Over at IdeaLab, I’ve interviewed Baghdad Brian, who I met in October 2007 at the first Networked Journalism summit Jeff Jarvis threw at CUNY. At the time, Brian was raising money to keep Alive in Baghdad going, and we did everything but pass a hat around the room to try to back him up.
The next time I remember hearing about the project was two months later, in December 2007, when one of the citizen journalists working with AIB was killed. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether or not his murder (he was shot 31 times) was related to the story he was working on.
Brian popped up on my radar again over the last two weeks or so, as he quickly ramped up Alive in Tehran, exploring different communication channels to get stories out of Iran during the current post-election upheaval, protests, and violence.
I spoke to Brian by phone a few days ago. You can listen to the audio at IdeaLab or read the full transcript. Here’s a sample [emph. mine]:
“…I don’t really have any contacts there. I have a couple of contacts, it’s sort of funny, because we did look into trying to set this up, back in…a couple of years back, sort of looking at doing a project in Iran, with a couple of filmmakers who are known over here and in the blogosphere. I got the impression that nobody wanted to be associated with a project called “Alive in Tehran” because it was too political. It seemed political, inherently. And it is to some degree political, because we’re making this statement that we don’t necessarily need the foreign press to go and say “Live from Tehran, this is what you need to know.“
Check it out.
1 thought on “New at IdeaLab: An interview with Baghdad Brian”
This kind of journalism is very exciting and it is precisely the type of thing that will determine the future of journalism in general. The power that citizen journalists have been able to demonstrate recently in Iran is one of the strongest arguments that traditional journalism needs to be open to fundamental change that we have yet seen. There are some other great interviews with top journalists about the future of journalism at http://www.ourblook.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view,category/#catid69 which I have found very helpful.