Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/RAI1 broadcasts the Speciale TG1 with the news documentary on our project
Franco, the cameraman from the Italian TV had been with us in about half of the locations we had been, the rest of the footage had been shot by Gauri, the youngest of the team.
Finally Francesco put assembled a 55 minutes documentary, utilizing the footage shot by Franco, by Gauri and also by hired local cameramen in Syria, India and Colombia. Finally, in July 2011 it was broadcast as a “TG1 Speciale”, the most authoritative news magazine of the Italian public network. So at the end we had done it! We had managed to get the television to cover the MDGs! We could now write to Brussels and say: “project objective achieved”.
But we were not in the celebrating mood. What was finally broadcast was weak and uninspiring. Francesco had titled it "the last page" and throughout the narration he praised himself for bringing up the issues that, he said, other journalists were putting down and down in the news priorities. The narration was proceeding for about an hour on the basis of the mostly eye catching images moving from project to project, from continent to continent, without bringing about any coherent vision of the whole. Very little space had been given to the voices of the testimonials: the speaker was Francesco's voice, trying to evoke some sort of pietistic sympathy for the suffering humanity. It showed poverty; but the sense of global challenge for a coordinated action against poverty" was missed in the reportage.
Francesco had warned us before, throughout the project, that he had to concede to the news stereotypes of the Italian television. But that was too much! He had moved safely, avoiding the controversial stories and telling only what was reinforcing the typical western presumptions. So we were quite disappointed.
The good think was that once RAI had broadcast the videos, we were free to use all the footage in the way we wanted. In the contract it was agreed that RAI had the right to the first usage of the footage for a single broadcast. Then we were becoming the sole proprietors of the whole material and we could use it the way we wanted. RAI had aired their product and the job of the two journalists was over. And for us that was the time for a new start.
We decided to re-edit it all. And take full advantage of the Internet platform. In the months before we had already edited the interviews and had collected the different opinions under 10 major development cooperation issues. We had also edited the "backstage dialogues" within the team. We could not before share the "development stories" on the Net because first RAI had to use that footage (they were not much concerned about the "talks"). At this point we edited each story independently and put them on the Internet, so that the project stakeholders could use them independently.. Finally we weaved together the stories, interviews and our own "backstage" story.
We edited eight episodes of 40 minutes each.
Then the work started for trying to find distributors for the television market.