How could a global simulcast broadcast of war hasten and end to war?
Cruising at 35,000 feet a fighter jet falls into my view. That’s the contours of my head looking out as a friend captures the moment. At some point the pilot is so close I can see his face.
He sees me with a camera and shuts his visor. I’m returning from a Nato War Games exercise. Later, the onboard officer will tell us, the jet issued a call sign to our plane, which would determine whether we could continue on our path in present air space.
Many years earlier, such vigilance was required on the ground. Then I lived in Ghana. Then, a plane overhead signified something ominous, a coup.
We’ve all had hare-brained ideas which we believed would have considerable social impact. How do you make people accountable for their actions?
How do you show that any journalism that ignores a cultural understanding of issues and how it’s received by minority and majority groups is akin to stenography, or what passed for journalism by 16/17th century thinkers/authors like Richard Hakluyt, Morton Stanley and John Locke. Read Amitav Acharya’s “Race and racism in the founding of the modern world”.
Did you see the CBS journalist describing Ukraine as ‘civilised’ ? How on earth is such contextualising even fathomed? Journalism, many times this side of the millennium resembles nothing more than a set of ideas, however repugnant, that can be traded in order to make a living.
But back to hare-brained ideas. We’ve all had them. I once was asked to create the first African co-production between Ghana and South Africa. Can’t be done, but we did and the impact was measurable between a shared understanding of Ghanaians and South Africans. See here: ANC members took exile in Ghana during their anti-apartheid campaign.
Another hare-brained idea. In 2004 I had so many stories I wanted to share. In 1994 I learned how to shoot, report, edit and produce stories. It was hugely empowering, but there was no outlet, so I built/encoded one of the first video magazines, Viewmagazine before Youtube. See here: I had gone to the US to interview a former head of the CIA about a new Gen entering the service, and whether open source intel which had been proposed was possible. The end of secrecy in a way.
My hare-brained idea this morning is an appeal to major broadcasters to do a one day simulcast of progs on Russias war on Ukraine. Full tweet thread here
The impact would be huge. I see a huge role too that academia could play, so the output sits in practice and pedagogy and concretises as active-research.
Part of the reason dictators do what they do is they believe they can control the information flow agenda. If TV execs can organise simulcasts on the Olympics, Oscars, etc surely this and any other war deserves organised progs outside of the news belt. Yes it has challenges but that’s what execs sort out.
TV remains one of the most powerful social organising tools. We should use it for that purpose more often.