The rise of citizen journalism

by Peter D. Marshall

by Kate Bulkley.

From live blogs on ‘Occupy’ protests to footage of Syrian atrocities on YouTube, filmmakers now have access to a wealth of raw material – but can it all be trusted?

In a digital world with a whole host of different ways to communicate a factual message it is increasingly hard to judge the value of amateur eyewitness film shot on a mobile phone and posted on the internet against a considered, observational documentary broadcast on a traditional television channel.

From the Occupy New York City bloggers, such as Tim Pool who has broadcast hours and hours of live reports from Zucotti Park in the city, to YouTube videos of citizens under fire from government forces in Syria – these incidents and more are changing the landscape of documentary filmmaking. This has been made possible by the technology they use, the distribution platforms that are now available and the passion of ordinary men and women to tell the kinds of extraordinary stories that were once the domain of professional documentary makers.

Factual filmmaking has in some senses become hostage to these new, “immediate” technologies. But many working in the genre praise the developments for adding a richer dimension to current affairs and factual documentaries and everyone seems to agree that the genre will never be the same again.

Read the rest of this article from The Guardian.

Sign up now for your own FREE monthly subscription to “The Director’s Chair” filmmaking ezine and get the first 30 pages of my 238 page Film Directing Multi-Media Online course, “The Art and Craft of the Director Audio Seminar.”

Previous post:

Next post: