by Garret Ean
July 25, 2011
The vocal support base for government funding of Planned Parenthood has been denouncing the June 22 vote by the NH Executive Council to cut funding to the organization. Independent videojournalist Dave Ridley covered a recent protest in front of the state house in Concord. The report begins as many of his do. There are establishing shots of the scene; an attendee is interviewed. Mid-interview, the report takes a sharp turn, as one of the protesters calls out Ridley’s ideological perspective. From there, it appears most individuals present become hesitant to participate in the report.
Patterns of Camera Hesitance
There are a variety of sociological dynamics worth pondering in this recent ridleo. Similar to the previous Free Concord post, this is yet another example of the resistance to being recorded making the video suddenly engrossing. When done in public, it communicates, “I don’t want you to see this”. There is no greater way to stimulate an urge within another human being to point a camera at you.
At the scene of a horrific accident, or where privacy is concerned, a journalist must make their own ethical decisions as to how to cover a story. When a group of individuals collect to make a public statement, hesitancy to be recorded conflicts directly with their presumed goal of outreach. Perhaps coverage from the Ridley Report was not what attendees of the demonstration were seeking. More likely the ideological friction put in the air made it too uncomfortable for anyone to appear on camera.
Ultimately, what was lost was an opportunity for those united on this issue to answer some presumably tough questions for an internet news audience. While nobody may like answering tough questions, it is important that these questions be raised, and the beauty of independent media is that anyone is free to raise them. As an indyjournalist, Ridley brings all of his own biases to the production process. This is unavoidable, and is why the structural ethics of one’s reporting style is what makes or breaks a report. After Ridley gives a subject a tough question, he gives them ample time to formulate their thoughts and respond. In a clip chopped and rendered for broadcast on corporate media, you’ll see seconds from a scene encased in post-production narrative. With independent media, you are given raw video to consume as a whole.
The confrontation of ideas as happened in the protest video is not a rare occurrence for such a gathering. What is rare is to see quality footage of these ideological rifts beginning, with tensions rising and shifting. Knowing that Ridley is not out to win debates, but record video, it will be interesting to see how things develop in part 2, which will be posted below once it broadcasts.
10:40pm: Part 2, the non-confrontation, interviews with those who speak with Ridley.
July 28 2011: Part 3, focuses specifically on the camera resistance.
Ridley has put together a full-length video of the entire event in uncut format. Footage from the slightly more edited episodes are all featured in the raw video, in addition to more lens time that doesn’t normally survive the cutting room floor. Ridley’s decision to upload all of the scene’s unedited raw footage, as well as film the duration of his presence and exit from the event was likely based on allegations in the report that he was being deceptive for wanting to talk on camera. Exposing the additional camera coverage was wise and responsible on his part, and also gives you the opportunity to see more of the FreeConcord.org chalkings that decorated the sidewalk. Link to the raw video (running time 22 minutes):
July 29 2011: Julia, who speaks with Ridley in his second video from, also covered the protest on her blog, propagandalalaland.blogspot.com. See her written coverage and video from the scene here: