Sunday, December 29, 2013

Young people don't do journalism - a Social network shaker Q responds

Recently, Indie journo David posted in this blog about young people and journalism arguing young people did their own journalism. The day after  Q - a social network shaker responded with this. The piece has captured the attention of a wide number of people. You can follow Q here

David will be presenting at the International journalism festival on producing 21st century news story forms from his 6 year PhD research.


Q writes,  Go 2 the audience

I feel like a digital media snitch as I answer or add to this discussion, because, we would like to keep the mainstream or traditional hierarchical models of media power, believing they have relevance, which can only be to themselves, and their declining newspaper and journalistic industry.

Young people do journalism. Oh yes they do, by creating their own new models, raising their own bars of excellence and eliminating and reducing the traditional models.

I have to start by saying I have NEVER seen so many young people in the 15-30 demographic of all colours and creeds engaged and passionately making and shooting, their own content, even on smart
phones and uploading them online. I switched on twitter this morning and saw a discussion and said


TOP DOG AGENCY @topdogagency

@viewmagazine @digidickinson @DSLRinformer my basic question is: "What is news?" no I am being totally serious. "What is news?" because its vital 2 me 2 understanding journalism. if we don't value whatever the system, universities, journalists claim to be news. What is news?


After a bit of silence an answer finally came.


@topdogagency @viewmagazine @DSLRinformer my line is usually 'anything
that is topical and of interest to your target audience'

I replied (please note I have broken the 140 character twitter rule to condense the conversation. I have not changed or edited or punctuated my online grammar or language)


TOP DOG AGENCY @topdogagency

What if now in social media we find what is topical and of interest to our own target market and get financial news like Bloomberg. If we are online and can get culturally specific news from normal people do we need journos?

I mean traditional journalists were people we trusted to bring us news stories for a price. It is free now We can make our own. There is a lobby out there in social media world that feel we don't need traditional journalists/news anymore.

I better get 2 writing my article. Financial info is different. But I logged on 2 twitter 2 get my news from sources I trust.  when we old disenfranchised people look at traditional news/journalists. We say, with the Internet we don't need them anymore I shall put my case as to why trad. journalists and even some bloggers are not needed anymore in my article. GO 2 THE AUDIENCE


david dunkley gyimah @viewmagazine

@topdogagency Brill look forward to it. Dare say a few other journos may enjoy reading what the Socially Networked think


TOP DOG AGENCY ?@topdogagency

@viewmagazine It is not we think. It is what we had to do to survive. We had to eliminate and reduce their importance. The internet helped.


I asked the question What is news,  because I wanted to know how a journalist or his or my online community would answer.

Of course the news of a mother breaking the death of a family member to her son, I understand. The family member receiving the news trusts the messenger.

Why in this digital age should we trust traditional media? We had to eliminate and reduce the messenger's power and continual negative stories.

Traditionally, when the young black community switched on the news or opened papers or glanced online via traditional platforms. The news about them was always weighted against them. On the justice scales of light and dark, they were shown in the stereotypical dark.

I have to ask? Now, I know what a journalism lecturer and geek answer to the question ?What is news? was it news, is it news this because that was/is the only side of the black community that is topical or of interest to traditional white audiences by white owned media?

I am not going to snitch on these young black people and show or tell how they are creating in some areas companies and intellectual property worth a lot of capital. It should remain unseen and allowed to flourish.

If traditional media are out of touch, so be it. If they have the business sense to employ the black talent or buy out their enterprises that is an option for their growth and survival.

The young black people doing journalism online are not asking for acceptance. They know their audience, where to find them and create topical content of interest to their target audience in the UK and aboard via the internet thus crossing cultural boundaries and gaining new audiences, and creating an income at the same time.

I think this has been a direct result of institutional racism, and also the traditional hierarchical models, knowingly or unknowingly, upholding an injustice.

So we have to thank that old injustice #RIPMANDELA that has brought about out of need this new online content creation from young 15-30 black audiences.

The young have become creative online. Some feel in the traditional system, a lot of stories created by that traditional media was negative and stereotypical. With, no or very little good news.

So, with the aid of the Internet they have created an alternative, and can now be in control of their own stories and imaging, and get that to their own audiences.

They can also now decide the balance or weighting of a story with a good or bad light, and the checks or control on them is via the social platforms they are serving. If the audience doesn't like the content, it takes seconds for the content creators to be notified and contested. 

Of course within all of this there are online haters sitting behind keyboards that hate anything posted online. However, now the content creators are also the audience or very close to them this once again leads them to feel that they don't need the support of traditional media, which has misshaped and wrongly defined them in the past.

Also, one has to question the fact, why very few young people even read the traditional media and their journalistic stories?

In the case of movies, where in traditional media, a print and advertising backed campaign, for a movie, with a marketing budget can get a four star review in papers or an appearance by the star actor on a prime time TV chat show could mean a good opening weekend for the movie.

The young people don't care? or rarely see these reviews or chat shows, and if they do, are not moved to engage in a night out at the movies, leading to a box office flop.

If however, they see media created by social platforms they respect by content creators they trust, and their friends reinforce that on social media, they will engage in conversation and might even SHARE the good news to others.

The 15 - 30 demographic is vital to advertisers.

