Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Real News

Avid followers of the bits of furniture in my sidebar may have, at some point, clicked on my link to the Real News. If so, they may have looked and thought "huh... not a lot to see here". Which at the time was true. However, lately, the site has really hit its stride, so I have added to my sidebar their blog applet for playing their videos. I do hope people make use of it, or go look at the full site from time to time.

While I'm here, a word about the Real News. Those with keen memories (and socks to match) may remember this report in the Guardian. It was set up under the name Independent World Television, as an effort to create a source of TV-style news that was neither government nor corporate funded. It is funded by subscriptions from anyone who wishes to help them. As such, it is a great liberal project (although I'm not quite ready to start calling for the license fee to be done away with just yet).

Originally, their stated aim was to build their operation steadily until they had a nightly news programme of an hour in length, and go from there. They may or may not be still aiming for that, but currently the stage they are at is more that of adding maybe two or three videos a day to the site, a rate that has been steadily increasing for the last couple of months. Who knows where they may be this time next year. Anyway, having been keeping an eye on them for a while, I think they have now reached the stage where drawing attention to them might genuinely achieve a few results. So that's what I'm doing!

I think some of what they are doing is really worthwhile, so I have been donating £5 a month. If the project doesn't grow any further, I may stop, but as of right now I think it has enormous potential. Internet journalism has been crying out for a newsgathering operation run on a model like this for some time. Lets face it, bloggers can't make a living doing just that (well, most of us can't), and so there's always going to be a limit to the valuable journalism that comes out of the internet that way. This seems like a very natural direction for news media to move in online. Now they just need to stop analysing news that would be reported anyway, and start really breaking a few stories. That's always going to be a tough step.

Anyway, I leave you with this, I think possibly the most interesting video they have so far produced.

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