Tag Archive | "2008"

Social Reporting from Vancouver 2010 – Open Letter #3


Open Letter #3 – Social Reporting from Vancouver 2010

With the impending Olympics in sight, here’s an update on True North Media House’s ongoing campaign to encourage and inspire social reporting of the arts, civic and sports stories happening in Vancouver in February 2010. This missive also contains a Olympics Media Toolkit to prepare you for creating and publishing your documentation during the forthcoming events.

The True North Media House (TNMH) campaign began in earnest a couple years ago with the intent of starting a conversation about the role of social media at Vancouver/Whistler 2010 and to share experience from covering previous Olympic Games and other significant world events. Further, we aimed to gather info and experience for coverage of future games as well as having some enjoyment building international relationships and audiences. Here’s a recap of progress of the campaign objectives so far.

Spark the conversation

From the first video dispatch outside the Worldwide Press Briefing (and ORN Press Conference), TNMH aimed to introduce “social media/journalism/reporting” as a viable and vital enhancement to the accredited Olympic coverage. By inspiring and educating content creators, we felt unique stories – including often controversial civic and community concerns as well as lesser-known athletes – could find a larger audience.

Indeed, from the remarkable worldwide reaction to the first Open Letter to VANOC, the conversation took off across both “social” and “traditional” media outlets who looked to our experience and research to understand the ‘lay of the land’ for citizen coverage in this age of ubiquitous web publishing tools (much of which was recapped in the Open Letter #2). Since starting the conversation, several co-working spaces have opened their doors to visiting reporters and local-centric media outlets are soliciting documenters with a story to tell to contribute heralding a tremendous opportunity for grassroots journalism.

Within this conversation, we explored conundrums like: “What is media?” “What is allowed?” “What is encouraged?” “What sorts accreditations are available?” and “What are the stories no one else will be covering?”  We also researched IOC’s intellectual property federal legislationVancouver’s host city by-lawsVANOC’s brand protection policies, and what regular folks are able to do in light of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the recent Canadian Supreme Court decision regarding journalism. We then shared our findings with anyone who expressed interest.

Share best practices

Along this campaign, we’ve demonstrated and educated other about the tips and tactics learned by covering the past 3 Olympics on the ground. Along with the web publishing skills, we prepared a dossier of educational resources including original sources of laws and distilled this research to produce a Media Cans and Can’ts by interviewing diverse people with different points of view to define the grey area between IOC’s guidelines and a citizen’s right to self-expression.

The joy of covering world events comes from creating interesting content and publishing it to an enthused audience. My collaborators and I shared this passion and knowledge publicly with other community media organizations including presentations at Fresh Media at W2, Capilano College, Northern Voice, Vancouver Blogathon plus participation in Journalism that Matters, and dozens of other events about the nuts and bolts of publishing content within the new media paradigm. Additionally, my colleagues and I have mentored others about media literacy and creation including W2 Bladerunners program and Purple Thistle’s Youngunz program.

Pass it around

At their recent Copehagen congress, the assembled IOC members heard a lecture called “The Digital Revolution” in which Martin Sorrell explained the landscape of citizen coverageand admonished the IOC to adjust IP regulations to embrace fan-driven media creation, especially from the youth. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how rights-holding media embrace and deputize the “folks on the ground” to enrich their coverage. As background, the rights-holding media will have exclusive use of the IBC at Canada Place 2and a 2nd tier of accreditation will use the BC IMC at Robson Square.

By pro-actively welcoming and collaborating with social media making visitors to Vancouver, TNMH will spark locals to share their area knowledge beyond the standard tourist circuit to enhance visitor’s experience and share the true spirit of who we are as a community.

Further, by documenting all the operational and academic knowledge we gather, this campaign can pass info along to for evolving coverage in London and Sochi – along with social reporters and documenters at other world events. The same way, concerned citizens in Vancouver (and everywhere else) looked to citizen reporters for unique and forthright coverage of cataclysmic world events like the Iran election and Copenhagen climate summit, this is an opportunity to tell the world about the impact of this global event in the communities we know best.

