The Guerilla in the Room
By: Brendan K. Edwards
Paul Shore is the Canadian bureau chief for the Guerilla News Network (www.gnn.tv). His films include IBM and the Holocaust and Aftermath: Exploring Unanswered Questions about 9/11. In late November 2006, Shore’s mini-series, “The Shadow Reports,” aired on CBC News at 6. He is currently working on a longer format version and is developing story ideas for The Real News, the flagship news program of a cutting-edge network called Independent World Televisionthat will launch this spring at www.therealnews.com.
Siafu: How is work on “The Shadow Reports” going?
Shore: I’m trying to take it to the next level and develop it as a series. I want to have an army of young, charismatic VJs who I send out to report. So, the idea is to incorporate the journalist’s journey into the story without glorifying him. Television is so boring and talking heads have less and less credibility. This whole idea of immersion journalism, well maybe I’m on crack but I think that there’s a hunger for it.
Siafu: It seems like you’re constantly in a position where you have to wait until pop culture reaches a point where it becomes open to letting you do what you want to do.
Shore: I’ve done that periodically over the last ten years. I started in the mainstream at Fox News Channel in ’97 as a writer working from midnight to 9 am and basically my journey has been from the mainstream to the very alternative. And now I’m trying to bring things back to the mainstream.
Siafu: You mentioned The Real News the last time I talked to you. How are you involved in this project?
Shore: I’ve pitched them a lot of ideas. The one that I’m doing right now is called “The Global Underground.” It’s a [series] about young artists all over the world exploring society and politics through their work. So it could be everything from, like, K’naan, the hip-hop artist from Somalia, to this man Andrew Green, who’s in Sierra Leone and makes films.
Siafu: You’re a self-described news junky. Which stories do you think are currently going underreported in Quebec and Canada?
Shore: Stereotypes. I’m into this whole idea of giving voice to the voiceless. I have those five stories that I did for “The Shadow Reports” but I also have about 25 others that are ready to go, and they’re with people who are part of communities that you never hear about. For example, I have a person who is a Rasta who lives in Côte des Neiges who runs a Caribbean restaurant and he has an army of people on the street documenting racial profiling with cell phones all over Côte des Neiges and he hasn’t given up the material to anyone yet because he doesn’t trust anyone.
Siafu: Any other ideas that you’d like to share?
Shore: Yeah, I’d like to do a “Green” show for hip-hop kids because that’s what I’m seeing now, this cross-pollination of cultures.
Siafu: The fact that “Green politics” is becoming mainstream just goes to show that a lot of these issues that you were looking at back in the day now appeal to a much larger audience.
Shore: Yeah. It’s a little annoying when you’ve been talking about this for a long time and recognizing these problems, you know. I have a right-wing economist friend who didn’t want to recognize them and all of a sudden I’m on the phone with him and he’s like: “Dude, you’ve got to check out the new biodiesel stock!” And I’m just like, “You weren’t saying that five fucking years ago! You were telling me that I was a communist!” But I shouldn’t be like that. I should be like, “Yeah, I’m happy that you finally came around.”