Watch The OxyContin Express

It was a big night Wednesday when the new season of Vanguard premiered with OxyExpress and Embedded premiered with Mos Def in Japan.

The teams that worked on these two awesome shows celebrated at Little Bar a few miles from the office with Mediterranean grub and Current playing on about 5 or 6 TVs. The observations from around the bar appeared to be that the premieres went off without a hitch.

The bartender even made a special martini for us — the Vanbedded.

I’m not sure what was in it, but Vanguard PA Tania Rashid had one!

I didn’t even have to buy myself a drink. I tried, but Infomania’s Conor Knighton and later Vanguard’s Darren Foster had me covered. Thanks dudes!

“The OxyContin Express”, Vanguard’s first of the new 8-episode season, is a must-see. But so are the exclusive web extras.

You can check out an extended interview and follow up with Todd, who says he’s been sober for nearly 100 days. Good for him!

As well, you get to see some footage from the cutting room floor that didn’t quite make it into the doc. A jailed drugee scares to a group of school children straight and Todd’s mom confronts Todd about his addiction.

While this is the third official season of Vanguard, to many just discovering us, it’s their first. 

In case you haven’t figured it out, Vanguard’s mission is to cover stories that no one else is covering. While many news organizations attempt to do this, the young correspondents at Vanguard aren’t afraid to get their feet and hands dirty.

 As Vanguarder Mitch Koss put it yesterday, the mission “is to try to keep track of important changes in the world, changes that affect us all, but might not get a thorough examination if we don’t look at them. We try to tell you important stories that otherwise might not get told—because we think it’s important for society that we know and understand” what’s going on around us.

So to introduce myself, I’m Vanguard’s one and only intern. I’ve yet to fetch coffee and I haven’t even bought my own drinks. So the situation could be much, much worse.

Instead, I get to transcribe interviews from upcoming documentaries. That means sneak peeks at what is to come.

I also do lots of research on potential upcoming stories, like the kidnapping industry (yes, industry) in Mexico and how tourism is starting to pick up in Iraq. Sometimes, I even watch porn in the office to make sure correspondent Christof Putzel is including the best examples of amateur or professional pornography scenes for the upcoming episode “Porn 2.0”

 Now I don’t come from a political science or history background, or even much documentary experience.

But as Christof told me, he got started doing this by picking up a camera and telling a story. And that’s the kind of journalism Vanguard does. We throw away the concept of a traditional standup and suit-and-tie journalism, and replace it with compelling observations and “boots-to-the-ground” reporting.

I come from a newspaper and web journalism background, but know my way around a videocamera and a voice over. The question I get all the time is what kind of journalism do you want to do?

Well, that seems like an unfair question to ask a journalist entering the field. If I didn’t say documentary journalism when Current interviewed me for the internship, they’d probably ask me why I want to work here.

The answer to that is simple: I like what Vanguard does, and journalism is journalism. While many people these days question the existence of true journalism, the younger generation isn’t the same. We’re not giving up so easily.

I don’t know if I have a favorite kind of journalism, but I know I’ve got to have experience in all media platforms. Be it TV, radio, Internet, print, etc., the skills can be applied and adapted.

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