Reflections of an newcomer.

This is my contribution to the perennial discussion of who\what are ‘’ ?

What follows must be preceded by the understanding that creating a definition of something that is  evolving while helpful to some will only muddy the water for others. I will describe what it is that I think does well, then what I think we do that supports that ability.

Example: My first self directed Livestream,



Pre event:

  • 8:30am, I browse the morning’s social media.

  • 9am I happened upon local protest of interest to me, happening that morning.

  • 9:15am I decided to attend and document event.

  • 10am I grabbed my tablet, set up an event and messaged event organizer let them know I’ll be coming along.

  • 10:20am other volunteer has repackaged event details, graphics etc, and is promoting on twitter and other social media.

  • 10:30am Another volunteer has ensured my event is linking up across our IT ecosystem.

  • 10:35am Yet another volunteer offers WiFi Support option.


  • 11:30am I head out to cover event.

  • 11:32am admin messages support and acts as message moderator on the livestream.

Post event

  • 12:15pm  Event ends and I head off to lunch and review the Livestream.

  • 12:30pm Another volunteer sends supportive feedback.

  • 2pm Yet another volunteer has taken the full Livestream footage and edited it down to a Social media friendly format covering all the ‘best bits’ and key dialogue / interviews.

  • 2:10pm the edited video is shared with event organizer and wider social media.

  • 2:15pm I am overcome with amazement at how well supported I felt in making a choice to get involved and cover the event.

What the wider volunteers and I did that day (and continue to do) was to produce quick turnover, reflexive coverage through a multi platform content distribution system. Sounds above our station? Nope its just the jargon of our media era. To borrow some other contemporary jargon ‘Own that shit’.  No mainstream media covered the event or the majority of the events we cover. That is the limitation of the mainstream media, but it is our strength.

Others may or may not embrace into heart of Scotland’s emerging new media landscape, we may or may not struggle to feel that embrace. These are the social complexities of our new media community. Discussion of our new media landscape is natural and not without merit. But how we and others judge the success of should not be overly absorbed by this psychosocial dynamic.

The  primary measure of our success is singularly the content we produce. What will enable us to continue making our content successful? Our organizational culture.

Structurally I see as a wide association of largely self directed volunteers supported by a core of committed multi-tasking members who maintain, guide and develop the organization in a fairly open participatory manner.

The type of the content we produce is entirely reflexive to the subject mater and context.  When we cover platforms of speakers at conventional ‘sit down and listen’ events (no pejorative implication intended) our volunteers are usually acting as technicians and internet moderators, while other content can place our volunteers as social documentarians or interviewers. With the latter, the content direction can be entirely guided or curated by our volunteers.

This open supportive participatory structure is important. We are producing gradually more diverse types of content, beyond my personal enthusiasm to explore this broadening content, I hope it will widen the pool of prospective citizen journalist and continue to draw people towards the empowering role of creating and documenting our place in the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.