This was a collaborative project to explore virtual news venues as a viable space for the evolution of journalism. As part of this project, Dancing Ink Productions created a newsroom in the virtual world of Second Life for the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at the American University in Cairo. The project was directed by veteran American journalist Lawrence Pintak now Dean of the Murrow College at Washington State University who covered the Middle East for 30 years. It was funded by a grant from USAID. The first tenants of the virtual newsroom were a group of eight Egyptian bloggers. Dancing Ink Productions reported on their efforts covering the 2008 US Presidential Campaign at Dispatches from the Imagination Age.
The virtual newsroom hosted a series of events, including a press conference with former US-Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy James K. Glassman; and a conference about coverage of the Swine Flu crisis with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Documentary reports on those events are below. Broadcast quality machinima for all the events is produced in collaboration with Ill Clan Animation Studios.
Virtual Journalism: The CDC Discusses Swine Flu is a documentary about a May 16, 2009 event in the AUC Virtual Newsroom.
Documentary Premiere: The machinima documentary, “Virtual Journalism: Inside the American University in Cairo Virtual Newsroom,” exploring journalistic and cross-cultural impact and potential of the virtual newsroom project premiered on April 6, 2009 at the Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication conference on Virtual Journalism. That video, which was produced in collaboration with Ill Clan Animation Studios can be viewed below:
Inaugural Broadcast: On January 12, 2009 at 11 am EST, the Inaugural Broadcast of the American University in Cairo’s Virtual Newsroom (designed and produced by Dancing Ink Productions for The American University in Cairo with funding from USAID) took place in the virtual world of Second Life and was broadcast to a live global Internet audience produced in collaboration with Ill Clan Animation Studios. The live audience communicated in real-time chat with event participants and moderators in Second Life. The event was produced and hosted by Rita J. King, the CEO and Creative Director of Dancing Ink Productions broadcast to the Internet by SLCN (videos below). The broadcast-quality machinima documentary produced by Dancing Ink Productions co-directed with Ill Clan Animation Studios features a moderated discussion about the transfer of power between US president administrations between Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James K. Glassman (also a well-known journalist) and eight Egyptian political bloggers who covered the US election. The documentary depicts the event itself, as well as the reaction of Glassman, the bloggers and project director Lawrence Pintak, a veteran war correspondent and author who runs the American University in Cairo’s Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research. Read the press release from the American University of Cairo summarizing the event here.
Below are videos from the January 12 event:
Short Clip from the AUC Glassman Event
Full-length video of the 45 minute live event.