The Purpose and Power of Video

Founded in 1985, Videomaker Magazine became the first magazine for non-professional video camera users. Beginning as a bi-monthly publication, Videomaker strove to make the process accessible, by including a beginner’s guide for users and cataloging the video cameras available at the time. Videomaker Inc. has since grown into the #1 national consumer magazine for video enthusiasts and continues to empower people to make video through an increasing variety of educational platforms.

Matt York is the founder of Videomaker and has been ahead of the technology in the field for almost four decades. His work is built on a philosophy that there is power in video production by the common individual. “There are great examples of application of video cameras to evoke cultural change…and facilitate a deeper understanding of our culture or each other.”

In 1992, Starr Sutherland interviewed Matt for THE 90’s. The footage was never broadcast, but was digitized and preserved as part of a project funded by the NHPRC and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and is being seen for first time in 24 years. We thought it was so interesting and prophetic that we asked Matt if he’d like to sit down for a new interview to reflect back on his original interview, and he was kind enough to do so.

In that 1992 interview Matt York said, “The truth of the matter will come through if enough people have access to the technology.” The foreshadowing of this insight is especially poignant today as we see politicians, police and community leaders being held to a new level of accountability due to video documenting by everyday people.

Through this interview we see Matt York pinpoint some of what continue to be the most important questions about video in regards to its cultural, political and ecological ramifications.


Matthew York is Videomaker‘s Publisher/Editor. Watch the full conversation  and the original interview on the Media Burn video archive.



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