If there is one city that, IMHO, has lead the charge of citizen journalism-media-coverage it’s Vancouver. Between Raincity Studios and NowPublic we have either supported or provided coverage of the Olympics that cannot be beat.
Yesterday Dave Olson and Raincity threw down the gauntlet at VANOC to allow them and other independent and unaccredited journalists to be allowed to attend media events.
The philosophy behind this desire to be included stems from their experience covering the last several games and providing alternative points of view on the games and the cultures of the host cities/countries.
In brief, we’d like to have a conversation about how to allow fans and amateur media makers to document their Olympic experience while keeping out of the way of the IOC IP lawyers. As a company and as individuals, we’ve produced extensive, non-accredited coverage of Beijing 2008, Torino 2006, SLC 2002, and Nagano 1998. With the next games literally in our neighborhood, we’ll be hosting an independent, international media centre at our Gastown loft office. As part of this, we’ll organize events like photo walks and aggregate fan-made content for the enjoyment of a worldwide audience. We’d like to work with you to do this for mutual benefit. As you likely know, Vancouver is a hub of innovative journalism with companies like ourselves, Now Public, and others plus renowned conferences like Northern Voice. Raincity Studios/Bryght is also an “official weblog service provider.” My colleagues Robert Scales and Kris Krug were published in the academic paper “Pathway: Critiques and Discourse In Olympic Research,” participated in the 9th International Symposium on Olympic Studies in Beijing and will be presenting about the experiences at the noted SXSW Interactive conference in 2009. Among my colleagues and myself, we’ve posted thousands of photos, dozens of audio and video podcasts along with hundreds of blog posts, updates etc. from several Olympics. Additionally, we’ve cooperated with mainstream media and published Olympic-related coverage in the LA Times, BBC online, plus outlets in Poland, Brazil, Shanghai, and so on.
Will VANOC step up to the plate where other host cities and Olympic Committees have not?
That’s an open and excellent question. I for one would welcome social media participation at the games. I think we’d all be the richer for it.
On the other hand I think I’d be declaring Twitter, email, and RSS bankruptcy on a daily basis.