Category Archives: media literacy

When is not being Open an option anymore?

 I checked out a new site, Demotix the Citizen Wire, last week as a friend came to see me hot from the BritDoc Fesitval full of enthusiasm about it, knowing about my interest in citizen’s journalism, documentaries, blogging and the future of digital media. 

 So I was very suprised indeed to find when I did look that there was nothing at all on the site to tell me who ran it, who the owners were and who was behind the scenes.  I put some feelers out to people who I would expect to know all there is to know about such developments, one inside the BBC who Twittered, (or should that be tweeted?) and posted to find the answer,  and one in the US – to find that at that time neither had heard of it, and one had the same questions as I.  How was I to know what to think about a site , which in this day and age of open credentials and transparency, did not publish the story of the people behind it and provide a way for people to get in touch with them.  They have impressive partners – but this seemingly simple omission might cause a person or organisation to wonder about their credentials and know how and whether to trust them.  So I called my friend and suggested gently that she call her friends. Anyway , perhaps as a result of this we have the answer: published on the Telegraph Blog last Friday.

Interestingly now the website publishes some links to discussion about this site and service in the magazine and daily press.  So now I am hunting around in online newspapers and magazines to find out who is who and what is what.  I find that the owner took the idea to the Telegraph Media Group who might be supporting it in some way.  Certainly their  Assistant editor, Justin Williams, posting about it on his personal blog is very enthusiastic (Why Demotix could be the biggest thing in World News). 

But even stranger I couldn’t find anything on Justin’s blog CounterValue to tell me his name except the picture link to Facebook which told me his name when I hovered over it.  Voila.  Surely things should not be so hard this day and age?

Is any of this important?  I think it is.  I could understand this silence if there were a good reason to do with protecting the identity and whereabouts of contributors – but if that’s the reason, please do tell us.  I am also left wondering whether it wouldn’t help them a great deal in the online space , not to mention the blogosphere if they did publish this info.  It looks like a really interesting project but at the moment they are not helping themselves in this respect.  I don’t think I have lost all sense of proportion here, have I?



Filed under Behind the Scenes, media literacy

“Behind the Scenes”: how we make media @ the BBC

I’m working on a new project and in the early phases of scoping what it might be. It’s been described formally like this:

The Director-General informed the Trust that he has commissioned a major new online project which will enable the public to explore how contemporary media content is produced. The BBC believes this will be a major contribution to media literacy in Britain.”

So I have been looking at what other organisations are doing, and what BBC people (past and present) are already doing by way of talking to audiences about how they make what they make.

I’m tagging what I find on the internet on my delicious stream. Current told us how to make media from the start. Four Docs from Channel 4 is also telling you how to make but also asking you to comment.

On the media is from NPR and they say ” For one hour a week, the show tries to lift the veil from the process of “making media,” especially news media, because it’s through that lens that we literally see the world and the world sees us”

I like MediaShift by Mark Glaser at PBS. Recently he interviewed Patrick Ruffini on the use of mobile and social media in the US by Presidential candidates. And while this post is not about how we make media, it is about how media shapes our lives which is the media literacy part of the project. Looks like he has started a new area called IdeaLabs whose tagline is “Reinventing community news for the Digital Age”.

I see that Dan Gillmor is writing there, about bringing entrepreneurial thinking and behaviour to the creation of new journalism projects, though not from Beijing where I think he is right now!

In my next post I’ll describe more what we are already doing at the BBC and how some research conversations are already leading to people talking more, and showing more, about what we do “Behind the Scenes” which is the working title of the project. Alright it’s not very original. But it does what it says on the tin. Also how other people talk about us and what we are up to.

But I’d love to hear about what else is going on in this area. Who’s doing what? And any ideas about what you’d like to know about too.


Filed under bbc, bbc blog network, Behind the Scenes, channel 4, Current, innovation, media, media literacy, npr, pbs