#CathyVoganSPK ===> Media artist, citizen journalist, editor of thing2thing.com
Cathy Vogan is a UK and Australian citizen who has resided in Ireland, Australia, England and France. She has been a Communications, Digital Media & Film lecturer since 1988 and currently teaches in Sydney, in the academic and broadcast sectors. Over the last 3 decades, Vogan has won a number of international awards for her work as a video artist, including the Amnesty International Freedom Art Award (Critics’ Choice) in 2006. In 2010, she shifted focus towards documentary film-making and independent journalism, taking a special interest in the work of Wikileaks, Freedom of Information and Social Justice.
Vogan is the one-woman team behind ‘The Wikileaks Tapes’ – a series of in-depth interviews and creative films about Wikileaks, with luminaries such as Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky and John Pilger – and she has authored the citizen journalist blog thing2thing.com for the last 4 years. In 2014, Vogan began hosting a Sydney community radio show, with the aim of giving a voice to Aboriginal, refugee and activist communities. She remains committed to the core principles of Wikileaks – scientific journalism, with a heart… As a volunteer citizen journalist who became widely read around the world, Cathy Vogan is living proof that ordinary people really can make a difference.
In its current format, THING2THING (T2T) was created by the Australian media artist and citizen journalist Cathy Vogan (CaTV) in December 2010, as a vehicle for mixed media creation and commentary about Wikileaks, freedom of information and social justice.
The domain name thing2thing.com had previously belonged to Julian Assange’s “Institute”. It was originally registered for 5 years in 2005, for a purpose Assange had described thus:
‘Normally NGOs [non-governmental organisations] beg, but I’m no good at that sort of thing, so the Institute has created an offshore startup company (thing2thing.com) to fund it.’
The domain had been allowed to expire however in September 2010, and seeing the Daily Mail UK report it as active months later, Vogan did what the Murdoch journalist had clearly not done and attempted to visit the website. To her surprise, she got a ’404 – Site not found’.
Finding the domain expired and available, Vogan feared that it would be purchased by an entity with malicious intent – to misrepresent the domain’s prior activities, for example – or by anyone who read the Daily Mail UK! She also somewhat feared that intelligence agencies might be interested in the domain’s new owner, but didn’t hesitate for long in securing it as an outlet for journalism related to Wikileaks. Courage is contagious…
In collaboration with a number of other artists and writers around the world, Vogan had been publishing on T2T for about ten months, when within the space of two weeks, she met up with Jennifer Robinson and both of Julian’s parents, Christine Assange and John Shipton. Both parents told her they had been avid readers of T2T, and thanked her for the initiative. Days after meeting Christine, plans were drawn up between the two women for the series ‘Did You Have Any Idea?’, which later evolved into ‘The Wikileaks Tapes’.
The project began with a letter of recommendation that Assange’s mother sent to a number of prominent journalists, lawyers and media personalities, asking them to accord Vogan an interview.
Special thanks must be given to Australia’s first national prime-time news anchorwoman, Mary Kostakidis, who not only responded with an interview, but greatly assisted Vogan in taking her first steps into the world of ‘serious’ journalism.
Initially surprised by the re-purposing of his domain into related journalism, Assange gave his approval in relation to Vogan’s reporting on Wikileaks and communications were established between her and his then close collaborator, Sarah Harrison.
Vogan continued to work in close consultation with the Assange family and on June 19th 2012, with their assistance and that of the lawyer Kellie Tranter, authored the first editorial after Julian entered the Ecuadorian embassy: ‘Goodbye to the Swedish Oubliette’.
The audio visual material on this site has been mostly created by the author, and the editorial is strictly independent.
THE WIKILEAKS TAPES
24 films about the upstart Aussie start-up that changed the world!
This edition is born of a self-funded project called ‘Did You Have Any Idea?’ by Australian artist and citizen journalist Cathy Vogan, on her travels across Australia and the US. The mission was to chat, in her own informal way, with high profile and grass-roots supporters of Wikileaks.
Vogan’s interviewees include Professor Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Mary Kostakidis, John Pilger, Andrew Fowler, Jonathan Holmes, Julian Morrow, Julian (brief appearance) & Christine Assange, John Shipton, Senator Scott Ludlam, Nozomi Hayase & Rap News, Julian Burnside QC, Gary Lord (@jaraparilla), Michael Pierce SC, Spencer Zifcak, Larry Buttrose, Clark Stoeckley, John Penley, Andrew Partos, Gail Malone, Cassie Findley, Antony Loewenstein and Gary Kennedy.
This historical resource (on dual layer DVD) assembles the entire ‘Did You Have Any Idea?’ series, and other related films by Cathy Vogan, to give a wide-ranging perspective on the Wikileaks phenomenon. Read a review in Green Left Weekly.
Citizen journalists are often characterised by their choice of one core issue they really care about, and are willing to research rampantly; day in, day out, for years. Thus their expertise on the subject tends to become second to none, even that of professional journalists, who are obliged by their employers to spread themselves across a variety of issues.
CJs often crowd-source and research their ideas within the context of specialised social media groups, comprised of other passionate individuals who voluntarily share their knowledge, offer feedback and facilitate connection to both sources of information and a world of readers.
The technically adept citizen journalist may act as the chosen megaphone, but the voice is collective. Together, they are the watch-dogs of the main-stream media, and each other… As a movement, citizen journalism is becoming the foundation stone of a more independent, diverse, and transparent historical record.