Guerrilla News Network


Guerrilla News Network

Guerrilla News Network, Inc. (GNN) is a privately owned news web site and television production company that declares as its mission to "expose people to important global issues through cross-platform guerrilla programming." [http://www.gnn.tv/about/faq.php] This is accomplished through the production of original articles, reporting and multimedia, as well as republishing of commentary and news articles from a number of sources including other progressive commentary sites, mainstream news agencies, and blogs. GNN also hosts blogs for registered users and a discussion forum, and may in the future feature collaborative user-driven investigations and user-submitted photo- and videojournalism. The company also produces feature documentaries, books and music videos.

Background

GNN was founded in 2000. Their headquarters are in New York City and they have production facilities in Berkeley, California. GNN has produced a series of award-winning short web films about such subjects as the CIA's involvement in the drug trade during the 1980s and genetically engineered foods. They also have produced two feature documentaries, numerous music videos, and one book. GNN's web site, GNN.tv, is user driven; users/contributors receive a free blog page. GNN allows submissions of original content in the form of 'articles.' These must be wholly original, sourced, and accompanied by a photograph or illustration. GNN publishes submissions based on a voting system, wherein users/contributors who have had more publications on GNN have more voting weight. Submissions with enough votes are published to the front page, while everything else remains on its creators page until getting enough votes. GNN also publishes headlines.

Productions

Feature documentaries

BattleGround: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge

"" was released in 2004, and received the Silver Hugo Award for documentaries at the 2004 Chicago International Film Festival. [http://www.indiewire.com/ots/onthescene_041020ciff.html] It aired on Showtime and was released on DVD by Home Vision. The film follows the story of Frank al-Bayati, a former Shiite guerrilla traveling back to Iraq for the first time since the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein. Al-Bayati was wounded, captured, tortured and then escaped. He spent more than a year in a Saudi Arabian refugee camp before being repatriated to the U.S. Lappe and Marshall follow al-Bayati as he tracks down his family members and capture the emotional reunions. Al-Bayati's optimism for what he calls "liberated Iraq" is countered by the reality the filmmakers find on the ground. A growing insurgency is creating more enemies than it is killing. With candid interviews with top American commanders, the filmmakers capture the U.S. military's inability to grasp the nature of their enemy. In addition, Lappe and Marshall bring a Gieger counter and conduct their own radiation tests on Iraqi armor that has been hit by American shells. They find evidence of the use of depleted uranium, the controversial radioactive metal used in some American munitions. The film was directed by Stephen Marshall, and produced by Anthony Lappe and Lisa Hsu.

American Blackout

"American Blackout" was released in 2006 and received numerous awards, including a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. [http://www.indiewire.com/ots/2006/01/park_city_06_qu.html] Directed by GNN's Ian Inaba and produced by Anastasia King, American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement witnessed from 2000 to 2004. The film follows the political battles of former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who took an active role investigating the scrubbing of the Florida voter roles and then found herself in her own election debacle after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the terrorist attacks of 9-11. American Blackout travels from Florida to Georgia to Ohio examining the contemporary tactics used to control democratic process and silence political dissent.

Films

This Revolution

"This Revolution" is a 2004 political film starring Rosario Dawson. Directed by filmmaker and activist Stephen Marshall, creator of the video news magazine "Channel Zero" and founder of Guerilla News Network, the docu-drama film blends fiction with reality, focusing on the effects of the media's bias in order to maximize profits. The film was also part of the 2004 Official Sundance Selection.

NewsVideos

GNN is known for its series of "NewsVideos" - short, music-driven web documentaries. The videos have been screened in numerous film festivals around the world and are compiled in two DVDs. Topics have ranged from the CIA's involvement with selling of narcotics ("Crack The CIA", which won the 2003 Sundance Online Film Festival [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/04/DD192971.DTL] , the trade in blood diamonds in Sierra Leone, the fall of Baghdad and many others. The videos can be viewed from the GNN.tv website.

Music Videos

GNN has also produced politically-charged music videos for major recording artists. They are probably best known for the video "Mosh" for the rapper Eminem released shortly before the 2004 presidential election. The animated music video shows Eminem leading a group of disaffected young people - a black man who is abused by the police, a Latina woman who is evicted from her apartment while watching the news discuss tax cuts for the rich, and finally a white soldier who returns from duty in Iraq only to be turned around and sent right back for another tour. The video became a cultural phenomenon and quickly rose to number one on MTV's TRL. [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FJ30Aa01.html] Videos have also been produced for 50 Cent, Arizona band Chronic Future, and others.

Books

In 2004 GNN released a book of investigative journalism and media criticism, entitled "True Lies", by Anthony Lappe and Stephen Marshall with additional reporting from Ian Inaba. The book explores the concept of a news media that often simply reports information provided by government and corporations without investigation. It touches on topics such as alternate theories in recent election controversies, conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, and U.S. use of depleted-uranium weapons.

See also

* The Real News Network
* Adbusters
* Disinfo
* Shooting War

External links

* [http://gnn.tv/ gnn.tv]
* [http://www.guerrillanews.com/about/faq.php About GNN]
* [http://anthony.gnn.tv/ The Bunker, Anthony Lappe's blog]
* [http://silverback.gnn.tv/ Revolutionary Theory, Stephen Marshall's blog]
* Internet Archive's [http://www.archive.org/movies/movieslisting-browse.php?collection=independent_news&cat=Guerrilla%20News%20Network collection of GNN videos]
* [http://www.guerrillanews.com/videos/36/GNN_on_TV Interviews] with Stephen Marshall
* [http://www.workopolis.com/servlet/Content/qprinter/20041224/HAMPSON24 Interview #2] with Stephen Marshall
* [http://www.iraqmediaactionproject.org/v2/films/battleground.html Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge] on the [http://www.iraqmediaactionproject.org Iraq Media Action Project]

References

* [http://subsol.c3.hu/subsol_2/contributors3/marshalltext.html Stephen Marshall interviewed]
* [http://www.rrj.ca/issue/1998/spring/262/ Article] about Channel One, from the Ryerson Review of Journalism.


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