Rostock Meeting Minutes

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The Media Activist Meeting tp prepare for the independent media activities during the Anti-G8 activities in June 2007 took place Nov 11 in Rostock as a part of the Action Conference http://www.heiligendamm2007.de/index.html / http://www.heiligendamm2007.de/index_en.html, following an invitation by the Videoactivist Network http://www.heiligendamm2007.de/Rostock_II/AG_d/AG_Medien.htm (german only)

These are only one part of the minutes, more to follow..


Intro

On Friday afternoon, Nov 10, approx. 10-12 people from different countries met in Rostock to brainstorm about the meeting agenda, and did a first round of introductions. They have experiences with radio, video, foto and print media.

Locally in Rostock there is one free radio (Lohro), they broadcast 24 h/day, and there are some good political programs. Then there is the Institute for new media, they make multi media workshops (audio, video, etc). And there is ROC TV, it is not an organisation, it is a so-called ‘open channel’.

In Rostock there is the so-called “KTV” centre (Kroepeliner Tor Vorstadt), it is near the city centre, there are a lot of students and several small political active groups. There is also a nazi and hooligan scene, they are more present in the suburbs. The NPD, the political party with an extreme right wing / neo-nazi ideology is quite strong in Rostock, as in the whole ‘Bundesland’ Mecklenburg Vorpommern. They successfully use social problems like high unemployment to win people for their ideas. There are often nazi attacks, which are not all reported in the regular press.

Saturday Agenda

- Infrastructure - Are we a network or a temporary group? - Translation, how to organise it? - Fundraising - Mainstream media, how to deal with it? - Media concept text: how we want to work (for media people and activists) - Independent media badges - Outreach, publicity - Before the summit – making useful information available (pool) - Publishing, making video also available in good quality for local screenings elsewhere

Saturday started with an exchange about experiences with previous summit reportings.

Scotland - During the G8 there were 3 IMC’s; Edinburgh (old church), Glasgow and at the large camp in Stirling. It was a collective effort to set them up. There where 50 pentium III + monitor, there where also several laptops. 60-70% was used to read news, the rest for writing articles. There were also some good PC’s for editing audio and video in Edinburgh. IMC was open for everybody (read email, charge cell phones). There was a dsl connection, which was not good enough. Techies installed an antenna, that was good but the police removed it (dangerous object on the roof), later there was a cable connection to university and it was fast enough. Good connection is important, at the first day there where 1,5 million hits at the indymedia site, during the later days around 1 million a day. You need a lot of people to run an imc. People come with questions because they are not used to Linux or because they have some strange kind of camera and want to get the data in the computer. The police was filming everybody going in and out of the building. There was a dispatch. A public telephone nr was spread so people could call in with information, some dedicated people received it and compared and confirmed it before sending it out. A lot of rubbish comes in. Radio was separate, it was done by people who knew what they where doing. At the camp in Stirling there where daily screenings of the video material, so people could see what was going on.

Evian – for correct information indymedia structures are necessary because there are a lot of rumours. Printed media is important to hand out.

Power supply should be sufficient and stable when you want to run an IMC with lots of PC’s etc. A good internet connection is necessary.

We decided to focus on actions in Rostock and hope that people who participate in decentralised actions elsewhere can also organise themselves how to report about them.

How do we want to work

Structure

As we were from different groups, networks and places (different cities in Germany, UK, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden) we don't want to form one collective or group but rather a network that may likely develop into something more like a group or collective as the summit comes nearer. The idea is that there will be a group of people who will probably feel more than others responsible for the infrastructure that we all need, e.g. the location, connectivity, hardware etc and others who will focus more on either reporting in a specific language, for a specific website, using specific media such as video or radio (and organising the things this specific group needs to be able to work). Others will simply use the media centre.

We haven't talked yet about guidelines, mission statement etc. because this can be done later.

Communication

We have created different mailing lists for these different purposes

- g8-mediaactivism as an open list for everyone who wants to find out about our plans - g8-mediacentre for all who want to be involved with the media centre we plan to set up in one way or another

XXXXXXXXXXXXX please add lists like video or radio or whatever XXXXXXXXXXX

and there will be more.

Infratructure at the media centre

We will need certain things to be able to work, some of which can be shared by different 'kinds' of media activists, others can't.

  • Because we will all rely on good, confirmed and up-to-date information about what is happening we will set up an information dispatch that collects all types of reports about what has happened, tries to confirm them with more than one source and will distribute them so that web editors as well as video activists as well as radio activists can include them into their reporting. (see https://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/TheMiracleOfCampaigns and 162048.jpg).

A software is being developed that may help with this.

  • There will have to be separate areas in the media centre (noisy (radio/video) and not noisy (writing, translating, dispatch), with more or less access depending also on level of concentration or information input needed for different types of work
  • We will need a team of translators for text as well as video production.
  • We need techies to set up and maintain the technical infrastructure (Ideas: ask chaos computer club, ask in different countries, ask people who were at the digital struggles meeting in Dijon this summer).
  • We need certain resources like a good time table, maps,
  • We need bandwidth good for audio and video streaming; phone lines, phones, copy machines, printers, paper, ink,

see: What's needed and what we already have, here on this page.

  • We will try to organise a helpdesk, a place to arrive at the media centre explaining what it is about (maybe a brochure or flyers), what the media centre is for, who it is for and who it is not for, that we want it to be a space for people to use for media activism but that will need everyone to contribute to and not just use as a service.

Infrastructure not at the media centre

Most of our work will take place in one central media centre, but some things should be elsewhere. We would like to have mobile video-upload stations so that video activists don't need to come back to Rostock every time they want to upload their material.

We want smaller access points/a mini media-center(s) at the camp(s) and even smaller access points 'in the fields' so that activists have an easy opportunity to write reports and reports can be distributed to where activists are without having to go back to a camp or the city.

We need a pool of people 'in the fields' who can tell us what is going on.

Networking

The radio activists would like to get in touch with radios who may want to broadcast their material, and find preproduced material done by others.

We want to get in touch with more media activist groups in Germany.

Security

We will need safe places to keep material. We will need to ensure that our equipment doesn't get stolen.

What do we want to do

Some ideas of what we would like to see happen during and before the G8 summit are

  • a radio that will be streaming all the time, also using preproduced material
  • video production, also streaming, probably not 24hrs/day; production of clips to download; screening of edited material at the end of each day
  • reporting for the world but also for the activists who will also want to hear and see what is going on, using text, radio, video. Maybe display webpages or videos with beamers in places where activists can see it.
  • public video screenings in different places before the summit

Money

There is no money yet. We will use past experiences as examples and do fundraising (Scotland: 3 media centres with 50 computers, 20 laptops, hubs etc = ~3500 Pounds). There are some foundations who may help us.

Ideas

We need a group to coordinate fundraising, also to avoid that several applications go to the same foundation.

We need a bank account.

Controversies

  • Collaboration with commercial media is a point that will need more debate.