Steve Garfield, video blogger of SteveGarfield.com, came in to class the other day and showed off his citizen journalism skills and gadgetry.
Garfield is renowned throughout the country for his ability to capture news footage without making a big production out of it. It's a one man band for Garfield as he takes advantage of Internet journalism tools: Twitter, Flickr, Myspace, Facebook.
But what I was really intrigued with the cell phone that he showcased. The Nokia N95 is like a video news production crew in your pocket.
When Garfield needs to, like when he was on the streets of New Hampshire during the primary season, he grabs his phone and starts recording to produce news. With the touch of a button he shoots video with the phone that is beamed lived to Qik.com.
For example, he showed us a Qik video produced during the primaries, in which he interviewed Duncan Hunter with the N95 and effectively scooped the mainstream media. Garfield got the Republican presidential hopeful on his way to be interviewed by CNN to lash out against ABC News and Fox News Channel for excluding him from a debate.
Though such Qik access does have a price. The phone is $468. Eek.
(Garfield recently discovered that the $200-dollar iPhone is live-stream enabled.)
But the price is not bad considering the use Garfield gets out of it. He's uploaded 302 videos since Dec., 2007. That earned him 46,805 page views. Pretty impressive.
Garfield uses the videos for other media outlets. He sends them to CNN iReport, the media company's site for citizen journalism. He even got the attention of the BBC for his offhand remarks that were broadcast live from his living room during the recent U.S. presidential debates. I wish I could do that and go of on my own tangent -- a raging one, that is.
He showed use just how it works by pulling out the N95 giving me and my fellow students tips on how to keep the phone steady while recording. It would be great if everyone could learn to use this tool to achieve social justice and fight back against oppressive states.
"I am videoing you as your videoing me," said my teacher, Dan Kennedy, as he filmed Garfield filming. Very meta. Cool!
(Click on the picture of Garfield to see an archived report of him as he's seen in action, below, broadcasting live from our classroom to the Internet.)
Both of the pictures above we're taken at Northeastern University by me using the Lil' Kodak Easyshare.