Current tv
September 13, 2022 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone remember Current tv from 2005 to 2010ish maybe. I remember they used to have user created shorts that aired. I don't really remember any specific episodes but I do remember it being really inspiring and feeling like it was something really special. Kind of like pre youtube youtube. Does anyone know if these exist anywhere now? I would love to check them out again.
posted by poorchanticleer to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think this is what you had in mind re: the user-created shorts, but I do remember Current TV, especially the Target Women segment with Sarah Haskins!
posted by third word on a random page at 7:43 PM on September 13, 2022 [8 favorites]

Aww, Current! I was with Current TV from the launch in 2005 through 2008. I went back a couple years later, but it was a totally different animal from its early fun days of mostly viewer-created content – now of course referred to as user-generated content, or UGC. It was then bought by Al Jazeera in early 2013. So much of the earlier content you are referring to is pretty much gone forever from the public, though some probably lives on old hard drives, maybe some servers somewhere. I have dvd's (haha) with a bunch of stuff I worked on, including several Vanguard Journalism and Citizen Journalism pieces. Sometimes I find old videos on Youtube, especially episodes of Brett Erlich's Viral Video Film School, one of my faves. But yeah, two big ideas at the beginning were to get in early on the whole viewer-created content trend (VC² in Current parlance) and to broadcast not only on television but also – gasp! – to publish online. The founders, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, spoke often back then of the "two-screen experience" and how soon everyone would be watching tv while also being online. They wanted to democratize television.

Honestly, I see so much of what Current did back then across the media landscape now, especially in how it encouraged viewers to create what was being watched and to have a voice. We pioneered so much that is now seen as the norm, such as adding social media reactions to live television, etc. Now we have a whole generation that knows nothing else. I am glad I got to be there at that time, and be a part of it. Certainly not perfect, but definitely groundbreaking.
posted by Molasses808 at 10:17 PM on September 13, 2022 [14 favorites]

A couple things on YouTube:

Dying Young, about cystic fibrosis
InfoMania, about US government-funded anti-drug propaganda
posted by box at 5:16 AM on September 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I loved Viral Video Film School from Current!
posted by anotheraccount at 10:51 AM on September 14, 2022

It's not an answer to the question, but I have been a DISH customer forever and when Current appeared there I would put it on for long stretches. That first format it had was truly fun and innovative for its time. It's a shame of it's all just so much lost media now. Is there a list somewhere of creators for the channel which might yield some current info to ask about their work back then? That might be a way to get some material back.
posted by hippybear at 12:56 PM on September 19, 2022

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