Occupy your smart phone

You may have guessed I’m obsessed by democracy and journalism. I’ve read a lot about both and done a lot of the second. Journalism that helps improve democracy is what really gets me going. Not fake democracy, the odd meaningless election, but real democracy. That would mean people having direct and ongoing power over their governors via radically different political structures to today’s. We need to be creative.

So I’m excited about the Occupy movements springing up around the planet, not least the ones in London. For me, they show people’s huge appetite for a step-change in the way our societies are run.

I want to do a lot more journalism that does something about our democracies, which are in crashingly poor health. That means real, practical journalism that illustrates our governance problems and explores alternatives.

Today will give me, and maybe you, a chance to do all that at a workshop with visionOntv from 3 to 5pm at Finsbury Square in London, one of the Occupy sites in the capital. I’ve volunteered to help train people to do mobile phone news reports. The aim will be to produce short, simple news, recorded and uploaded to the internet in minutes. We’ll look at storytelling skills and getting straight to the point. That means short video pieces – no wobbly shots, decent sound capture then the necessary tagging and all for effective distribution.

If it works well, no reason why not, there’ll be others on other subjects such as interviews, kit and so on.

If you’re interested, come along. Bring a fully charged phone if you have one plus external microphones and headphones. Don’t worry if you haven’t got them.

These are great skills to learn. ThisĀ Guardian story explains why. It highlights video footage showing Oakland police beating Iraq war veteran and ex-marine Kayvan Sabehgi. He suffered a ruptured spleen in what looks like an unprovoked attack. The images don’t lie – we need more cameras on the ground.