Empowering Communities with Video: VIVIDH – Community Journalism program

Posted on December 12, 2009

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A great linkage between the web and community activism…

Challenge for Change http://www.onf-nfb.gc.ca/eng/collection/film/?id=11410 comes to the Web?

Mike

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I’m writing to tell you about VIVIDH, a new program Video Volunteers (VV) is launching. I hope you can be part of it!
Imagine a journalist, activist or government official receiving a press release and a video in her inbox and it reads, “The practice of Untouchability in schools in India is a problem many people assume no longer happens. Well, last month, 60 community journalists investigated the issue in every state in India, and found troubling visual evidence of the practice across the country. These activist-journalists are rallying their communities to address this issue. Will you join them in speaking out? See the proof, realize the scale of the problem and take action!”
Clicking on the link leads you to a video gallery with 60 short videos, each from a different region/state, demonstrating the widespread nature of this issue and other problems. The main video provides a journalistic roundup of the overall problem.  Other links lead viewers to take concrete action to combat the issue.

As activists we know how people’s issues are usually left out of the mainstream media. We at Video Volunteers believe that the only way to change this situation is for the underprivileged communities to create their own media. We are passionate about empowering community voices and have a well-worked strategy to create campaigns targeted to decision makers and the media for highlighting real issues facing India.

To this effect, we are launching VIVIDHCommunity Journalism program where we will give fellowships to 60 local activists from across the country and train them in video journalism. The long term outcome of the CJ program is to create a video news agency from the poorest parts of the world, a sort of Reuters for the slums and villages that enables news agencies to access fascinating personal stories of social change and human rights from the most rural and remote parts of the country. The mainstream media we are negotiating with are interested in vivid stories of local corruption and the non-implementation of otherwise pro-poor government policies. By unifying dozens of local stories from around the nation into an accessible media package for the mainstream media, we will bridge the gap between demand for content and the media exposure our issues need.
We need your help to identify these 60 people who VV will train as Community Journalists. We want one or two fellows from every state and Union Territory in India.
VV will recruit the best possible candidate in your area who fulfills the following criteria:
  1. Associated with social movements, human rights campaigns and/or NGO’s
  2. Belong to a disadvantaged background
  3. Strong interest in communicating local stories to the world
  4. Basic knowledge of computers desirable
  5. Willingness to work full-time on this project for at least one year
  6. Can communicate in Hindi or English
We request you to nominate candidates from your areas. Please forward this mail to them or alternatively fill out the application form here on their behalf. We will be happy to email you the application form if you prefer to print it out.
We also need your help in passing this information to social movements/human rights campaigns or NGOs in other parts of the country from where we can find interesting candidates.
VIVIDH will be the eyes and ears and of the communities, voicing the many struggles and stories that the rest of the country ought to hear and see. I hope you will take some time and make this possible.
Thank you for your solidarity and support.
In harmony,
Stalin K
On behalf of the entire Video Volunteers team
Newsletter produced by Video Volunteers
C/O Temin and Co., 750 Lex Ave., 26th Fl. New York, NY 10022
info@videovolunteers.org | http://www.videovoluteers.org
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