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Media change makers are individuals and organizations who believe that the media can have a significant role in bringing about positive change. This is by no means the exclusive domain of activist media-making alone.The work of scholars like Dr.Miguel Sabido has clearly shown how the mainstream entertainment media can play a crucial role in positive social change. As a non-partisan organization, we are interested in bringing attention to diverse approaches to change-making through the use of media.

mediforchange.org exists to create connections among media change makers everywhere. On our website we celebrate media making aimed at positive change by telling the stories of storytellers. We are also committed to building awareness about the field of media change making through training of the next generation of storytellers. The assumption here is that storytelling and the communication of even the basic facts of our lives can lead to significant transformation. A good example of this kind of work can be seen in the Field Notes section below.

While it could be assumed that mediaforchange.org is about the impact media change makers have on the external world, we understand change more broadly. Beyond looking at the change media makers can have on the world, we want to gather insights on how media makers involved in change making adopt values and practices in their own lives to reflect their work. At yet another level, we want to be cognizant of the fast changing landscapes of media and technology. In this regard, it is important to try and understand what opportunities for change making are being lost and what is gained. We expect to shape our content within the above three categories of change.

Photo: Courtesy Akilah Johnson.
Akilah Johnson is mediaforchange.org featured blogger for the month of October. Akilah has been a reporter with the The Boston Globe since 2010, covering neighborhoods, Boston’s mayor’s race, and the crosscurrents of race and ethnicity in the city. She is also a member of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning team for Breaking News Reporting for the Boston Globe’s coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

This month Akilah shares her reflections as a reporter of the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Gautam Bose is a Kolkata based filmmaker and serves on the mediaforchange.org board of directors.He is currently collaborating with New York based Tricke Up that is committed to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. In this project Mr. Bose is training rural women in West Bengal India to make and share the stories of domestic violence in their lives. If successful, the effort will help make the hidden issue of domestic violence more visible. Visual storytelling will be the thread to connect women’s experiences, giving them the confidence to stand up against gender violence. The project is supported by the Ford Foundation.
For Moushumi, Shakuntala or Golapi the highest technology they ever used was sickles – carved blades essential for harvesting paddy, until, in March they got video cameras from Trickle Up.

Purulia, in West Bengal state is one of the chronically poor districts of ‘emerging’ India. Here people are poorly fed, remain poorly educated, they generally have poor health. Women in Purulia are even poorer compared to their male counterparts in every aspect of their lives.

Women here often get married at an early age – before they are eighteen. They become mothers while still in their teens. Women are expected to work hard at home and in the field. Culturally they are accustomed to a life defined by hard work. But women have no voice when it comes to issues like domestic violence.

Trickle Up, a US based non-profit has given the women of Purulia 3 video cameras. These cameras have suddenly given Moushumi and her friends a new tool for articulation and communication. They are recording their own stories on video and looking at themselves as groups, discussing, debating and sometimes confronting their own men who perpetrate domestic violence.

Moushumi, Shakuntala, Golapi and her friends, who were shy and quiet, have started to experience the power of visual storytelling in a community setting. The video cameras and their users may change the gender equations in parts of Purulia permanently.

-Gautam Bose

  • Gautam Bose
    Gautam BoseDevelopment Communicator, IndiaWith three decades of documentary film-making experience, Gautam's expertise is crucial to the quality control of our content. His experience in development communication informs our strategies in creating the global community of changemakers. Read more...
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