JournalistIamA Journalist Tim Pool, founding member of VICE NEWS, I recently returned from Sweden investigating the alleged migrant crime wave. AMA!
Mar 15th 2017 by Timcast • 41 Questions • 387 Points
Howdy all, My name is Tim Pool. In the past I worked for VICE and Fusion. My work has been featured internationally, in film and TV, though most of my work today is on Social Media.
I do not work for Vice or Fusion anymore, fyi. I am totally independent now.
Recently Donald Trump made statements about Sweden that sparked an international conversation. In light of this I decided to travel to Sweden to investigate for myself. The decision didn't come without controversy as many journalists told me I was following a fake news story and to let Swedish Journalists report their own news.
Needless to say what I found was interesting and in reality "closer to the middle" in regards to the left/right narrative.
Feel free to ask me anything about this or whatever.
I believe that you are from Chicago. Can you provide us with an idea as to what you believe are some of the causes of the crime and shootings in Chicago, from what you have seen/heard?
I'm from the southside, the gangs were cool to us as long as we weren't in a rival gang. I never had a problem but some friends did.
Chicago also has heavily segregated areas and that breeds racism and poverty.
Hello Mr. Pool,
I am very grateful you did what you did in Sweden but I noticed that once your videos became more critical the mods of r/europe decided your videos were not "good content" and could not be posted without being taken down.
What would you say to them if you could?
People can't handle reality.
I think our videos are very "balanced" we interviewed the social democrat mayor of Sodertalje as well as the controversial Chang Frick.
As an outsider I tried to get a wide range of perspectives, I think we did a good job.
Sorry to hijack but I never understood a lot of these comments. A lot of the people mentioned were already public figures via youtube or what not. These people very clearly will state their opinions and post them on public forums. Why would you want someone who flew out to investigate Sweden to search out and talk to them when you can hear what they think any day of the week?
Because Americans don't know who these people are, don't have time to condense their ideas, don't watch Swedish TV, and don't speak Swedish.
I think the HBO show does a great job. I think the digital side of things, clickbaity partisan stuff, is a bit sad though.
Do you think self-censorship is a problem in the US as well? Better/worse than Sweden and do you see it as getting better/worse in recent years?
It is a little bit but not a whole lot.
I will say, I've met a lot of Trump supporters who were scared to "come out."
Considering how much you've seen, how safe is it to travel to Europe atm? And what was your biggest take away from your Sweden investigation?
There are problem areas.
I went to Calais and some kid tried to steal some equipment from me. But when you go to poor areas where crime is higher this is expected.
Europe is mostly safe in my opinion, but just like any country they have bad areas. I will say that unchecked migration and failed integration will cause problems to escalate.
I want to start off saying, I really enjoyed your video series and following you through Sweden.
As a journalist investigating in a foreign area, I realize it is probably challenging, but how do you attempt to account for selection and anecdotal biases in your opinions or stories?
I don't know if you can. I think people just need to realize that you need to view many different sources to get a clear picutre.
It's all about trust, do you trust the people you follow to be honest. Most news orgs who show hyperpartisan content are not trustworthy. They just play on your bias to get clicks.
Do you think there's a sustainable career path in the sort of independent journalism you do? Is personal branding the biggest part of this industry, or does content rule?
P.S. I've been following you since back in the Occupy Wall Street Days. Keep it up!
Personal branding is a big key right now.
The reason is that trust is the #1 most important factor in delivering news. As the big news orgs lose reach and it disperses down to individuals people are looking for a selection of humans, not brands, to listen to.
As an independent, are you concerned about censorship on social media platforms that you use to publish your reports?
For example, accusations against twitter that they are favouring the "official story" on their platforms. Allegations against youtube as well that they are demonetizing videos for no apparent reason.
I've had a couple videos demonetized for not being advertiser friendly but thats why I have a patreon!
It is also why I make sure to post to different social platforms and also why I started focusing on youtube over twitter.
