The Promise of Open Media in Iran

THU, JUN 25, 2009 (3:05)

At the first ever Open Video Conference, held at New York University in Manhattan in the summer of 2009, participants pondered the significance of the open media movement, at a time when its tools are being put to use by protesters in Iran. The social networking tools Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have revolutionized communication, and impacted events as they unfold.

ThoughtCast spoke with Xeni Jardin, of Boing Boing fame, and Dean Jansen with the Participatory Culture Foundation, among others, about the potential of this movement to effect social change.

+ BIO: Xeni Jardin

Xeni Jardin is a tech culture journalist. She is a partner, contributor, and co-editor of the award winning blog Boing Boing. She is executive producer and host of the Webby-honored program Boing Boing Video (formerly Boing Boing TV). She also contributes to broadcast, online, and print venues including Wired and NPR.

+ BIO: Peter Kaufman

Peter B. Kaufman is president and CEO of Intelligent Television. He executive produces all Intelligent Television media and directs the company’s research and consulting work.

He is also an expert consultant on access issues for the Library of Congress Division of Motion Pictures, Broadcast, and Recorded Sound and in 2008 was appointed co-chair of the new Film and Sound Think Tank of the U.K.’s Joint Information Systems Committee.

He is a Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York and a member of the Editorial Board of the World Policy Journal.

+ BIO: Pamela Harris

Pamela Harris is a documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, California. Pam has worked in the documentary field for more than eight years. She was one of four co-directors on the film Waging a Living, a PBS documentary about low-wage working families, and oversaw educational outreach and engagement for the Oscar-nominated Long Night’s Journey into Day about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

She has also produced and directed a short documentary about Allensworth, a historically black town in California that faces the threat of encroachment by agribusiness.

+ BIO: Dean Jansen

Dean Jansen is the outreach director for the Participatory Culture Foundation (or PCF), which works to build a fairer, more open, and more democratic media space. PCF is also a founder of the Open Video Alliance, a coalition of organizations, companies, and individuals that are working to create open tools, workflows, and licensing systems for online video.

+ BIO: Jenny Attiyeh

My name is Jenny Attiyeh, and I began my career in 1987 in London as a freelance reporter on the arts for the BBC World Service Radio. I remember my first interview for “Meridian”, as the program I worked for was called. It was with Placido Domingo, and I’ve never been so nervous since.

After my work permit ran out, I returned to Los Angeles, my home city, and continued as an arts reporter for KCRW, an NPR station in Santa Monica. While there, I reported and produced an award-winning documentary on Japanese-American internment during World War II. Shortly after, I was accepted to a National Public Radio residency, which brought me to Washington, D.C. and to WBUR, an NPR station in Boston to report stories for NPR’s Performance Today. I later attended the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

After that, I remained in New York City for 9 years, during which time I worked primarily as a reporter on television and radio. I hosted and produced a weekly arts and culture segment for WNYC TV, a PBS station, until it went out of business (thanks to then Mayor Giuliani, who sold the station). Before the lights went out, I managed to produce a mini-documentary on the making of a Philip Glass opera, “Les Enfants Terribles.”

I worked next as a correspondent for a nationally televised PBS program called “Freedom Speaks” which focused on the media, until it too was taken off the air. (I detect a pattern here…) In between gigs, I also worked as a reporter for WBAI radio, a Pacifica station, and WNYC radio, an NPR station, covering local politics and the arts. I then moved to Maine, where I lived by the harbor in Kittery, and worked as a reporter for New Hampshire Public Television. There, I covered the ‘99/2000 New Hampshire presidential primary season, and interviewed the major presidential candidates. I also participated as a panelist in nationally televised presidential debates, hosted by Peter Jennings and Tim Russert.

Following the conclusion of the New Hampshire primary season, I moved to Boston, where I did freelance writing on academics, the 2004 presidential campaign and the single life, among other subjects. From this base, in early 2005, I launched ThoughtCast.

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