The revolution will not be televised, it will however be livestreamed.
From Occupy Wall Street in its various locations around the world, to Tahrir Square in Egypt and now to Syria, where few reporters are able to enter, livestreams from citizen journalists increasingly are becoming the only window into what’s actually happening at any given moment during some of the biggest news events.
At the outset of the revolution in Egypt, a streaming video service called Bambuser allowed live video to be streamed directly from Tahrir Square. Ramy Raoof, human rights activist and editor for Egyptian Blog for Human Rights, regularly provided live video using nothing but his Nokia E90 camera phone.
This video, documenting a protest of the death and torture of Khaled Said, netted nearly 4,000 live viewers. The archive has been watched nearly 16,000 times.
Tim Pool has been written up in many publications, including Fast Company, Spin and Time Magazine for his livestreaming of Occupy Wall Street around the country and in particular in New York City. We spoke to Tim recently on Reuters TV’s Tech Tonic about the equipment Tim uses to capture events on streams that last for days and days.
Now, livestreamers like William Gagan and Geoffrey Shively are taking their act overseas. The two citizen journalists crowdfunded a trip into Syria to attempt to livestream from within the borders many journalists have been unable to cross. Shively is an agent with Telecomix, a loosely networked group of hacktivists who provide the connective tissue for livestreamers like Shively, as they have for others around the world, in Egypt, Libya and anywhere else that a need for raw uninterrupted access arises.
Gagan and Shively met up in Istanbul on Feb. 21st, and with the help of a fixer they met at their hostel, flew to Gaziantep, on Turkey’s southern border. They filmed these videos over the next two days, slipping into Syria three times.
They met up with the Free Syrian Army and recorded a message pleading with the world for assistance.
William, who goes by @WillyFoReal on Twitter, gave video updates on what he saw and heard as he slipped into Syria.
I interviewed William Gagan and Geoff Shivley about their entry and escape in Syria, the danger they encountered, and how they barely escaped with their lives after having their transmissions intercepted.