Dead Meat

Buy Dead Meat here

In my book Deadmeat, I talked about the commodification of the digital youth. However, young 15-30 year old black people are learning how to make money from their own online commodities and keeping the digital income, because they have their audiences.

I would like to finish with two stories.

I recently got a DM on twitter, from a journalist from the guardian newspaper, with a landline number to call.

I had previously introduced him to alleged gang members for a videojournalism story he was working on about stop and search.

These alleged gang members were from the guys had provided music for my movie FEDZ, with other artists from various post codes and areas in the UK.

I had even got some of these guys into the channel four series TOP BOY, here is


Anyway, the journalist said, Hey, I was wondering where you think we should go next?

What do you mean? I asked.

With gangs, he said. What story should we do about them?

You're asking me?

Yes, because you know them?

Excuse me, I said. I am right in the middle of talking to my lawyer. Vimeo, just took down my site and we are talking to IAC, the parent company. I paused. Do you think I have got time to talk about gangs that don't exist as the media created them I have spoken to these guys, and do you know what they say to me about the media?

No,  he replied.

They say the media created gangs, they are just friends. One carnival a newspaper published a map of London with different colours in various boroughs and post codes, and named various gangs. 

The guys looked at this article, and were surprised because they saw themselves as friends, now they were suddenly pitted against guys they knew in other post codes. 

I added, alleged former gang members like Jay Z and 50 cent can turn themselves around. If Jay-z can stand next to Obama, chat with Prince Charles, why shouldn't these guys be given a chance? Why should they be continually demonised?

There was silence on the other end of the phone.

I continued. I have been on the phone to my lawyers, we are talking to Michael Cheah, the grand counsel of IAC, he reports directly to Barry Diller, do you know who they are?


Well, if you want that story, I will be happy to tell that and how we have made a hit from our indie movie FEDZ by finding our audience via social media, with no traditional press, radio, TV, and how we sold out Genesis Cinema and smashed the Vimeo server with VOD sales. 

To be honest I don't understand the fascination of middle aged white men,
with alleged gangs that don't exist. You have done very well? he said. But what we are looking for is ...

I cut into his sentence.

A story about a single mother, a gangster's moll living on an estate, with three kids by three different fathers, with a hungry bull dog. If you're not writing positive stories, good news, don't call me. We don't need you. We have our own media, our own audience.

OK He said.

HRH Prince Charles and Jay-z at Prince's Trust 

The point about this story is, he had no news and was obviously in the office trying to justify his wages and come up with something. He didn't get that something from me. 

However, it is so dangerous to have responsible journalists without a story, what will they publish the next day. Is that how those stereotypical stories get out there?

I started with a twitter conversation and I shall end with this twitter story, of course it is out of context, but echoes the message that young people do journalism. 

Oh yes they do, by creating their own new models, raising their own bars of excellence and eliminating and reducing the traditional models.

On twitter Chuck D said.

Chuck D@MrChuckD

I wish I could convey HipHop & Rap in 1977-1979 to y'all. Pictures, tapes, stories don't do the justice. NOTHING afterward compares to that era

Retweeted by TOP DOG AGENCY

My thoughts were like wow, look at what businesses and great products deals came from and are still coming from that industry. Like Jay Z's Samsung deal, I will include Beyonce?s surprise Christmas album as part of this, and the great music from a thousand other artists from 1977 to 2013
Later Chuck D said, and this is also out of context.

Chuck D@MrChuckD

Black youth NOT being taught Black culture & music history is a USA crime.Thus getting it from CORPlantation radio TV& records is criminal!

My reply was:

TOP DOG AGENCY ?@topdogagency

@MrChuckD I agree, however, I got all my news from PE. No, I got a good portion of my education from PE records. still do. #fightthepower

Take a look at the music promo

Public Enemy - Fight The Power

HipHop/Rap music have been the newspapers on the street, for years, that is where I got and still get my news, and business models. A lot of ish is spoken on these records, fuelled by competition and ego,
but, that is the same in any art form. 

However, there a lot of MC's/rappers who are great social commentators, great journalists, also, with social media, smart phones; instagram etc they are in control of their own propaganda/news, and it is online to be shared in a heartbeat.

We don't trust your traditional, hierarchical, unbalanced, racists media we got our own media.

Fight The Power Lyrics

Artist: Public Enemy (Buy Public Enemy CDs)
Album: Fear Of A Black Planet

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant ---- to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother---- him and John Wayne
Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
Don't worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c'mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

(Fight the Power)

If you can find the right artists like PE, a lot of sense and education is also there, and the hiphop/rap industry still continues imparting knowledge...

Jay-Z. Zane Lowe. Part 1: Magna Carta Holy Grail

Kanye West. Zane Lowe. Part 1.

Eminem. Zane Lowe. Part 1.

But I need to post this too

My Philosophy | Dame Dash Says Good Business Means More Problems (Part 2)

This why we are using the same models that have worked in America for FEDZ MOVIE and why the soundtrack and the music of UK hiphop helped us use social media to GO 2 THE AUDIENCE.



David filmin Lennox' training in the Pocono Mountains before his fight with Tyson

This piece by Q has proven to be a hugely successful from a wide constituent. To read the piece Q responded to written by David  ( An indie videojournalist at and one time Team Lennox Lewis' videojournalist)  go here.