Saturday 14 January 2012

Dispatches from the Field

Today on the Saturday "news" spot during our Looking Back week I'd like to highlight the journalistic aspect of the Social Reporting pilot. This often goes unsung, but is a fundamental part of building an alternative media - the regular social reporting of events and on-going projects. One of the tenets of our 2011 pilot was that everything we wrote was grounded in the daily work of our initiatives. These reports not only provide the base rhythm for the project, but also provide an essential feedback mechanism within Transition as a whole. Wiithout this beat, none of us get to sing our song.

So here are three selected pieces in this category that all contain the ability to take you directly into the field and explore the frame in which Transition sits. Transition can embolden you to do things you might not otherwise undertake (this project for example!) and during the pilot Caroline Jackson gave us some very funny, inspiring and practical tips on how to run a film night and organise a radio programme. Here she provides an ace example of subjective and objective reporting as she goes out on a wild and windy night to Occupy Lancaster.

My second post is by Mark Watson whose communications from the "Engine Room", consistently spread the news about the kind of heart-felt engagement and downshift work we need to do together to weather the physical and political storm. Here he is tallking about three projects at Sustainable Bungay within the frame of Navigating Community Chaos in All Hands on Deck -from Control to Relationship.

But the piece I'd like to republish today is by Jay Tompt. Jay recently moved from San Francisco to Totnes and has the challenging task of reporting on the Transition movement's capital which he does with consummate ease, weaving the many components of the initiative into a living map, from economics to permaculture. Here in our Bigger Picture week he gets to report on a fellow American, the environmentalist Bill McKibben as he gives a talk in the town about the key issues facing the planet from climate change to tar sands. Like many Transitioners and activists, restrained by geography, by peak oil, by economics, I would have love to have been at this event. Thanks to Jay, we were:

The Big Picture View from Totnes by Jay Tompt

Photo: Occupy the Earth outside the White House

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