It's not about what happens

Just watched Anders Østergaard's independently produced film Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country which documents how video journalists made images of the violent protests in Rangoon in 2007 available worldwide via Norwegian based Democratic Voice of Burma. The independently produced film is a very powerful case study of how quick and dirty media is working where mainstream media is failing.

Just read Hello Everybody (title People Like Us in the US) which is an insider's account of how mainstream media gives a filtered and manipulated version of reality in the Middle East. The book's author is Dutch reporter Joris Luyendijk who was awarded the journalist of the year prize in Holland in 2006. His message is clear; mainstream media is failing because it does nothing more than reflect the views of established politicians. Or as an Israeli government media manager says in the book:
'It's not about what happens, but how it is presented on CNN.'
Talking of alternatives to mainstream media Burma VJ uses a track from Egberto Gismonti's eponymously titled 1978 solo album for ECM. On another ECM album, Sol Do Meio Dia, Egberto Gismonti played in a quartet which included percussionist Collin Walcott who was a member of the influential band Condona and Gismonti's music has been programmed by the Britten Sinfonia. Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi featured in my post Forget about heroes and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans Frontières) in Radio and re-education.

New Facebook page here and this post also is available via Twitter @overgrownpath. Burma VJ and Hello Everybody were borrowed from Norwich Millenium Library. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk. Corrected 16/10


Pliable said…
ECM's compilation Egberto Gismonti - Selected Recordings is an excellent introduction to his music -
Unknown said…
Lovely post. Minor correction, though: Ralph Towner and Colin Walcott were members of Oregon, but Towner was not in Codona. Codona was Walcott, Don Cherry, and Nana Vasconcelos. (Band name came from first two letters of each member's first name.)

David Weininger
Pliable said…
Oh dear, one day I will get my Condona and Oregon stories right ....

David, your very civil correction is appreciated. It is now reflected in the published text.

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