So, I'm in the middle of preparing for a presentation about video in education that I'll be giving later this year at the Shanghai Learning 2.0 Conference. Sometimes I like to have a little background noise while I work, and so anchor Chris Jansing is chattering away on MSNBC. The topic turns to the 2008 elections (I suppose no celebrities have entered rehab this week) and she is interviewing a guest about the Obama Girl Video and the follow up Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl by Barely Political. If you haven't seen these yet, they're cute, but silly and almost devoid of political content. Nothing wrong with that of course, although it might explain how it became a topic on a major "news" channel.

Now, its very funny because I'm in the middle of thinking about how to talk about the power and reach of video as a medium. Meanwhile, on the TV, Jansing asks her guest (someone from the Washington Post, I missed the name) if she thinks that politicians should be worried that 'ordinary people' are creating professional looking videos on their laptops.


In other words, should politicians be concerned that the people will have as much influence in the democratic process as the PR firms that they hire? Perish the thought! For those of us who include video in our art curriculums, we know how powerful a medium that video is for communication. We know how easy it is for our work to be seen by a wider audience on sites like Youtube. Obama Girl has just passed 2 million hits. What, if any effect will it have on the political process?

More importantly, what effect would your students have if they have the opportunity to have their voices heard?


  1. dontwant2beastupidgirl said...
    Just because people _can_ make their own videos, doesn't mean they'll be worth watching. Obama Girl for example.
    dsgran said...
    No doubt, but in my opinion 99% of the stuff on television isn't worth watching either. That's why I think that teaching media literacy is so important. A) so that they can examine and interperet what makes these videos good or bad, and B) create quality content of their own.

    Video is the medium of today, and one significant way that people are finding their voice is through the internet. Certainly the recent Democratic debate, the content of which was generated by Youtube video creators, shows the trend towards the role of video and the internet in participatory democracy.

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