WASHINGTON, DC, 17 August 2013 â€” This is the third of three short films I made on gangs and religion in Guatemala. Using the methodology that we refer to as â€œbackpack video journalism,â€ I documented Robert Brenneman as he conducted follow-up research to his book, â€œHomies + Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.â€
This third film takes a look at how one Guatemalan pastor offers young men and women a safe space out of the gangs that have rocked this Central American nation. To watch â€œThe Pastorâ€ on Vimeo, click HERE.
Brenneman is an assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Michaelâ€™s College in Colchester, Vermont. His trip to Guatemala was sponsored by American Universityâ€™s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS.) To read more about the Centerâ€™s work, click HERE.
(Photo by Bill Gentile.)
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, 2 August 2013 — Here are more images of our visit to the Hermitage Museum.
(Photos by Bill Gentile.)
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, 1 August 2013 â€“ Following the first and second sessions of the 4th meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Sub-Group on Mass Media, our Russian hosts took us to the Peterhof Summer Palace State Museum.
The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) is the premier forum between the U.S. and Russia to strengthen relations with each respective government and society.Â President Obama and President Medvedev established the BPC in July 2009 to reset U.S.-Russia relations and engage the Russian government to pursue foreign policy goals of common interest for the American and Russian people.
(Photos by Bill Gentile.)
JFK AIRPORT, New York, 30 July 2013 â€“ Connecting here from Washington, DC, for a flight to Moscow and then St. Petersburg, Russia. Flight crews ready the Delta jet for our journey.
The U.S. Department of State invited me to participate in the 4th meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Sub-Group on Mass Media, which takes place this week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The draft agenda for the two-and-a-half day meeting includes discussions on citizen journalism, journalism education and training, and media coverage/perceptions of Russia and the United States. Past U.S. delegates have hailed from prominent media organizations, academia, and journalism non-governmental organizations.
Iâ€™ve been tasked with presenting on â€œcitizen journalism,â€ a methodology Iâ€™ve been teaching and preaching for some time now, and a methodology made possible largely by the revolution in technology. I plan to show a couple of pieces made by students of mine in Cuba, and to discuss how young people in particular, equipped with hand-held digital tools, now communicate globally, instantly and in a language, the visual language, that everyone can understand.
Itâ€™s the same language that I teach in my classes at American University, and in my Video Journalism Workshops.
(Photo by Bill Gentile)
WASHINGTON, DC, 28 July 2013 — We’ve finished editing the three-part series on Guatemalan gangs. Above, a joint patrol of Guatemalan police and army scours the mean streets of Guatemala City in an effort to quell the gang violence that has plagued this Central American nation.
The three pieces will air in the next few days. I shot and produced the stories on a trip to Guatemala earlier this year. I was on assignment for the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University. Like so many other non-profits, the Center is turning more and more of its attention to video as a means to distribute its message. And most of them are looking at the model we refer to as backpack video journalism.
The three pieces are classic examples of backpack video journalism. I was on assignment with Robert Brenneman, author of “Homies + Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America.” Brenneman is Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. I spent 10 days with Brenneman as he conducted a follow-up round of research on gangs.
Follow us this week to view the pieces, titled, “The Gangs,” “The Researcher,” and “The Pastor.”
This is to announce that we’re conducting a LIVE Backpack Video Journalism Workshop in Washington, DC, on 15-18 August. Registration for the LIVE workshop ends at midnight on Wednesday 31 July. For more information, please see http://videojournalismworkshops.com/live.
I hope you can join us.
WASHINGTON, DC, 14 June 2013 — Sam Meddis, the former head of USA Today’s video department in Washington, DC, reviewed my Essential Video Journalism Field Manual on Amazon.com, saying, “it teaches the fundamentals of the craft.” Sam, who recently retired from the newspaper business, said, “the book comes alive with teachable moments.”
To read the whole review, click HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC, 5 June 2013 — This is a film conceived, shot, written, narrated and edited by Eslly Melgarejo, one of the participants in my recent Video Journalism Workshop for the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The story of a blind child’s refusal to accept defeat despite his handicap, the title means, “A Glow in the Darkness.” You can see the film HERE.
What a pleasure it was to work with these Guatemalan storytellers. It reminded me, once again, of the proper use of the tools that too many of us take for granted. Too often.
WASHINGTON, DC, 5 June 2013 — “News Photographer” magazine, the “official publication of the National Press Photographers Association” (NPPA), has published a two-page review of my “Essential Video Journalism Field Manual” in its latest edition.
Written by Bruce Young and titled, “Time To Get Fitted For a Backpack?” the review is spread across pages 50-51 in the latest edition of the NPPA magazine. Below are scans of the magazine cover and of the review:
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 30 May 2013 — It’s over. My Video Journalism Workshop at Nancy McGirr’s Fotokids ended with a big ice cream cake and this group shot. Great way to end two weeks in Guatemala, the first conducting a workshop for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, and the second for Fotokids.
(Photo by a camera on a tripod!)