Amanda Koster

thoughts and experiences of an international documentarian

Passion to tell a story is the jet fuel behind citizen journalism.

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“drocolate” of in-this-economy.com wanted to ask me (Amanda Koster) a few ?s about sxsw. Thought I’d share:

1. Why should I attend your core conversation at SXSW?

One example. Compare the velocity of media and societies responce of Katrina vs. Haiti.

listen to this:
http://salaamgarage.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/AmandaKoster_podcast_sxsw2010.mp3

Let’s see how far can we take this.

2. What makes you the right person to be conducting this convo?

I’m an outsider. I’m not from the tech arena. When I presented at Gnomedex in 2008, I did not have an iPhone, Twitter account nor did Facebook make much sense to me. I thought FB was innovative online dating. Since then I have been able to harness storytelling, social media and passion all for social change. If can d that, anyone can.

The passion to tell a story is the jet fuel behind citizen journalism. And it has been passion, not assignments, that got me here right now. I’ve been working as a photojournalist, writer, author for about 15 years though it has been my personal projects, again not assignments, that propelled my career and life beyond where I ever thought it could go.

Citizen journalism is more powerful than it could have ever been imagined and this is growing. The pendulum is swinging far to the left, and is still swinging.

Because I believe in these things makes me the perfect person (and Amanda Rose of Twestival) to lead this conversation.

3. What advice would you give to aspiring citizen journalists (other than attending your convo at SXSW, of course)?

Your personal stories and perspectives are more valuable than ever. Make GOOD content and get it out to a relevant audience. And, there’s more to it than that:

Have a plan. SalaamGarage builds relationships/projects/plans with NGOs farin advance. We do not advocate what I call ‘drive-by-shootings’  (just showing up, shooting photos, then jet).

Be authentic. We want intimacy. I think people are tired of the slick, heavily produced story. We see through it. With the wildfire of social media and intentionally constructed social communities, impersonal, glossy stories delivered by a generic, safe personality is rapidly loosing ground.

Be relevant. Not worth telling a story about t-shirts to a dog trainer. Even if it’s the most compelling t-shirt story ever. Be relevant and focused.
Know your audience. Tell them a story 1) you care about and 2)they want to hear.

Care. There are ‘hot’ stories to tell, but you outta care about it. I travel all over the world all the time with SalaamGarage and as an free-lance journalist. There are stories that resonate with me, and other that just don’t. The advantage of being a citizen journalist is that you get to choose your story, verses being assigned something that is not dear to you.

DO SOMETHING with it. Share. Everyone is sitting on a novel, but if a tree falls in the woods….. I’ll leave it at that.

I am very passionate about this and have a lot more (not big on advice) ideas around this topic, though, this is the topic of our conversation so come join the conversation.

4. Where is your dream location to take a citizen journalism project? Antarctica? Atlantis? Detroit? Where?’

The White House.

And if you want to be known as anything other than “Amanda Koster” please denote that as well.
?
Amanda Koster
@salaamgarage
amanda@salaamgarage.com
is that what you mean?
Or… Amanda Koster: professional storyteller, founder of SalaamGarage


Written by amandakoster

February 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

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