MTV News: Unfiltered

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MTV News: Unfiltered is an American television series created by Steven Rosenbaum which aired on MTV in the 1990s. The half-hour show features footage of real events provided by viewers, and later selected and edited by the show's producers. The videos show controversial events in the viewers' community that were not being covered by traditional news outlets.[1][2]

Fast Company Magazine described the program this way: "Every segment of 'MTV News UNfiltered' begins with a phone call. About 2,500 a week leave their story pitches on voice mail. Steven Rosenbaum and his BNN colleagues review them, identify the best bets, and send out camcorders to their newest correspondents. It's grassroots programming for a different kind of news program." [3]

The Baltimore Sun wrote in 1995 "I was always struck by the arrogance of news people who thought that they knew what was a story, and that there was no way in," said Steven Rosenbaum, 34, the creator of "Unfiltered," who has long put together magazine-type television stories as an independent producer. Mr. Rosenbaum, who sold the "Unfiltered" idea to MTV and now works as executive producer, said he wants a program that offers ordinary citizens an outlet for their stories without interference from newspaper and network news barons. To do that, "Unfiltered" sends cameras to people and allows them, with some guidance from MTV producers, to shoot their own stories. The work is then edited and given MTV pacing by professionals." [4]

Eli Noam wrote at length about UNfiltered in "Peer-to-Peer Video: The Economics, Policy, and Culture of Today's New Mass Medium" [5]

And Fast Company covered the series in "He's Making News - for the Future: Steve Rosenbaum's programs for MTV and CBS are revolutionizing TV by putting the news in the hands of the people who live it. " Lots of people complain about the news. Steven Rosenbaum is reinventing it. He's the founder and executive producer of a fast-growing production company, Broadcast News Networks (BNN), that's challenging some of the most cherished assumptions behind TV news: what gets covered, who gets on camera, how programs get created. Rosenbaum is making news for the future — and making waves in the process. "I'm counting on the fact that viewers want to take over TV," he declares. "That they want to turn TV inside out, to go from being passive viewers to active participants."[6]