**  Weekly report on LaborMedia 97  **

**  Issue No.1  **

- published by LaborMedia 97 oraganizing committee in Seoul, Korea -
written by MJ Kim and JY Lee

* Those who don't receive this newsletter. Please send the message. *

  Thanks for your showing interest in LaborMedia'97 in Seoul !

When we started organizing a conference, we didn't know how to manage it well. But by degrees, we have come to learn what and how to prepare it thanks to your help.

We really hope that the conference will be a lively time enough to share information on the challenges caused by changing technologies and how to use the old and new communication tool for labour movement and strengthen our solidarity on the international level.

In order to make it possible, we will publish a weekly report on the upcoming LaborMedia'97, and distribute any people and organization worldwide who are interested in that. It will include a process of preparing for the conference, the information on workshops, sessions and labor video and film festival which have been prepared, and the issues brought up by all the possible participants and those who are interested in these activities.

Firstly, we are going to introduce our situation in a preparing stage. On the 9th of Sep. we had a starting meeting formally. Although all the organizers haven't been confirmed yet, however those have been almost outlined. The list of organizers and organizing sponsers as of now are as follows.

Labor News Production(LNP), Truenet, Social Information Networking Group(SING), Solidarity for Democracy and Progress(SDP), Korea research institue for worker's human rights and justice(KRIWRJ), Lawyers for democratic society, Association of professors for democratic society, Korean Telecommunication trade union, Korean Institute for Labor Studies and Policy (KILSP), Daily Labor News, Confederation of Democratic Rail Workers Union - All from Korea

Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU)

UPPNET (Union producers and programmers network) - USA

Vieazimut(International network of alternative and democratic communication)

* Obstacles...but
All the organizers decided to get responsible for the budget of this conference, approximately US$ 600 each. So we collect a donation from each organizer. Despite this, it is far from the degree of what we need. Also, the difficulty induced by censorship have come out. In Korea, every work is obliged to be censored, but we have been preparing for our event refusing any censorship. By the way, in a case of the Seoul Human rights film festival which will be held right this week, it has been oppressed intensively by the police, the seurity police and the authority of culture and sport department. Anyway, we'll do our best, and we are proud of organizing the conference with our own resources, despite the difficult political situation for working class in Korea.

* Volunteers !
Despite the financial and political problem, we are enthusiastic about our work. Espacially, volunteers are. They are not many yet. But the number of them has been gradually increasing one by one. Most of them are working for translating English script into Korean or the opposite case. They are not professionals but students who are sympathize with these activities. As time goes on, workers from labour union will also join as volunteers.

* International support
Besides many helps from inside our country, as we have already referred, many media activists have been showing their interest and giving a usuful suggestion for elaborating our conference. Therefore, this has been also a great opportunity for us to share an information and experience widely. We hope that communications betweem people who are interested in these activities be more stimulating. In this sense, we will let you know who or what organizations we have been contacting. We are really thankful to all the people who have helped us to contact each other.

Steve Zeltzer : Labor Video Project, LaborNet-IGC, UPPNET
Larry Duncan : Labor Beat, UPPNET
Daymon j. Hartley : Detroit newspaper worker
Appalshop : Maker of
Kelly Anderson : Director of
Mike Konapacki : Director of

Chris Bailey : LaborNet
Greg Dropkin : Video activist
Ken Loach : Director of
Anne Marie Sweeney : Director of

Eric Lee : Author of

Asafa Adiv : WAC

Akira Matsubara : Video press

Onder Ozdemir

Rodrigo Assump : Videazimut

Anand Patwardhan : Director of

Julius Fisher : Director of

The belows are those who we are trying to contact but haven't got reply from yet.

Ted Weisberg

Luis Fernando Bacon

Michael Moore

Gorgio Schute

Peter Waterman

* If anybody wants to contact any of them individually, please contact us.

As you may know, our conference is composed of three parts, so to speak, session, workshop and International Labor Video and Film Festival widely.

  * Festival update
Concerning the International Labor Video and Film Festival, we have been selecting some works. The scale of this festival is not big. However, we are trying to make an effort so that good videos can be screened as many as possible. Anyway, we think until now, we will probably show are as follows.

