The UpTake: Knocking down the barriers to Video Citizen Journalism

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One by one the barriers to creating your own mass media have been coming down. First blogs let anyone publish their own newspaper, then podcasts let anyone publish their own radio show, now online videos let anyone put out a TV show…if you have the equipment and technical know how.

Cameras and editing software have become less expensive and easier to operate. But creating and distributing your own video news story can still be a complicated and frustrating proposition.

The UpTake, a Minnesota based non-profit group, which I am the Executive Producer for, is stepping in to get rid of that last barrier.

This weekend The UpTake has scheduled its first video citizen journalism class. It’s free and open to the public (registration is required ahead of time through Wellstone Action). The class will cover the impact video citizen journalism has had and can have, cover story telling techniques and some of the nuts and bolts of shooting and editing video.

The Video class for Citizen Journalists is on Saturday October 27, 2007 at the Galaxie Library in Apple Valley, Minnesota, 11am to 3pm. Free registration for the class here.

As any journalist will tell you, covering news is really a team sport. This is especially true in video citizen journalism. It takes people who can shoot video, contribute story ideas, research, and coordinate other volunteers. This weekend’s class will give you the blue print of how to work as a team.

Everyone has their own reasons to do video. For some it’s a cause, for others they want to be famous. For The UpTake, it’s to preserve that First Amendment right to free speech in what can be its most potent form –television. The power of TV has long been reserved for the few. And with media consolidation, those few are becoming fewer.

The revolution will not be televised, but it will be uploaded.