One of the ways in which mediaforchange.org brings together the global community of media change makers is by identifying individuals and organizations engaged in media making to build a better world. We begin here by sharing perspectives of practitioners in the field. These “stories of storytellers” are personal profiles as told to interviewers.

We are already discovering that the most effective storytellers are those who push to make a difference over a significant amount of time. Resilience is important. As the lives of the storytellers and their relationship to the stories they tell evolve, there seems to be a larger compelling story arc we are committed to discover.

After reading these profiles, if you feel you know someone who merits being profiled here please let us know here. Our editorial board would love to hear from you.

Aparna Bakhle and daughter in Materra, Italy.
Aparna Bakhle is mediaforchange.org featured blogger for the month of September. Born in Mumbai, India, the arts and culture writer has lived in the US since 1983, a year also marking the official beginning of the internet. After studying film placed her in Los Angeles, she became managing editor of Fabrik, an LA-centric contemporary art and design quarterly. A range of social justice issues consistently occupies her attention, keeping her deeply engaged in more fully understanding conditions leading to dynamic social change. A conscientious observer of post-Fukushima anti-nuclear activism in India, Japan and United States, her writing seeks to value empathy as an integral framework for the inner revolution that must precede radically shifting material conditions that perpetuate inequity.
Every summer, for the past 8 years, the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change attracts students and faculty from 5 continents to explore 2 principal questions: “How do news media affect our understanding of ourselves, our cultures, our politics?” and “How can we use media to better cover global problems and to better report on possible solutions?”

mediaforchange.org founder Sanjeev Chatterjee has served on the faculty of the Academy since 2008 and this year worked with colleague Rhys Daunic of themediaspot.org to mentor the production 2 short videos by students. The videos give us a glimpse into the workings of the Academy and look into the central question that drives mediaforchange.org – what can media change?

Video editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein provides some context for the videos below.

For better or worse, media makes change. Media can foster prejudice and perpetuate stereotypes. However, it can also improve accountability of governments and connect people with much-needed resources and information. Participants in the eight annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change delved into how to use media as a tool to promote small, positive and sustainable changes. Taking into account social responsibility and accountability, students and faculty engaged critically with media topics and sought the best ways to mobilize ideas for change through mediated platforms. Students are urged to reproduce the process of the academy and continue using media to work toward social changes, even if small, after returning to their home countries and universities.
The eighth annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change brought together students and faculty from 23 countries and 16 universities for three weeks in 2014. Participants not only took a critical look at how media is used around the world, but also focused on how individuals and teams of media makers and citizens can use myriad forms of media as a tool for positive change. They worked to overcome initial cultural challenges and barriers, challenging personal assumptions about diverse cultures and types of media. Nearly every day for three weeks, participants lived, worked, ate, socialized and traveled together, developing meaningful international relationships. The work produced at the Academy was student-driven, with faculty working with students primarily as facilitators. To conclude the program, teams of students presented their media solutions to the United Nations Development Program. These projects used a variety of media to propose ways to tackle specific parts of big problems in the world today. Problems addressed by participants included climate change, sustainability, poverty, human rights and corruption.
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