Very Short List: Two for Journalism

1177_formulaI’m sure many people are already aware of the Very Short List website / service, though I was only introduced last week by a friend. (About VSL). There have been a couple of cool things that have come across but today there were two links that seemed worthy of seconding here.

First, the Free Music Archive.

Back when he was a crusading attorney general, Eliot Spitzer won a settlement against record companies and radio stations involved in pay-for-play arrangements. Fittingly enough, that money was used to set up the Free Music Archive.

Best is that all the files are licensed under Creative Commons which seems to me like it would be ripe for use in photo slideshows/podcasts/etc. So this seems like it will be a good resource for those of you doing this kind of work. Best, though, is that it is curated by the likes of Seattle’s legendary public radio station KEXP.

Second is a link to the trailer for a new documentary called Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country.

Two and a half years ago, three Burmese journalists risked their lives to document the massive demonstrations breaking out against military misrule in their country. Anders Østergaard’s new documentary, Burma VJ (in limited release May 20), uses the raw video they shot to maximum effect.

The subject line of that email was “Meet the world’s bravest journalists”, and I don’t think it is a stretch to say this. I’ll be very interested in seeing the completed film. Amongst much powerful and eye opening video, there is even a segment of the shooting death of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai which I hadn’t seen previously. Judging from the trailer*, this will be a very powerful film that respectfully and appropriately approaches the troublesome divide of ‘a story about journalists’ versus the story the journalists are trying (very hard) to disseminate.

*I reserve the right to change this opinion with the full film, of course. This trailer though stands in contrast to a couple of other trailers I’ve seen recently from relatively similar documentaries that, as I’ll mention again in an upcoming post, do not always follow this respectful tone toward the people in “the story” (that is, not the journalists but their ‘subjects’).

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