded to video clip site bubblare.se (see my previous post) – goes to John Martinsson and Rickard Wiss’ ”Raggningsrepliker i innerstan” (inner city pickup lines), in which Martinsson tries out different pickup lines on women in Stockholm city.
Click on the Bubblare link to see the video, and the funny awards ceremony at Guldbaggen. Or… outside Guldbaggen.


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januari 22nd, 2007

Last.tv: Last.fm marries YouTube, and they're a great pair

Posted by Lotta Holmstrom

I recently discovered Last.tv, a mashup that lets you fill in your Last.fm username (or someone else’s), and then watch music videos from YouTube based on your taste in music.
This is how the site presents its service:

Last.tv matches videos based on artist names. Besides retrieving premium music videos, this also turns up live performances, bootlegs, interviews and fan interpretations. This is unique content which would never be aired on regular music video channels.

I’m a big fan of Last.fm, and while Last.tv doesn’t offer any interactivity apart from a forum link to last.fm, and not even an RSS feed, it’s a great complement to Last.fm. Though at times it’s a bit random – I just got to watch Superman vs. Clark Kent. Sure, great fight, but .. no music! And what in my Last.fm profile could have trigged that one?

Yesterday I wrote about the decline of MTV. Interestingly enough, Last.tv also mentions the music channel.

We have two major complaints about traditional music video channels. MTV, to name one, spends significant parts of its airtime broadcasting regular programming. We think a music video channel should play music videos.

YouTube with its vast array of (music) videos serves as a good solution to the broadcast media problem. Your choice in videos when you want them. Having to select music videos is at the same time a major inconvenience. Last.tv automates selection and provides effortless continuous play.


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