TB Vs Swine Flu

About this time last year I got involved with producing one of the TED prizes in London and dragged most of my friends with me. James Nachtwey‘s prize wish was to use his classic style of photo journalism to bring an issue to the world’s attention using the internet and digital media. It was a weird experience. Radical Media produced this pretty awesome viral video explaining the issue using James Nachtwey’s photographs – it’s really good nubaganda. It was a cool project to be involved in and we had alot of fun, but even though both Obama and Maccain both ended up making statements on TB in response to the campaign, it left me wondering if this success was the awesome power of nachtwey’s photographs, the internet or if it was really just about TED – i.e. is there such a thing as ‘powerful media’ & ‘powerful forms of communication’ – maybe there are just ‘powerful organisations’, like TED. We like to think it’s the technology, or the creativity but really the power comes from the same thing it always has – human relationships, money etc. Anyway Tuur, who was also involved in the TED project forwarded me Hans Rosling‘s gapcast the other day, looking at the attention for swine flu deaths vs the attention for TB deaths. It pretty much makes the same point as the Radical Media video, but in a different way. I was kind of thinking like I always do is this a nub or isn’t it? is it a teachnub? is it better than the Radical Media video or not? and then I just thought that they’re just different videos that take you to the same end and that the whole wish project would have been more powerful if we had managed to get people to make different people to make different videos. Which er, if I can complete this ramble, just means that there are powerful forms of media and new powerful channels of communication produced by more people – the powerful organisations will be the ones who can organise them. Which is the argument in We Think

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