Hey Tim, thanks for the AMA. Viewer in Sweden here, really liked what you did. I noticed you addressed the criticism you got in the press here but did you also see the praise & support you received in mainstream media once you left? What did you think of the points raised in that?
I think its not really about me but about Sweden's internal struggle over what is acceptable to say.
It seems the veil is being lifted.
What do you think the future of Europe will look like in say 10, 20, 30 years, if things continue to go the same and people like Le Pen and Wilders don't win their elections?
Ya know, its funny.
The Napoleanic wars, two world wars, the cold war, all with a big aim at consolidating power in Europe. By the end of the 20th century they all just agree to it anyway.
I think some kind of conflict is possible if nationalism increases. Many countries in the EU are in debt to other countries and that can lead to conflict.
In your interview with 3 guys in Rinkeby you never mention that they are all a part of the fringe conspiracy theorist organization Folkresningen de Fria who (among other things) are "skeptical" of the holocaust. Many of its members also believe that Sweden is being "invaded" by immigrants who are hired by the "deep state" to cause mischief by raping and murdering, for the "deep state" to more easily implement a police state.
Did they not tell you that they were all a part of this organization, or did you simply not mention it? If so - why?
I was introduced to them as "from rinkeby"
I met them in a kebob shop in rinkeby. They talked to us about migration and growing up there.
The one guy really wanted to talk about fractional reserve banking but we weren't interested.
Did you feel pressured to give a picture of Sweden as a country with big cultural diffuculties because Paul Joseph Watson helped fund your work?
Our largest contributions came from Swedes and the single largest contribution came from a Swede.
In fact when we went to Malmo we found it rather peaceful, but as time went on and we interviewed more people we learned what was really going on. That and the Uppsala police made a statement about crime dramatically increasing while we were there.
You say what you found was "closer to the middle" which I find unsurprising.
Do you think - or what percentage of - most social/societal issues are "closer to the middle" but news outlets skew them to fit their narrative? I'm a middle of the road type and distrust a lot of the news as it is presented because I feel like it's been slanted a certain way.
The left ignores anything that makes them look bad and so does the right.
Most stories are closer to the middle.
I hate "journalism" today. Its just partisan nonsense.
Maybe I'll stop calling myself a journalist
I have never seen a photo of you without a beanie on. Do you have hair?
I wear the hat so that I can choose to be anonymous. People don't recognize me without it and sometimes that's a good thing.
Also, are you going to the Netherlands? You said in the past you're going to cover most of Europe (Brussels, Paris etc). I really hope you do, and I think if you announce that on Youtube/Twitter you're going to get alot of donations to do your work. People wanna know what's relaly going on.
We are hoping to get back to Europe very soon but might be stuck in the US for a bit.
Right now we are planning on going to Dearborn, MI and Buffalo to see how integration is working in the US.
Hi Tim, thanks for doing this. You've inspired me to start doing Journalism.
My question is: how do you make it work financially as an independent? I understand it's a case of just starting and putting it out there, but that's difficult with zero starting capital.
Thanks again, hopefully I get the privilege to work with you one day.
I started with 0$ and a phone. I did it for fun.
While working at VICE I slept on my friends couch and just saved almost every penny.
Save save save, then travel somewhere.
Milana Vayntrub shot an amazing documentary on her cell phone!
Why does VICE suck shit now? Is it totally or only mostly because Disney owns you now?
I dont work there.
It must be because I quit 2 years ago! Nah Im jk... I have no idea why.
How do you respond to the accusation that Vice "has ushered in a new low for its treatment of freelance journalists", published in the Columbia Journalism Review? Do you think Vice should be doing more to treat its freelancers better?
Last I heard they started doing much better. They have a bad history though.
Overall I think VICE as a whole is one of the better media orgs but that doesn't mean they don't fuck up, and bad sometimes.
Tell me about TweetDeck! Do you use it? What's most valuable for you to do your job?
I have a second monitor on 24/7 with news alerts set up.
On a scale of 1-10. 1 being garbage, 10 being amazing.
I give it a 4. It's there but sometimes a general twitter feed is better.