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The UpTake featured in Pioneer Press


High-tech citizen journalists innovate political reporting

During this week's Super Tuesday, Minneapolis video reporter Chuck Olsen co-anchored a live broadcast that fed online viewers a steady stream of primary and caucus dispatches from around the country. But unlike Diane Sawyer and other network big shots, Olsen had no swanky TV news set or high-tech entourage. [He was] in a New Orleans bar near Bourbon Street, sitting by a couple dressed as Adam and Eve for Mardi Gras, speaking into his laptop's videocam as a part of a webcast seen on the UpTake home page (theuptake.org).

Thanks Julio for writing about our envelope-pushing citizen coverage of this election. Julio posted links to a number of recent stories related to the article, from our Iowa caucus coverage, to Steve Garfield in New Hampshire and my recent Southern Fried Road Trip. Of all these videos - and there are many, produced by people coast-to-coast - the video that has impacted me the most and generated the most discussion is "We need God in our governments":

It's videos like this that make me absolutely LOVE what I'm doing with The UpTake. These folks are about as far away from horse race coverage as you can get, and yet they are very much a part of America and this election. They, and others I interviewed, made it worth the 3500 mile drive alone, shooting and editing on the road with my MacBook Pro and EVDO card, running out of gas in Iowa, and spraining my ankle in St. Louis.

Here are more videos I shot and edited on the road leading up to Super Duper Fat Tuesday:

Iowa resident blames the media

St. Louis: What Does America Need?

Alabama Politics 101

Executive Search: Bloomberg, Gingrich, Gore?

February 9, 2008 at 08:44 PM in The Uptake | Permalink


I enjoyed watching that executive search video and would like to see hte prospective presidential candidates interviewed by this guy. I blogged this too...

Posted by: steve Garfield at Feb 9, 2008 9:38:06 PM

I agree so much with the man in the last video. I'm a Republican and was considering voting for a Democrat this year but I was put off with Hillary and Obama because they put so much blame on the "Bush administration," (which seems kind of odd to coming for people who appear to me to be more collectivist). I'm also not happy with McCain also so I would absolutely love vote for a third party this year. I'm hoping a good candidate steps in.

Posted by: Terry Ann at Feb 10, 2008 11:23:51 AM

I was hoping more folks like yourself would resonate with that video. Unfortunately it gets a lot of hate on YouTube, people calling him racist and other insults. I'm protective of my interview subjects regardless of their views, and have recently wondered if I'd rather my work by seen my fewer, but more thoughtful people (i.e. not YouTube).

Posted by: Chuck at Feb 10, 2008 11:42:56 AM

i watched the TN video and was gobsmacked. i really have no words. were you able to talk to them at all and let them know that Obama isn't a Muslim and he never asked to be sworn in on the Koran? i'm sure they got the same email i did about that and, i am assuming, they believe it.


good work, though, Chuck!

Posted by: honey bunny at Feb 16, 2008 10:47:37 AM

They actually don't even HAVE email!
Someone in their congregation told them.

Some people just choose to believe he's a Muslim no matter what - se the comments on this video for some evidence.

Posted by: Chuck at Feb 16, 2008 2:14:37 PM

Watching "Executive Search" (the last one), all I could think of was: he is very good at rationalizing his emotional beliefs, just like everyone else.

He first sets himself up as the rational expert because of his job, yet I fail to see the precision, scalpel-like incisive fact gathering. His gut tells him he likes person A, and doesn't like person B, and then after the fact finds some reason or other to justify it.

Newt is far sighted, but Gore has an ego problem. Ignore Gore's track record, and ding him on his vanity. Anybody who aspires to be president certainly has an ego problem.

Bloomberg made a lot of money, therefore he would make a good president. Lackey: Mr. President, the numbers this quarter aren't looking good. Bloomberg: OK, we need to sell off some assets to gain liquidity -- how much do you think the Canadians would be willing to spend on Michigan?

Thanks, but no thanks.

Posted by: Jim B at Feb 19, 2008 12:11:26 PM

Yep -- those are excellent points.

Posted by: chuck at Feb 19, 2008 3:12:28 PM