Demonstrate openness

No matter what your personal opinions about the Games are, it is important to understand your rights to share your stories with an audience. This impartial view is very important as the Olympics coming to Vancouver raised a litany of controversies and divided the citizenry in many ways. However, whether you wish to protest or celebrate, the TNMH campaigns feels your story is important to share if you so choose.

While not always easy, the campaign has kept most all communication public, meetings accessible, and outreached to other organizing, security and media entities to plainly state intentions. In fact, the producers of “With Glowing Hearts” – a documentary film project exploring the intersection of social justice, social media and social change in Vancouver – attended many TNMH meetings, events and lectures to create a segment about the campaign which tells more of the backstory of our efforts – foibles and all.

Find the stories

World news stories are regularly broken and enhanced by regular people using new web tools but important to have context with the content. What will be the compelling stories which will live on for decades after the Games? What ground-breaking story will break on Twitter first? How will the protests and celebrations go-exist? Will Vancouver really turn into a “big brother” zone? How will visitors view Vancouver in light of the social issues affecting the DTES?

No matter what the stories are, this will be the first Olympics in which people may collectively have a voice as loud as huge media conglomerates to place these experiences in the proper cultural place.

Further, communities like Squamish are almost ignored as they are not “Official” Olympic cities and/or some visitors may hesitate to trek out to suburban events like the Olympic live sites in Surrey. TNMH will provide a context to organize field trips to meet one another and share skills and find compelling stories beyond the athletic events.

A Moveable Feast

With prevalent wi-fi and data networks, “space” is less important than in years past. Like the stories themselves, social media making is a distributed experience. Rather than one physical location, the TNMH campaign will continue from a variety of locations throughout the Games.

Throughout the Olympic fortnight, TNMH will be a “moveable feast” with photowalks, museums trips, impromptu interviews, and meet-ups at international hospitality houses. Encouraging a smorgasbord of activities will leave room for exploring the issues of concern, developing international friendship,  and fostering spontaneous journalistic and artistic collaboration.

If you have a museum, hospitality house, commercial enterprise, symposium, or event and would like share your message with an audience, consider hosting a TNMH meetup event and inviting a group of blogger, photographers, podcasters, videographers, etc. to spread your news. Fill out the contact form or ping @tnmh on Twitter with details and we’ll add to theTNMH Event Calendar.

It’s all of us

The True North Media House is wherever you are and what you make it. It’s all of us making the people’s history. For me personally, the idea of sharing grassroots coverage of the Olympics began in Nagano pre-Olympics, blossomed in SLC 2002 and grew working on innovative coverage with my collaborators during Torino 06 and Beijing 08 ~ Now, with all the jamboree in our backyard, I can’t wait to see what we produce together in Vancouver/Whistler 2010.

2010 Social Reporter Toolbox

To prepare for documenting your Olympic experience, here’s a reading list and handy resources (Note: This toolbox will become a growing resource page – for additions, please submit info via contact form or ping @tnmh on Twitter):

Reporting resources

The Cans and Can’ts of Media During the Olympics on True North Media House

TNMH resources including IOC, VANOC, City of Vancouver and more

Independent Reporters Guide to 2010 on Rabble.ca

IOC’s Internet Guidelines for Written Press and other Non-Rights Holding Media (.pdf)

2010Vanfan’s Olympic Venue map

Vancouver wi-fi map (thanks Noah)

Vancouver host city “getting around”

Co-working spaces

For media makers needing a desk and/or equipment, physical work space is abundant – here are a few to investigate:

BOB co-working centre – Building Opportunities through Business program has a drop-in co-working space and is hosting some CODE activities

Network Hub – a entreptrenuraial co-working space renting desks by hour or month

W2’s Media Arts Centre (also hosting the Legal Observers program) – call for pricing details

BC International Media Centre – run by the provincial secretariat and hosting some accredited trad. and social media outlets

Beyond these resources are dozens of coffee shops, bars and studios from which to work – see wi-fi map.

