Brian Winston (1944-2022)

A Tribute to His Life and Legacy

A Hole in the World: Brian Winston, 1944–2022


Published in The Edge, September 5, 2022


This tribute to Brian Winston written by Patricia R. Zimmermann (Ithaca College). The Edge is the online publication of the Park Center for Independent Media, a center for the study of journalism and media outside traditional corporate systems. As an alternative to coverage by establishment journalism, The Edge aims to foster conversations on national and global issues with perspectives from journalists, experts, and students outside mainstream news. Independent media is becoming more crucial as conglomeration intensifies and corporate interests hamper mainstream journalism. Based in Ithaca, New York, The Edge engages local and international independent media on subjects including the environment, politics, and justice, as part of building a robust, viable future for U.S. journalism.

Welcome to this very special Zoom event on Saturday, November 5, celebrating the life, legacy, and brilliance of Brian Winston (1941-2022).

I am Patty Zimmermann and I will be facilitating today’s convening with Helen De Michiel and our cocreation documentary team.

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Brian was part of the team that mounted our Virtual Cocreation Convenings during Pandemic and Protest, which gathered scholars and practitioners of documentary from across the globe for dialogue for over two years. He was a loyalist to these gatherings and this community, and always irascible and incisive. Our group felt it was important to continue this tradition and mount this convening in his honor.

Our gathering today is an informal, grassroots, collaborative, and participatory celebration. We invite you  to share stories and tributes to our beloved colleague Brian. We will keep our session to 60 minutes.

To insure as many voices as possible, we ask that your stories and tributes do not exceed two minutes. There is no formal program, as Brian would have wanted a gathering that was ground up and informal, based on conviviality and collective spirit.

Just raise your digital hand if you would like to share a story —it’s easier for us on the producing end as we can see you rather than having to scroll through the chat.

We kindly ask that you rename yourself with your name and your location.

Do feel free to contribute thoughts, and links to written tributes about Brian, in the chat.

This Event has been conceived and produced with the cocreation collaborative team: Helen De Michiel, Mandy Rose, Dorit Naaman, Liz Miller, Judith Aston, Sandra Guadenzi, and Alisa Lebow.

The Sponsoring Organizations are Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, i-Docs, Park Center for Independent Media.

Let me open up today’s convening with a few words about Brian from our opening slide:

Brian Winston:  Stalwart friend, prolific author, rigorous producer, groundbreaking scholar, meticulous journalist, proud father, loving grandfather, brilliant professor, unwavering advocate, militant interrogator, steadfast colleague, fearless provocateur, formidable chef, tender partner, unwavering comrade, and so much more.