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Since the 1970s, video groups like Top Value Television (TVTV) have been doing politically committed work in the USA in his respect. The video collective Paper Tiger TV (motto: «Smashing the Myths of the Information Industry») has been producing a committed and amusing magazine each week for the open cable channels in New York and San Francisco since 1981. Their alternative reports on the 1991 Gulf War also attracted attention in Europe. From the mid-1980s, Deep Dish Television (DDTV), «the first national grassroots satellite network,» linked independent producers, programmakers, activists and viewers across the USA. Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish Television can thus be seen in retrospect as the forerunners of Indymedia, a union of independent journalists and activists who have been providing information about WTO protests and other activities critical of globalization on the Internet since the late 1990s.
In the early 1970s, similar groups and collectives emerged in Germany, with mottoes like «Make your own television» or «Where television ends, video
begins.» Among the first of these, from 1970, was the group telewissen from Darmstadt, headed by Herbert Schuhmacher, which carried out communicative actions with spectators as early as 1972 at documenta 5. The group placed a van with video monitor and camera outside the exhibition building, so that they could produce communicative situations and «microtelevision» through direct feedback from passers-by. In Berlin, Michael Geißler and the video group VAM (Video Audio Media) started alternative public work in 1969, and MedienOperative Berlin in 1977. All these projects wanted to create public quality for minorities and affected parties, working partly against and partly with television. As early as 1977 they had got such a response that public television produced a broadcast of its own as part of «Kultur aktuell,» with portraits of these groups, and documenta extended its branches of art to include political and documentary media work. But the utopian aim remained democratizing television by means of new broadcasting and production forms.