Publishing outlets

Several Vancouver-centric media outlets are welcoming writers, photographers to publish content to their communities – inclusion in this list is not necessarily an endorsement, research to find a publishing home which best fits for your interests and work.

Vancouver Observer Olympics – Contribute

Rabble.ca – Interested in covering the 2010 Olympic Games? email: editor [@] rabble.ca

Now Public Olympics channel + photo pool

Orato – hiring online journalists

Media Co-Op /Dominion Olympics

Get your own free WordPress blog

Bonus reading

Bob Mackin’s 2010 Gold Rush – reporter with full access and experience covering Olympic Games

Kris Krug “Doin’ it for the love – Reflection on the future” essay from Journalism that Matters conference

Vancouver blogger Miss 604’s Olympic coverage

@KK Vancouver 2010 Olympics Twitter list

“Social Media and the Olympics” panel video from Northern Voice

Vancouver 2010 Olympics Roundtable video

OlyBlog.com – Maurice Cardinal’s punditry

TNMH social bookmarks on Delicious

Stay in Touch

Social search for “True North Media House” and/or “TNMH”  content (RSS)

Public Mailing list group

TNMH Twitter

TNMH Media contact

Extra Thanks

Along with other organizational compatriots who contributed in meaningful ways along the journey, Sixty4Media.com and Catalyst Internet contributed key design and development efforts, consider these fine companies for your web development needs.

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010Comments (0)

Citizen Media and the 2010 Olympics


Coverage of the Olympic Games is dominated by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) contracted rights-holder and accredited major media conglomerates. However some feel there is a role for crowdsourced documentation of both sporting events and the cultural context in which it happens.

This expert panel discusses changes, challenges, and opportunities facing grassroots media makers around the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

From Northern Voice 2009.

Posted in Culture, Fans, Vancouver 2010, VideosComments (0)

MDD2008 Vancouver – Panel 3 – The Battle for New Media and Open Communication


Speaking about Citizen Journalism and Gonzo Olympic coverage at Media Democracy Day Vancouver 2008: Panel 3, The Battle for New Media and Open Communication from www.workingtv.com/mdd2008.html .

More information at www.mediademocracyday.org/vanc ouver.

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, Featured, Vancouver 2010, VideosComments (0)

Beijing Olympic Explorers Making International Media


In this installment of the Beijing Summer Olympics social media report, we join Robert Scales and Kris Krug as they spread their on-the-ground reportage around the world. Indeed, their barrage of videos, photographs and words are deepening the coverage for fans, pundits and athletes’ families as their coverage is picked up by social and mainstream media outlets.

Coverage Highlights

Scales is the poster boy for the BBCBBC’s Canadien Correspondent

Robert Scales’ second entry from his Olympic diary is up on BBC – this time he talks about the opening ceremonies (video) and their venue reconnaissance (video) with visits to the Birds Nest’ national stadium, the ‘Water Cube’ aquatic centre, the fencing hall and the Yukeson basketball stadium while fortified by snake, silk worms, scorpian and salamanders (videos).

Beijing’s Faces in LA Times

Krug’s Olympic photos are in the LATimes blog with a photo essay called the Faces of Beijing – the candid photos show KK’s skill of relaxing the subject to be themselves – you can almost feel the humidity in the photos.

International folks at the OlympicsInternational Men of Mystery

Kris scored one of the rarer tickets of the Games – after a long wait in the rain, he hauled his camera gear into the Men’s Basketball game between the USA and China.

Besides providing fan’s eye view shots of the elite players in the game (watched by over one billion people), he snapped a bevy of world leaders hanging out in the stands. The identification game continues as Flickr followers add tags and notes to ID the luminaries beyond the Bushes (i.e. Prince of Denmark, Emperor of Japan, Henry Kissinger’s wife … etc.)

