Saturday, August 16, 2008

Citizen Journalist Uses Qik to Capture "Free Tibet" Protest in China and Gets Deported

This story was covered in a number blogs a few days ago about New York video blogger and citizen journalist Noel “Noneck” Hidalgo who, along with a group of journalists, was rounded up and deported from China last week for documenting a “Free Tibet” protest in Tienanmen square. Noneck who has used video and photos to document his world travels on his blog used Qik to stream live mobile broadcasts from China and says in his video description,"I happen to have stumbled upon a set of protesters in Tiananmen Square." The video has over 52,000 views and is climbing.

In his Online Video Watch post, Bounced From Beijing For Videoblogging | Online Video Watch, Ben Homer wrote,
"The video... of obnoxious North American students protesting something occurring thousands of miles away from their literal and cultural home is somewhat entertaining, but it’s mostly irritating... The apparent arrogance of these “protesters” notwithstanding this is not be the first time live streaming will be used to capture an event which the Mainstream Media either has no access to or ignores. Independent producers broadcasting live online will continue to play a larger role in media as a whole."

The video below follows the drama previous one which is described below. Noneck goes on camera in the last 15 seconds and says,
"It's the Power of one of these little Qik cameras to go straight up to the internet is pretty amazing... hopefully I'll be able to put it in the hands of NY Times of other friends of mine."

Title: In china, at t square Description: one of the journalists who was recorded the protest had his passport stolen by security/police. 10 mins later his passport was returned.

Soon after these Qik videos were streamed live on August 10, 2008, he wrote the following message on Twitter, "I’m getting deported for filming. Everyone safe. tibet will be free! " and found himself along with a group of others on a flight back to the United States.

Noneck said on his luck of seven blog, that other journalists have been arrested since and offered this perspective,
"For those of you wondering if I'm sad about getting deported, I'm not. I'm happy to have my freedom and highlight the plight the media faces covering the Olympics. since my return, I've now seen the mainstream media use aliased emails, code words for sensitive topics, and rely on anonymous internet drop boxes for posting timely stories. it's unbelievable that even Olympic reporters must use spy-vs-spy tactics to file their stories."
He included this video to emphasize how western journalists are being censored and assaulted for covering Free Tibet protesters.

Fred Benenson noted on his blog:
"What’s interesting is that Facebook seems to be censoring Noneck’s posts about his deportationhis original status updates were deleted but the comments referencing them stayed. My friend Elizabeth observed that all of Noneck’s Facebook status updates that referenced “deportation” have been changed to

i:3;i:672057;i:4;i:672058;i:5;i:672059;}. 10:08am Co"

With Qik, you can instantly broadcast a live uncensored feed to world. The event is simultaneously recorded online and the video makes it way through viral channels. The mobile phone becomes a powerful tool when the eyes of the world are watching.

Qik has an official Olympic events page set up here and an RSS feed here with coverage by 17 different Qikkers from August 6th to August 24th.