- by Julius Fisher (Canada)
- by Appalshop (U.S.A)
-Videos clips on Turkey labor movement sent by Onder Ozdemir (Turkey)
-Videos on Palestine labor movement sent by Asafa Adiv (Palestine)
- by Kelly Anderson (U.S.A)
- by Larry Duncan (U.S.A)
- by Mike Konopacki (U.S.A)
- Videos on women workers by Anne Marie Sweeny (UK)
- by Labor News Production (Korea)
- by Labor News Production (Korea)
- by Jang-San-Got-Mae (Korea)

 The belows hasn't been confirmed yet. We are keeping contacting the makers.
- by Anand Patwardhan (India)
- by Ken Loach (U.K)
- by Michael Moore (U.S.A)

Besides these works, we are expecting that some more works from Japan, Sweden, the Republic of South Africa, Brazil, the Republic of Ireland, etc will be screened. THank you, Steve and Larry.

* Session and seminar
Concerning the subjects to be discussed, Larry Duncan and Steve Zeltzer suggested some issues on the videos to be thought and discussed. Organizing committee are now preparing whole the specific subjects to be discussed and these will be covered by next issue of conference newsletter. Here are some quotations on videos.

" One important issue is for the participants at the conference to begin the process of describing the current state of corporate control of global television networks. We need to have an international assessment and description of the monopoly on television which the international corporations and national corporate monopolies have. In the US we see this monopoly as being controlled by: CNN, ABC/Disney, NBC/GE, CBS/Westinghouse.
Could the participants at the Seoul conference develop a description for non-Koreans of who controlls the media in South Korea, and their interconnection with the South Korean Government and International Corporations?
Another important issue is the approach of the organized labor movement to the problem of the anti-labor bias of the commercial media. In the US, the debate has come down to this basic issue: Should the AFL-CIO develop its own, independent media targeting the masses, or should it continue to just rely on purchasing some ad time from commercial media and depending on the good will of corporate news to occasionally put on some favorable pieces about labor? For a number of us, we view this question as an expression of a larger political question in the US: should the AFL-CIO create its own political independence from the Democratic Party and build its own Labor Party, or should it continue to pursue a politically corporatist strategy of being connected to the state, via the Democratic Party, and the corporate mentality?
Yet another important issue is a technological one: The world, as far as tv technology goes, has been Balkanized into different "countries": NTSC-land, PAL-land, and SECAM-land. This slows down a lot of media communication.
Consider how much more labor video exchange would take place between the UK (PAL) and the US (NTSC) if they were on the same system, considering that they share the same language. As is, very little exchange goes on now. This is an absurd situation!
One possible solution is through internet VDOLive and other similar technology, where videos can be viewed via websites. There are a lot of drawbacks here, though. This technology is available to only a miniscule percent of labor activists globally, and the frame motion technology is still not adequate.
Language translation issues (in addition to video signal translation) need also to be addressed. The important labor videos on the Korean General strike which we got in the Midwest were still in Korean, which limited their effectiveness. Obviously, it is a difficult thing for a labor federation to burden itself with a language translation of a video, amidst all the other problems of a general strike, but we do need to think about this problem. One consideration would be for a production group to perhaps make even a shorter, international edit of a fast turn-around labor video. This would then be translated into, say English, and then sent to the US. There, after copies were made to get to key programmers and presenters in the US, PAL copies could be quickly made in the US to send to the UK (then, beyond to other PAL, English speaking countries). Fast-turnaround is a challenge we need to face in global labor video today.
Using such grassroots resources may not be the only avenue. Under certain conditions, workers may not merely be limited to using their own cameras and the resources of small independent producers. We should not rule out considering  political opportunities for workers under certain political conditions who may gain access to and control of major television broadcasting facilities. Such opportunities will vary internationally." (Larry Duncan)

" Out of the conference should come some proposals for joint labor video collaboration world wide. It is another important opportunity to make direct links and concrete agreements for collaboration."
(Steve Zeltzer)

  As you see, we would like even more activists to participate in the preparing process and give suggestions. We are open to both the selection of videos to be screened and the making an issue to be discussed during the conference. Therefore, you can recommend good videos and give a suggestion on what issue should be discussed in LaborMedia '97 in Seoul. Besides, whatever thought you have got on LaborMedia '97, don't hesitate to contact us, please.


** Contact point of the conference organizer
 Seoul International LaborMedia '97 Committee
 tel : +82-2-855-1913
 fax : +82-2-858-1913
 e-mail : labornet@nodong.net
 www : http://lmedia.nodong.net/1997/

** Contact point of the festival organizer
--> (Attention !) Those who want to participate in the festival or are interested in the presentation related with visual media, please contact the festival organizer.
 Labor News Production
 Myoung Joon Kim
 address : 102, Jihoon Villa, 482-2, Sangdo 1 dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, Korea
 fax : +82-2-826-0151
 e-mail : LNP89@chollian.net

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