KK in Brasil's national broadcaster's siteBrazil is social broadcasting

Kris Krug’s evocative photos are included in Empresa Brasil de Comunicacao the official broadcaster of Brazil with a great social media rich and ready Olympic coverage site in Portuguese.

Cultural Exploration

Scales and Krug’s cultural journey rolled on with visits to various hospitality
houses hosted by countries’ teams and sponsors.

After a visit to the
Canada house (not much going on there), they visited the Netherlands house (video)
to enjoy tasty croquettes and partying good time (the Nederlanders,
always clad in orange, are easy to find) and also hung out at the last
Drive-in theater in Beijing.

Olympic social media SymposiumSymposium and Academia

Robert and Kris participated in the Olympic Studies Symposium with Dr. Andy Miah – we’ll hear more about this later with full recap on the opinions and trends discussed by this academic panel.

In the meantime, listen to them read a stirring passage from the companion book about Olympics and Social Media (video).

Quick hits

Social Coverage

Miss 604 is keeping an eye on the Beijing 2008 social media coverage by and for the people!

Canada’s broadcasting online

CBC is hosting athlete’s diaries
- which begs the question: What is the difference between an online
diary and a blog? Is nomenclature the only distinction? And bear in
mind, there are restrictions about what athletes can say and show.

How about blogs by CBC regulars? The IOC doesn’t consider blogging journalism so what are these dispatches to be called? And is there a role for political conversation around the Games?

Also, thanks to CBC for offering raw live feeds from the venues – just what i wanted and i am sure the athletes’ families are thrilled!

Note/request to BBC

While I am stoked the BeeB is outreaching to
the “amateur” media makers, I’d really like to see better url namespace
and even unique feeds for the diaries to make it easier to follow
along with the authors you want to read.

Seahorses don't appear tasty to me

Meats on sticks

Speaking
of namespace, Kris contributed a radio interview to Vancouver local
radio station who gave a lesson in obnoxious post titling and url
writing.

Give BZ’s interview with KK
a listen nevertheless to hear about eating odd foods on a busy market
street.

I’ve often said “meat on a stick is what unites the world” but i’m not
so sure in this case.

Canadians try harder

The Canadian trail has been bereft of medals thus far despite lots of Canadian records in the pool and some solid rowing/sculling qualifying (video) performances, but my fave Canuck Olympian so far is Badminton ace Anna Rice who handled the massive interest in her sport with aplomb and enthusiasm after going out in the group of 16 to a Chinese opponent. North Van represent!

Questions

So, with all the talk about the great firewall … how is the Internet access anyhow? How do people connect? Is all access created equal?

What’s up with fencing? Those helmets are out of control and i still don’t understand the scoring!

Scales/Krug are posting videos to YouTube but cannot post to to (my
preferred) Blip.tv. Is this a technical or political issue?

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, FeaturedComments (1)

Streets of Beijing – Scales eating a Snake


Walking the streets of Beijing and exploring the night market..
I always wanted to eat scorpion, snakes and a few other things..
This is not the snake i am looking for, but will do for now..
24 hrs later i am still alive and not sick!

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Featured, VideosComments (0)

kk and Scales from the Olympic rowing venue, Beijing 2008


Checking out the rowing venue at the Beijing 2008 games..
Picture by Kris Krug (cc) 2008

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, VideosComments (0)

New Media Tools for Citizen Reporting at the Beijing Games


Faded Mao by Richard Eriksson

Continuing the dialog about China, The Olympics, Social Media and Everything … here’s a response to one of Dr. Andy Miah‘s questions for the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies:

"In what way are new media platforms enabling new forms of journalism to surround the Beijing Olympics?"

To craft well-rounded answers, Symposium participant Kris Krug (Robert Scales is also on board) sat round the table with Richard Eriksson (recently returned from Shanghai and currently stay-cationing), and myself, to tease out the issues which influence the answers.

In our chat, we reviewed each of Dr. Miah’s questions and tried to "twist the kaleidescope" a bit to reflect a broader world view in the conversational answers.

