Behind the scenes with Ben Gelblum
TV outside the box
Today at 5pm GMT on the eighth floor of a high-rise block in Wembley, broadcasting history will be made.
Over the past six months, an enthusiastic crew spearheaded by sports presenter and Green Party spokesman turned anti-establishment maverick David Icke have been feverishly putting together the world’s first internet-based live television station.
A station dedicated to taking on the mainstream media and giving a voice to the voiceless all over the world.
The People’s Voice has been totally funded by the public after an internet ‘crowdfunding’ push raised £300,000 in just one month.
“And that’s made from large numbers of small donations from all over the world,” executive producer Sean Adl-Tabatabai tells The London Economic in between phone calls to find out why the live-streaming has stopped working hours before launch.
“The idea was formed in May, David Icke suggested a radio station based in the Isle of Wight to offer an alternative to the mainstream media, and I said, ‘why not a proper broadcasting network?’ And now, six months later, we’re launching a global TV station with presenters and correspondents all over the world, and ambitions to open more studios around the world.
“We crowd-sourced funding in June. Then from July we answered the thousand of emails from people offering to help and recruited presenters. We found a studio in September and work on the station began two months ago.”
Nobody is certain of how long their crowdfunding model will keep the station going, but everybody involved is convinced there is a demand for an alternative to the mass media.
Occupy the media
Last weekend saw demonstrations in hundreds of cities around the world, organised by Occupy movements on every continent, disillusioned with the mainstream media’s narrative on austerity and lack of coverage of alternatives to capitalism.
“People were motivated by a huge variety of concerns that they felt weren’t represented by the mainstream media, from the privatisation of the NHS to the destruction of the planet, to the ongoing hollowing out of democracy by vested financial interests,” explains George Barda, a member of Occupy and an organiser of the London March Against Mainstream Media on November 16.
“Given the mainstream media dominated by the interests of the powerful and a world with spiraling problems for billions, a different perspective that alternative media can give has never been more crucial,” Barda adds.
The People’s Voice hopes to tap into an increasing demand for alternative news sources, and eventually attract enough traffic for advertising to start paying for the station. Albeit ethical advertisers only!
A West London studio has been hammered together by volunteers in a matter of weeks.
“A lot of talented people have given a lot of time,” beams Adl-Tabatabai. “Office equipment has been donated, plus fortuitously a studio closed down at the very same time, allowing The People’s Voice crew to buy a gallery, cameras, autocues and lights, – all at affordable prices!”
Veteran Irish talk radio presenter Richie Allen and columnist and TV personality Sonia Poulton spearhead the launch, as well as hosts from a variety of alternative media and websites from the US, including ex-marine Ken O’Keefe, who renounced his US citizenship, before becoming a human shield in the Iraq war, and joining the aid flotilla to Gaza. He will be joined by correspondents all over the Middle East.
Crewed by volunteers with a wealth of TV experience, including an autocue operator, who was drafted after mentioning his TV experience in the cafe across the road, the People’s Voice TV offices have the DIY feel of a pirate radio station rather than a global media hub set to take on the mainstream media.
And volunteers cheerily recount how their dream has been beset from all kinds of issues, from technical malfunctions and floods, to Ofcom deciding that The People’s Voice is a TV station rather than a website and demanding a licence at the very last minute.
Barring technical hitches, the station will be broadcasting TV and radio, both live and prerecorded shows 24/7 starting this afternoon.
Prostitutes, politicians & paedo rings
Barring law suits too! A quick glimpse of the first week’s schedule reveals exposes of a UK cabinet minister and HM the Queen; Comedian and film-maker Keith Allen and his revelatory film about Diana’s death – ‘Unlawful Killing’ – which for legal reasons has been shown in other countries but not the UK; parents campaigning against forced adoptions and gagging orders; an unconventional view of Maddie McCann’s fate; establishment paedophile ring cover-up and live guests include ex-prostitute Natalie Rowe, recently raided by police and banned from selling party photos of herself with UK Chancellor George Osborne.
Ahead of tomorrow’s ‘live and uncensored’ interview on www.thepeoplesvoice.tv, she tweeted: “And as for you David Cameron, your dirty secrets are coming out next, how long did you think you could hide behind George’s skirt tails.”
So it’s pretty likely that Downing Street will be one of the interested parties tuning into this afternoon’s launch of www.thepeoplesvoice.tv.
We are promised global news reports, alternative music and comedy, hosted by Isle of Wight indie rocker (and son of David) Gareth Icke, and an alternative health show, hosted by US alternative health guru Mike ‘The Health Ranger’ Adams.
Also alternative science, a voice for youth, New York political and financial trends forecaster Gerald Celente, Hawaiian environmental campaigner Roxy Lopez, spiritual news and a daily meditation!
“The voice that we hear constantly is that of the authorities, the establishment, the government and increasingly today, the corporations,”says David Icke.
“We want to redress that balance. The information, the background and opinions the main stream media would not touch. The potential, once you have that amount of airtime, without censorship – where you can go, what you can cover is just limited only by imagination.”
David’s not the only bleary-eyed face at the station after an all-night effort to iron out last minute hitches. If they do, against all odds, launch the world’s first global live internet TV station at 5pm this afternoon, an interesting experiment will be broadcast across the world, and possibly a new era of citizens’ TV will dawn.
Will the revolution be televised? – http://thepeoplesvoice.tv/