X|Media|Lab Melbourne: Jason Roks, the Real News

Real News is a non-corporate, non-government funded news organisation. They rely on a $10 a month donation. I’m just going to link the video on YouTube. There are some pretty heavy hitters behind this project: Gore Vidal, Tom Fenton and Robert McChesney, just to name a few.

Jason is a technical advisor, and instead of talking about the editorial proejct, he wanted to show the technology that makes this possible. RealNews is done by print journalists with video elements added to the stories. Distribution is an important part of the equation. Jason mentioned about the network caps, and there was a knowing laugh from the audience. It sounds as if the models in Australia is similar to the UK in that you can have fast broadband, but many accounts are capped at only a few gigabytes per month.

Flash 9 video and peering help RealNews, and MPEG-4 has become the standard.

He then touched on User-Generated Distribution. The next step beyond user-generated content will be recommenders or as Malcolm Gladwell called them, the connectors. He demonstrated an XML feeds and a service called OnYa. (Jason e-mailed me to let me know that Onya was just an internal code name. A similar service is set to launch soon.) They have built scrapers that go through 200 video sites online. People can search those sites and create a custom channels via XML. They can publish the XML files to Apple TV or Windows Media Player.

He finished with a video about Net Neutrality. SaveTheInternet.com

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