Democracy, journalism and film nights

It’s never been easier to complain about our politicians and our journalists – neither species has covered itself in glory over the last little while. The big challenge is what to do about all the problems they leave unresolved.

Rather than railing against the failures, it’s far more uplifting to investigate alternatives. This post, which I wrote for the Transition Network, describes some small-scale responses, ones I absolutely would encourage you to try at home. Many might be familiar, some you may even be doing already, their combination is probably less so. In time, they raise the prospect of something truly powerful, a global network of reporters focused on the way we run our communities.

A big part of that equation is the staging of regular film screenings, wherever it is that you live. They bring local people together, stitching together community where there may not have been one before. Added to that is the staging of free video journalism trainings for anyone who’s interested, creating a pool of local reporters who focus on how their communities are governed. Linking these with reporters elsewhere, nationally or internationally, starts to look like a virtual news agency focused on how we are governed.

These are the bones of a proposal I lay out in Fraudcast News: How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies.

I went to Totnes in Devon this week to a film screening there – featuring Michael Moore’s Capitalism – A Love Affair. His film remains as relevant as ever.

I took the chance to demonstrate the potential of video journalism to Ben Brangwyn, co-founder of the Transition Network, using nothing more than a smart phone and a dodgy microphone. You can watch the outcome here or below.