Here’s what we came up with in response to: "In what way are new media platforms enabling new forms of journalism to surround the Beijing Olympics?"

The biggest platform for enable new journalism is the ubiquitous camera phone. Everyone in the cities seems to have one. With this many people with cameraphones taking photos, text messaging and shooting videos, if something goes down, the world will certainly see it somehow.

While the public focus will be on the MSM journalists, the neat and surprising coverage stuff will come from camera phones and "regular people". Certainly there is a precedent of citizens breaking stories in emergencies and natural disasters.

Despite the government’s attempts to control Internet access, "unauthorized" pictures will get out somewhere, somehow (coded and filtered through networks as needed). And once the horse is out of the barn, it’s not going back in. And the more controversial the piece is, the more readily it’ll be replicated and disseminated. Imagine all the coverage of the noted Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 with today’s digital technology!

The tools and desire for truth will result in a huge amount counting just the social media generated on Chinese social media sites and BBS. Add in the international sites filled with content from journalism-minded amateurs and spectators making media for their own use and we’ll see a massive amount of content adding up to more quantity and possibly quality, than the MSM will produce.

Additionally, using social media to organize groups as well as covering stories will be a force. Using mobile phones, protesters can be nimble and strategic in planning non-permitted events. This will disrupt the government’s ability to control public assemblies and their reaction will be interesting.

Will the police use more soft-handed tactic instead of actively repressing events then rounding-up and detaining the perpetrators? Remember, the Free Hugs guy was detained (video) for unauthorized social gathering which he organized by using social media tools.

11-media-box2

Next up in the China, The Olympics, Social Media, Symposiums, etc. series …more discussion about the convergence between "old" and "new" media, political motivations for social media; how social media production and distribution is distinct in China; and the IOC’s attitude towards, and regulations for, blogging by accredited and non-accredited journalists, and the public’s expectations of the mainstream media host broadcasters. What stories will we hear? And how are the stories told?

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, FeaturedComments (1)

The Role of New Web Media at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games


Coffee with Ross by Rachel ashe on Flickr

I’ve mentioned some pre-Olympic and Olympic Games related activities coming up in passing. Now, as topics are piling up and the Beijing Summer Games are nearing (complete with controversy), henceforth begins a blog mini-series called, “China, The Olympics, Social Media, Symposiums, etc.” – I think I’ll need a better name for the series though. Suggestions are welcome.

we are the media 2010.dailyvancouver.com

Background

As you likely know, Raincity Studios actively conducts business in China with an office in
Shanghai and the Raincity Studios site is published in English and Mandarin (French underway) and we collaborate with Chinese colleagues and some of us (not me) study Mandarin language and foodery. Just so ya know where we’re coming from.

Social Media at Olympics

As for the Olympic games, RCS crew were at Torino 2006 – documenting the Olympic events as social media journalists using the Torino Piemonte Media Center and creating heaps for grassroots coverage (see Torino Flickr pool, DailyVancouver Torino, coverage) as well as participating in BC House activities on a professional basis.

Along with Scales, BMann and KK in Turin, Roland, Will Pate and I linked up for a cross-ocean symposium “Web 2.0 and the Future of Sport” about tech and athletics featuring gold medalist Ross Rebagliati (Flickr coffeewithross).

Live Simulcast

Among other topics, we discussed the restrictions (or lack thereof) put on self-expression by athletes as well as ways the participants can use technology to better communicate with friends and family back home. Really so many athletes will never make it to TV and their families seek the micro-coverage possible only by crowd sourcing e.g. the first ever Nepali winter Olympian (SLC 2002 Olympics collection).

Olympian Politics

With the 2010 Winter Games coming to our HQ city of Vancouver, and the resultant controversies (mostly concerning tax money spent on events rather than poverty and homelessness), we, like much of the world, are watching as the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing is becoming increasingly politicized and watching the reaction of the government and the citizens of the world.

The most visible conundrum is the torch relay which was used as a rallying point for anti-China protesters and widely reported about on Now Public among other citizen journalism and mainstream media sites.

