YouTube videos on CanWest info issues

I don’t have a television, but I do love to watch stuff on my computer.  Back in the last millenium, when I did have a TV, I didn’t have cable anyway, so I am easily impressed with the amazing diversity of media to which I have access via the Internet.

As you may have noticed from previous blog posts, I am a fan of YouTube and similar video sharing sites. I love them.  I love just searching for a video to explain science concepts that we can’t demo in our kitchen (like that whole beluga whale tail-first-birth so it doesn’t drown thing- so cool!) to the kid. I really appreciate being able to watch various political debates (back in 2000 I couldn’t watch the US presidential debates b/c I couldn’t find anywhere with a TV to watch them), or just see someone’s version of the highlights if I don’t really want to watch the whole thing. I admit ot using short online videos in my teaching quite frequently.

And I absolutely adore the way people are using this medium for activism.

Of course there’s the best ever super simple explaination of net neutrality from the Save the Internet coalition. (Old news in web-time, I know, but still relevant.) Just this week, however, two different new activist videos about CanWest came through my inboxes. Since I’ve been struggling to demonstrate the ironic connection between CanWest’s attempts to muzzle others’ free expression and the company’s fight to be allowed the “free expression” to sell ad airtime to drug companies, I thought I’d highlight both new videos here.

1)Media Blackout: CanWest Global Attacks Drug Ad Laws

This came to me via a colleague’s email. Rob Wipond connects ad revenue in our corporate media with the role of the media as our major source of health information (and historic firings of journalists who deviated from media/advertiser party lines). Not content to merely point out the misleading nature and accompanying health risks of drug advertising, he calls out drug industry-funded health advocacy groups.

2) Canwest Media Bully

I saw this one in my RSS feed from the We Read Banned Books blog.  WorkingTV covers and explains the “SLAPP” lawsuit over the Vancouver Sun parody printed June 2007, making connnections between media concentration and lack of tolerance for diversity of viewpoints.

Tara over at We Read Banned Books commented:

I’m excited to see old school activists start to social media effectively.  This video feels especially appropriate as they are standing up to a mainstream media conglomerate, like CanWest and the Vancouver Sun.  I think this video has much broader appeal than a didactic pamphlet written in Times New Roman 10 point font.  My only critique is the seriously corny folk song at the end

I couldn’t agree more (sorry David Rovics – I am quite fond of you, personally). While neither of these  videos is as slick as the net neutrality clip linked above, they are FAR more engaging than a flyer handed to me on a street corner, another mass email sitting in my inbox, or a speaker that I probably can’t go to see because I can’t get childcare for yet another meeting. And I’m one of the old skool print media lovers, right? (see: no TV)

Call me dumbed-down if you wish, but keep on making these engaging videos!  I love them!

-Greyson

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2 Comments

Filed under censorship, digitization, Health, Intellectual freedom, media democracy, net neutrality, Other blogs, publishing, technology, tips and tools

2 responses to “YouTube videos on CanWest info issues

  1. Paula

    I’m interested to know what videos you’ve used for teaching … I’m also a health librarian.

  2. greyson

    Hi Paula,

    The times I find short videos to be most helpful, personally, are when I want a concise, memorable explanation of a concept. I don’t tend to use YouTube videos when teaching, say, a PubMed clinic, but I do when teaching about new current awareness tools and want to communicate concepts or explain vocabulary that may be new to the audience.

    For this reason I really like tools such as the above-referenced Net Neutrality video, which explains the idea of NN way better and more concisely than I can. I also really appreciate and promote Common Craft’s “Explanations in plain English” series as well – for example their “RSS in Plain English” is a great one to use in a current awareness tools workshop (http://www.commoncraft.com/rss_plain_english).

    Of course, it also depends on the audience – most groups will appreciate a break from the “talking head” style of lecture/workshop and enjoy seeing DIY explanations of copyright (such as those made by Michael Geist) or open access (such as the Sparky award winners), but others won’t take me seriously if I’m too multimedia.

    Cheers!
    Greyson

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