BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Monday, May 14, 2007

DAIL M FOR MEDIA MALARKEY: First gathering of alternative media collectives

A small bunch of discontented scruffs based in Brighton, armed only with a PC and a photocopier have managed to become a household name in the last thirteen years. SchNEWS have been banging out a weekly newssheet, running a website and of late putting together videos bringing us news that the main stream media ignores.

Over recent years people all over the world are taking advantage of the availability of technology to ‘reclaim the media’. In the UK the likes of the Indymedia website, Undercurrents videos and SchNEWS are all household names to many on the activist scene, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of regional and national news outlets. Freedom, Reel Vidoes, The Porkbolter, Bristle and of course South Wales Anarchists very own ‘Gagged’ are just a few of the sources for grass roots news. Some of these people know eachother, whilst some are publishing in a complete vacuum.

This weekend SchNEWS got together with their new landlords at The Cowley Club Social Centre in Brighton for the UK’s first ‘Alternative Media Gathering’.

There were workshops on things like photography, desk top publishing, how to up load videos to the net and how to do investigative journalism; together with discussions around the way forward for alternative media and how to reach out to the wider community.

Much organic beer and vegan food was consumed and lots of new friends made. Many of the independent media sources throughout the country are not quite as lonely as they were before the gathering and a lot of new communications lines have been set up. Personal Highlights for the Iguana Crew were the presentation by a video activist that goes deep undercover to uncover animal rights abuses, including spending two years working in a circus, and an evening sat around talking to the legendary festival/protest photographer Tash.

The Anti-Murdoch

Plans are afoot to repeat the event next year, possibly hosted by another collective. In the mean time there is the little matter of getting out there and making sure things are done and people know about it!



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