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The Anablog Journalist 3.0

Ideas about storytelling, photography, video production, and communication generally.

Green Bow

I’m learning right now to worry about the photograph and not the process, the camera, or how “photographers” will interpenetrate the work. This is my 09 resolution: to free my self of such things.


Tea Workers

Tea Harvesters in Bangladesh earn roughly .75 USD per day. This is only enough to keep them alive.


Bangladeshi Rickshaws

This is a series of clips from my recent trip to Bangladesh last month, they were all shot while waiting in traffic in Dhaka. Everything but the first two clips was shot "over cranked" at 48fps.

In Dhaka: a dense urban landscape, the streets are crammed with Bicycle Rickshaws. Rickshaw drivers, called Wallahs, decorate their vehicles with bright colors and gold and silver foils to attracts attention and fairs.


Third Wave Syndrome

[col-sect][column]I have this theory that I call "Third Wave Syndrome" I'm not sure it's really mine, but I don't know where I would have heard it all put together. here it goes:

First wave punk wasn't the Sex Pistols, it was guys most of us haven't heard of. The guys that are the closest to them are guys like Iggy and the Stooges. First wave punk didn't have defined esthetics, it didn't even really have a visual calling card. It was defined by an over arching ethos that informed everything else ( the unkept hair, untucked shirts, over driven amps, minimal instrumentation, simple melodies, etc) not the other way around. You could get up with an acoustic guitar in the mid 70s of Manchester and be punk.

Second Wave punk are the proteges of the first wave mostly. Sex Pistols, the Dead Kenedys etc. these are the guys that you have heard of. They get punk because the fathers of the idea are what they are watching and thinking about all the time. To Show that they get punk, they refine it. They see the most successful expressions of the idea, the ethos, and they zero in. Mind you, they know that you don't' have to were tight black jeans (second wave didn't really dress as bad as you think) or have tattered shirts, or deliberately not tune your guitar for months at a time. They did all of these things to really stretch and own the ethos that was handed down by first wave, this semi-nialistic, freedom from materialism sort of action.

Third wave does not have the connection to the source that second wave had. Third wave looks at Second and SEES the tight jeans, HEARS the laud, overdriven, simplistic music and defines Punk not as a mind set, a way of life, but as a list rules. They also romanticize it.

In the first two waves you could be punk as long as your trying to purposefully defy consumerism etc. even if, in your quest for punk you didn't always look and act like your peers.

By Third wave, it is a tribe and you are in or out based on your esthetics, not on your ethos. Third wave isn't from the same economic social background as first and second (blue collar industrial towns like manchester and liverpool), they are suburban kids that identifies with the esthetics an the emotions they carry, but aren't willing to take the hard ethical lines that first and second do. Third wave starts to splinter because of esthetic differences. Is it about the hair? Straightedge or nialistic Hedonism? They struggle with being cool, they want to be recognized, this never crossed the DK or Iggie's mind.[/column]

[column]What's really interesting about this is that you then have Post Punk as a reaction to the disillusionment with Third wave. These guys went to DK and Sex Pistols shows too and ended up at some very different conclusions entirely.

OK so here's the thing. Most great movements have these three waves, and they don't go anywhere past third until people start looking back to the root.

Christianity is a good example, the waves would be Christ, then the disciples and the apostles could be second wave. I would say that it really became third wave when it became a sanctioned religion of Rome. Rome liked a lot of things about christianity, but had a problem with some of the more revolutionary statements of Christ like the problems of wealth and morality, mans obligation to God before nation, etc and so you see a dramatic shift in the church away from Christ as revolutionary to Christ the Moralist.

Same thing with Buddhism: Siddhattha Gotama meets his subjects for the first time and reacts so strongly that he renounces his worldly life and through a long period of meditation and humbling himself arrives at the teachings that we now have. He teaches them to his disciples. "If you see the Buddha, Kill the Buddha because he is not the real Buddha." His deciples teach it to the masses, the masses make it a religion and loose the point of much of what the Buddha tough in the process.

All this to say, I see this in Journalism. The spirit of reportage can't be defined by a series of categories and ethics. Judaism is not defined by the 10 Commandments, the 10 Commandments are informed by Hebrews perspective on Mans relationship to God etc.

So the real question is WHAT is the heart of Journalism. That's the very interesting part to me. Because really, I think that "A Clean, well Lighted Place" by Hemingway is just as informative to the human condition of post WWI vets in Spain as any sterilized report of PTSD.

So, now what?[/column][/col-sect]

Journalism 2.0 is owned narrative.

[col-sect][column]Here's the deal: it's no longer your story.

It never was, but we've been spending the last 50+ years pretending that it was. It's not.

You found the story, yes, but you are ONLY a vessel. It's about the person(read: people, place, problem, subject) you are talking about, and the person on the other side reading, seeing, hearing about the first person. It's not about you.

You want to be a better journalist, help your audience connect better with the subjects of your stories? Want to make that connection stronger?

Build a bridge and then get out of the way.

Want to get your readership to REALLY understand what's happening in Darfur? Have a live interview someone in an IDP camp on the chad boarder and then help your audience stay connected with your subject.

Can't be done? What about twitter? What about this guy? No, he's not based in Sudan, BUT he does know people who are. Cellphones work ALL OVER africa, forget all of the old world ideas about isolation.
[column]Your audience want's more from your publication than just a story, they want a connection.

The main sell point for most of the reportage industry is "we learn, and find things out so you don't have to" But Google news does that REALLY well now. Why pay 5 bucks an issue for Time?

[ 5.30.08- More to the point, news should no longer see it self as being the gatekeeper to village wine cellar, but being that very cool little wine shop/bar that is perfectly willing to tell you where their favorite vineyards are and how to get to them. ]

Why not carrot the whole publication? If you want to KNOW these people, then you should check out my publication.

But then, the narrative is out of your hands, can you handle that?[/column][/col-sect]
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