And now, Al Jazeera get on You Tube

YouTube seems to be everywhere!

Last week in Sydney and this week in Melbourne, journalists and media researchers can’t talk enough about You Tube — though not everyone is equally enthusiastic about the online video sharing platform.

This just in, from MediaChannel.org:

Al Jazeera English goes You Tube

The Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera (English) will launch a YouTube branded Channel, the company said today. YouTube users worldwide will have the ability to comment on Al Jazeera English clips, rate them, recommend them to friends and post their own video responses to communicate with other viewers.

Content will include segments from shows such as ‘Frost over the World’, ‘Everywoman’, ‘Inside Iraq’, ‘Inside Story’, ‘Listening Post’, ‘Riz Khan’, ‘One-on-One’, ‘The Fabulous Picture Show’, ‘Witness’ and ‘48′. Al Jazeera English is also planning to release some exclusive web-only programming, starting with ‘Poltical Bytes’, a global conversation hosted by UN correspondent Mark Seddon which will ask the YouTube community to carry on the conversation and add video contributions. The broadcaster said it will provide new content to the site by adding at least 10-15 new clips each week.

Nigel Parsons, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English said: “We believe that YouTube is a perfect platform to reach out to our audience and to give wide and easy access to new viewers around the world. We have significantly built on our distribution since launch and now reach well in access of 90 million cable and satellite households worldwide. With YouTube’s community of millions of online users this is set to dramatically increase.”

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SOS: Save Our Spectrum for media freedom

I’m strongly committed to promoting media freedom, but have never been the placard-carrying, slogan-shouting type. Street activism is necessary — but not sufficient.

I’ve been more interested in studying trends and conditions, trying to anticipate what the next big threats, challenges and opportunities are, and how best we can respond to them.

For years, I’ve been writing and talking about the need for proper spectrum management as a pre-condition for media freedom and media pluralism. Last week, I once again spoke about these core issues at OUR Media 6 Conference in Sydney.

I’ve just adapted my Sydney panel remarks into an op ed essay, just published by the UK-anchored media website, Media Helping Media.

Here are the first few paras:

On May 3, the annual World Press Freedom Day will once again be observed worldwide, focusing public attention on a multitude of threats to freedom of expression through the mass media.

But amidst the extremely relevant and necessary slogans, we are unlikely to hear this one: Hands off our spectrum!

Yet saving our spectrum is critical for ensuring media freedom.

The electro-magnetic spectrum has been called the ‘invisible wealth of nations’ — conventional broadcasting relies on the fair, equitable and sound management of this common property resource.

And as economic and cultural practices move more and more into the digital realm, the spectrum’s value is only set to increase.

But few people -– even within the media profession and industry -– appreciate our dependence on this finite resource. Out of sight does seem to push it out of most people’s minds.

Therein lurks a danger: what we don’t see and value can be quietly taken away, without many of us realizing it.

Read full article and leave your comments

Added on April 18: MediaChannel.org anchored in the US has also just re-published the article. Read their version here

Added on April 19: Free Press.Net has also reproduced the article.

Added on April 20: FreePress.Net in the US reproduces the essay

Added on April 21: Bytes4All South Asian ICT wevsite reproduces my essay

Added on April 21: Reclaim the Media website also publishes the article
Thanks to everyone who considered it worth amplifying to their audiences — we need to spread the word! – Nalaka