Current TV's online storytelling guide launches (with Xeni)

Current TV just launched an online "Survival Guide" for its citizen-viewer-contributors, with comprehensive video HOWTOs on journalistic technique, storytelling — even how to shoot, edit, compress, and choose the gear you'll need to roll-your-own DIY TV.

Includes Sean Penn, Robert Redford, New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, "This American Life" host Ira Glass, McSweeney's Dave Eggers, "Dogtown" director Catherine Hardwicke, Berkeley Journalism School Dean Orville Schell, and others. I'm in there, too.

Also, good news for would-be "pod" contributors — Current just increased its freelance rates. Video contributors now get $500 for the first and second commissioned pieces, $750 for the third, $1,000 and a deal for another pod for the fourth.

Link to VC2 ("viewer created content") Survival Guide, Direct link to the storytelling interviews. Link to Current Journalism case studies (introduction by Sean Penn). The site UI looks really nice, but I wish they hadn't built it in Flash in such a way that direct links to subsection content are not possible. For instance, I can't link directly to the terrific editing, compression, and gear selection tutorials. The interface is also unfriendly to people visiting on mobile devices, and 18-34 year olds — the network's target audience — tend to be heavier users of handheld browsers. Looks like I caught 'em just before a scheduled site update: deep links are available now.