Certainly political gamesmanship is a staple in the modern Olympic games and the heavy handed security surrounding the torch parade is only the beginning of a conversation about the perceived emphasis on tight security and enforcing the stringent policies of the Chinese government rather than using this global event as a springboard to openness.

This is as close as I could get to the Olympic Torch Ceremony

Having met several Olympic athletes who are eager to chronicle their experience freely, I am curious if athletes will be allowed and encouraged to speak openly while at the Games? (Blogging, Athletes and web sites – …). Can they report on their experiences in candid fashion? Can they explore the region and travel the country without hindrance? or will the world see just the parts of China which look good on TV?

Make Your Own Media

Beyond the political conversations, as social media content creators and advocates of journalistic access for indie producers, we are also watching carefully as the policies about social media coverage are created (by who?).

So far there are mixed signals about athletes not/allowed to blog, and how amateur created content can be used (is posting your personal Olympic photos Flickr OK?) How about creating podcast coverage of the games with reaction to in-person and/or televised coverage?

Dr. Andy Miah at the Piedmont Media Center in Torino 06

International Symposium

Well, we’re not the only ones with these questions. Olympic scholar Dr. Andy Miah is organizing a panel at the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies, in Beijing, August 5-7, 2008.

Before we get too far along, what is the ICOS?

The International Centre for Olympic Studies, established at The University of Western Ontario in 1989, was the first of its kind in the world. It remains the only such Centre in the Americas. It has as its primary mission the generation and dissemination of academic
scholarship focused specifically upon the socio-cultural study of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement.

And the event blurb:

The Symposium’s theme, “Deconstruction and Discourse: Odysseys in Olympic Socio-Cultural Matters,” focuses on research studies dealing with the history, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy of the modern Olympic Movement.

Emerging Journalism Panel

Dr. Miah (who is a Reader in New Media & Bioethics, School of Media, Language & Music, University of the West of Scotland)’s topic is “Emergent Journalistic Practice at the Olympics” will feature a panel of Ana Adi, Beatriz Garcia, Raincity Studios President Kris Krug, Raincity Studios CEO Robert Scales,Garry Whannel, and Tina Zhihui.

Here’s the panel description from the abstract:

{Ed note: Paragraph breaks mine to make easier reading}

Research into the role of the media within the Olympic Movement has focused predominantly on representational questions. Far less research has investigated the journalistic culture of an Olympic Games or the Movement more generally, besides analyses of its contribution to sustaining the Olympic Movement.

Moreover, nearly no research has examined the work of those journalists who are peripheral to the organizational staging of the Games.

This category includes journalists who are associated with accredited media institutions, but whom might not have formal accreditation due to restrictions on numbers of passes. It also includes journalists who are from major media organizations, but whom have no intention of working from Olympic facilities. However, it also includes non-accredited journalists, which encompasses professional journalists from a range of organizations, along with freelance or citizen journalists, whose work is utilized by the mass media and is duplicated in independent domains.

This panel engages some of these issues in the form of a round table debate about the future of journalism at the Olympic Games. It reviews some of the implications of emerging new media platforms, arguing that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games can be characterized as the first Web 2.0 Summer Games. While some principles of Web 2.0 have been visible since the Internet’s inception, critical aspects of its current architecture began to flourish around 2005. Applications from this era, such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook, more adequately enable users to report the Olympics as citizen journalists.

The implications of this within China and for the Olympics more broadly are considerable. As mass media organizations begin to strike partnerships with new media institutions – for instance, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) purchased a YouTube channel in March 2007 – questions remain over how the Olympic Movement will protect its intellectual property, as the base broadens over ownership claims and via distributed publishing syndication.

Next up, More Questions


Now that you are briefed with sufficient background, the next post will pose a variety of questions which the panel will discuss so you can share your opinions about “China, The Olympics, Social Media, Symposiums, etc.”

Posted in Beijing 2008, Culture, Fans, FeaturedComments (0)

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