WASHINGTON, DC, 24 November 2013 — This is the poster prepared by a former student of mine announcing my visit to, and Video Journalism Workshop in, Uruguay in December. The trip is designed to support Valentina Quagliotti, who founded Ikusi, a non-profit based in Montevideo, Uruguay. Ikusi is dedicated to furthering the objectives of other, socially conscious non-profits.
In addition to the workshops, I’ll be giving a number of presentations to an array of audiences.
As do so many others today, Valentina understands that the methodology we refer to as “backpack video journalism,” or “video journalism” is an effective tool to connect with people and to affect change. Video is the new literature. Video is the way people gather and share information. Video is the new language. And it is video that Ikusi uses as its primary tool for connecting and for changing.
In fact, Ikusi’s slogan is, “We see. We tell. We change.” That’s what I’ll be trying to do in Uruguay next month. “Change.”
WASHINGTON, DC, 16 August 2013 â€” This is the second 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€
The second film takes a look at how Brenneman conducts his research on the gangs that have rocked this Central American nation, and how the church confronts that violence. To watch â€œThe Researcherâ€ 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 — On the second day of work sessions at the 4th meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential commission (BPC) Sub-Group on Mass Media, our Russian hosts took us to visit the Hermitage Museum, on of the finest in the world.
(Photos by Bill Gentile.)
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, 1 August 2013 â€“ This is the opening session of the 4th meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Sub-Group on Mass Media, which took place in St. Petersburg, Russia. During two days of meetings, we discussed 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.
U.S. delegates this year were:
Elizabeth Ballantine has been a director of the McClatchy Company since March 1998.Â Ms. Ballantine was a director of Cowles Media Company, a position she had held since 1993. Since 1999, Ms. Ballantine has been president of EBA Associates, a consulting firm, and an Adjunct Professor of Russian history at The George Washington University.Â From 1993 to 1999, she was an attorney in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin and Oshinsky LLP. From 1990 until 1993, she worked as a private consultant advising clients on international business investments. Ms. Ballentine sits on the Board of Directors of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
Joyce Barnathan is the President of the International Center for Journalists, a non-profit organization that advances quality journalism in the digital era.Â She is also on the Steering Committee of the Global Forum for Media Development, a network of 500 media assistance organizations that support the development of independent media. Previously, Barnathan served as the executive editor, Global Franchise, for BusinessWeek.
Charles Bierbauer has been dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, University ofÂ South Carolina, since it was created in 2002.Â From 1981-2001, Bierbauer was a correspondent for CNN in Washington, and during the years of 1977 through 1981, he was an overseas correspondent for ABC News, first as Moscow Bureau Chief and later as the Bonn Bureau chief. Bierbauer worked in Vienna, Bonn, London and Philadelphia for Westinghouse Broadcasting, and was a free-lance reporter in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1968-69 while on an Edward R. Murrow Fellowship.
Scott Brauer is a photojournalist whose clients and publications include The New York Times, Fader magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Time Asia, Thatâ€™s Shanghai, Epsilon (Greece), Vision magazine (China), Lufthansa, Bosch, Amity Foundation, Pfrang Association, Colorlines, World Magazine, Map Magazine (China), AM New York, and XAOC magazine. Brauer was a participant in the ICFJâ€™s U.S.-Russia Journalist Exchange Program in 2012, during which time he worked at the ITAR-TASS Photo Agency. He worked for daily newspapers in suburban Chicago, and Flint, Michigan and moved to China in 2007. He graduated with honors from the University of Washington in 2005 with dual degrees in philosophy and Russian literature and language.
Barbara Cochran is the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism with the Missouri School of Journalism.Â Cochran is based in the Schoolâ€™s bureau in Washington, D.C., where she engages in programs of research, consulting and training aimed at improving the practice of journalism, working with the Committee of Concerned Journalists, also located in Washington, and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Her career as a news executive includes top jobs in the broadcast, print and non-profit worlds.Â Cochran served for 12 years as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association, the worldâ€™s largest organization serving the electronic news profession.
John Cochran joined ABC News in January 1994 as chief Capitol Hill correspondent, where he reported on the historic change of leadership as Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in four decades. Cochran joined ABC News from NBC, where he spent 21 years as a correspondent in Washington and overseas. For five of those years (1988-1993) he was NBC’s chief correspondent at the White House.Â Before covering the White House, he was chief diplomatic correspondent, reporting on Middle East peace negotiations and efforts to end the nuclear arms race between Moscow and Washington. Previously, he was based in London as senior correspondent, reporting from five continents.
Bill Gentile is an independent journalist and documentary filmmaker teaching at American University in Washington, DC. His career spans three decades, five continents and nearly every facet of journalism and mass communication, most especially visual communication, or visual storytelling. He is a pioneer of â€œbackpack journalismâ€ and today he is one of the craftâ€™s most noted practitioners. He is the founder and director of American University’s Backpack Journalism Project
Gary Kebbel has left his post as dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to work with faculty and students to create a multi-campus Center for Mobile Media. Kebbel served as dean at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two years. Before coming to UNL he was the journalism program director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami, Florida
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, 31 July 2013 â€“ On our first night in St. Petersburg, our Russian hosts took us to dinner at the Vodka Museum. Aside from an explanation of vodka’s history in their country, the Russians invited us to sample a variety of vodkas they had prepared for us — an offer we couldn’t refuse.
The Russians proved to be terrific hosts during our four-day visit to their country. The organization, the accommodations, the food and the generosity of spirit were extraordinary.
I was in St. Petersburg for the 4th meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission (BPC) Sub-Group on Mass Media. The meeting included discussions on citizen journalism, journalism education and training, and media coverage/perceptions of Russia and the United States.
On Friday, I delivered a presentation 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. It’s just one component of a broader methodology that we refer to as “backpack video journalism.” I screened a couple of pieces made by students of mine in Cuba. We discussed 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.
During the presentation, I discussed how I think video is the new language, particularly of American youth. It is the new literature. I discussed the visual storytelling language, the same language that I teach in my classes at American University, and in my Video Journalism Workshops. See http://videojournalismworkshops.com
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.
Below, some of the artifacts stored in the Vodka Museum.
Below, a guide takes us through, and explains, the Vodka Museum.
(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, 13 JUNE 2013 — I gave a presentation at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) on backpack video journalism to 21 working professionals visiting from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. What an incredible group of motivated people eager to learn of new ways of practicing our craft.
I showed them a film I made years ago about a prison in Alabama. They were astonished at the access that I enjoyed while making the film. I explained that my access was partly a function of the fact that I used a small, pro-sumer camera that the prison officials found completely inoffensive.
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, 26 May 2013 — I meet on the first day of my five-day video journalism workshop with kids belonging to Nancy McGirr’s non-profit organization, Fotokids. Founded in 1991, Fotokids is designed to break the cycle of poverty through training in visual arts and technology.
( Photo by Nancy McGirr.)
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, 24 May 2013 — My video journalism workshop in Guatemala City ended with a group dinner of the professional journalists who participated in the event. They all produced terrific pieces, some of which I’ll be posting here, on my Facebook page, and on my YouTube and Vimeo channels. The workshop was sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and hosted by Nancy McGirrâ€™s Fotokids.
What an honor to work with, and to help empower, these young journalists, and to pass onto them some of the knowledge and skills that Iâ€™ve been fortunate enough to acquire over the years.
I begin another workshop here on Sunday, this time with Nancyâ€™s Fotokids.