This project's funding goal was not reached on July 26, 2013.
This project's funding goal was not reached on July 26, 2013.
It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams
1. Our culture is truth deficient. The historical centers of truth have broken down.
2. The average U.S. citizen has lost their voice to the affluent with money and power.
3. Voters are disenfranchised from the party system. The rise of “independents” has simply defined what people are not, but has struggled to bring clarity to who they are.
I have spent 14 years working as a journalist in broadcast news. I won’t bore you with all the details but suffice to say I began my career as a news photographer and moved up the ladder to reporter, morning anchor/reporter, prime time anchor/reporter. Along the way I won two Emmy Awards and two Edward R. Murrow awards. For a number of years I covered Mexico’s drug war. At that time, I realized that national media was not interested in the truth of what was happening in Mexico or the problems associated with the failed “war on drugs” in the United States.
In 2010, I moved north to Cincinnati, Ohio to take a prime time anchor job with WXIX and there I became the producer/writer/anchor of a segment called “Reality Check”. It was while covering the 2012 Republican Presidential primary that I began to confront the problems in the American electoral process, the stranglehold of America’s two party system and the suppression of voters' choices by mainstream media.
In 2012, I became the first journalist in the nation to confront President Barack Obama directly in an interview about the Constitutionality of his “kill list” and the only journalist to confront Mitt Romney about the railroading of duly elected delegates during the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Thanks to a passionate following, my work has become an internet phenomenon with over 10 million video views in over 140 countries.
Journalism in its purest form is a high calling. In its worst (current) form, it is nothing more than propaganda and distraction for the masses. The Fourth Estate, as journalism has historically been called, was derived for the purpose of holding elected leaders, legislators and public servants accountable to the people. Nearly every major issue the United States faces today; loss of civil liberties, the drug war, foreign wars and intervention, the growing police state, the endless printing of currency, the rise and fall of the petro-dollar, drone strikes, American soil as a battlefield, total disregard for rule of law, and so on, can be directly traced to a lack of exposure by, or understanding from journalists.
Journalism is more than just creating and reading headlines. When any lawmaker, public servant or military member takes an oath of office, they make that oath to the Constitution or rule of law. Journalists similarly should be fighting to protect the rule of law, because it is our Constitution that protects all people, citizens and non-citizens, Republicans and Democrats, the 1% as well as the 99%.
Unfortunately, journalism is no longer the profession of watchdogs, rather it is the profession of entertainers.
This project is a three step process. The first step in that process happens here on Kickstarter with the creation of high-end, high-quality Reality Check style segments that can be presented to the public via streaming content sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, or devices such as Roku and on BenSwann.com.
With the funding we receive from our fans through Kickstarter, we will produce 100 high quality five to six minute digital cinema episodes of "Ben Swann Full Disclosure". By launching this project independently, the restrictions on subject matter by corporate bosses will not be an issue.
Why do the "videos" need to be so high quality? Simple, we need to spread this message as far out as we can. Like it or not, we live in a very media-savvy culture and if the public at large is to take this kind of journalism seriously, they need to be able to hear and see it in a way that is deemed credible. You can watch network news programming all day and never hear anything of substance but it sure looks pretty. If we are to educate and inform the public on issues of war, the drug war, monetary policy, drone strikes, the NDAA, CAFR, crony capitalism, etc... it MUST be done in the style and format generations of Americans have been trained to accept as "professional".
The films will be distributed via multiple platforms. First, we continue to share new content via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, BenSwann.com, and continue to allow alternative media blog sites to use our films without charge and embed them, as long as they are shown in their entirety. This is important because we want as many people exposed to our journalism as possible. Also, as I mentioned, we are going to attempt to spread these films into new arenas such as streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. Again, the goal is to engage the largest audience possible.
In addition, We will also be rolling out a highly interactive, informative website that will include all Full Disclosure episodes, a forum, Ben Swann podcasts, and a mobile app.
Keep in mind, at no time in history have we seen this kind of collision between technology, information and opportunity.
I want you to be my financiers and my audience so I can pursue stories and change that no other media outlet will touch. I don’t have a desire to pursue sensationalism or scandal for the sake of “making a name” for myself. By now, those who have followed me know that I am in pursuit of truth no matter where that pursuit takes me. Together, I believe we have a chance to shatter the current media model and create something that will shape our nation moving forward.
This might be the easiest question of all. There is a generational change in how American's view journalists. For people under the age of 35, the majority say they get their news from.. wait for it... the Daily Show! That tells me two things.
1. Americans under the age of 35 consider “comedians” journalists
2. Americans under the age of 35 consider “journalists” a joke
I have heard from literally tens of thousands of people who say that I am helping to restore journalism. That the work I have been doing puts networks to shame. Simply put, this is a chance to take that journalism to the next and best level. One where we are not dependent upon an established news network. That means we have the power to cover any story no matter how controversial, to give the people a voice in the stories we investigate on their behalf, and a process by which we don’t simply sit back and complain about all that is wrong in America but where we act to change things.
To become one of our backers, just click on the big green button to the right of our video. Kickstarter will ask you for your pledge, which reward you want, and how you want to sign up. Signing up is easy; you can even do it through Facebook.
I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Paul and we talked in depth about the changing media landscape. How has media changed for a man who has spent his entire life attempting to change the system?
""When I first started in politics in the 70's, we basically had three major networks and they were very, very close together on philosophy…..But now the options are great…..Now the information is going out differently. It's going out on handheld devices and computers and telephones and they can turn you on and off when they want. They have so many more choices.
Dr. Paul then added: "I'm optimistic that things are going to do well and I'm optimistic because you're (Ben Swann) involved in this fight with us."
Please support the first step in our project. To learn more, about this project and our larger platform, go to www.benswann.com
The biggest challenge about this project is without question the distribution model. While we will certainly be able to place our video content on BenSwann.com, YouTube and even create our own Roku channel, there is no guarantee that Hulu, Netflix, or Spotify will be willing to carry our content. In order to compensate for the fact that we are still an unknown commodity we would likely place that content on those sites at no upfront cost in order to ensure placement. In exchange this would mean that no one site would be allowed to exclusively license our content which would make it available to bloggers and independent media as well.
Another challenge we face is creating the quality product and simultaneously keeping relevant subject matter for the news cycle. We will accomplish this by connecting with quality writers and continuing to rely on social media so that we can remain on the forefront of the news cycle.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
- (46 days)