Mass media

Using Social Networking for Innovative Advocacy

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Social networking tools have revolutionized the way that social movements and human rights advocates operate. In a world where the public creates the news in real time and information is readily available in a moment’s notice, the process of communication and dissemination has been largely democratized. Individuals can magnify their voice, not only through information consumption and generation, but through active engagement and organizing. For example, activists of the 2014 Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong used a mesh networking tool, traditionally used at music festivals, to communicate.

Change the Story: Harnessing the power of narrative for social change

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Thank you for joining the Center for Story-based Strategy (CSS) and the New Tactics community for an online conversation October 14 to 18.  

People and communities use stories to understand the world and our place in it. These stories are embedded with power - the power to explain and justify the status quo as well as the power to make change imaginable and urgent. A narrative analysis of power encourages us to ask: Which stories define cultural norms? Where did these stories come from? Whose stories were ignored or erased to create these norms? And, most urgently, what new stories can we tell to help create the world we desire?

This conversation helped human rights defenders to learn more about story-based strategy and how to integrate it into campaign planning. It was an opportunity for those practitioners using story-based strategy to share their experiences, questions, and ideas with each other.

Lessons from a successful media campaign

When I met Monia Mazigh in 2003, she was a dignified, immensely worried lone campaigner for her husband's release.

On September 25, 2002, Maher Arar left his wife Monia, their 5-year old daughter Barâa and 7-month baby son Houd in Tunisia, where they were vacationing on her side of the family. He had to return to work in Canada. The rest of the family would return later. They bade him farewell and he took a taxi to the airport.

This was the last time Monia and the kids saw him for over a year.

Media Tactics for Social Change

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Thank you for joining Holly Hammond of Plan to Win and the New Tactics online community for a conversation on Media Tactics for Social Change from September 16 to 20.

Communicating with people is central to creating social change and defending human rights. The media can be a conduit for that communication - allowing us to reach broad stakeholders and communities. However the media also reflects power relationships in a society, with the most powerful getting to have the biggest say. Media bias and corporate and state control can be significant barriers to our communication efforts. In many societies media is actually one of the pillars of power. The media can bolster or undermine progress. It can make or break regimes. It can foster, or undo, a culture of respect for human rights.

Engaging the Media: Building support for minimum wage reform

An activist presenting a meal to the media as part of a campaignThe Korean Women Workers Associations United (KWWAU) effectively engaged the media in their efforts to make changes to the minimum wage system in Korea. The low minimum wage had become an urgent problem, particularly among subcontract workers in South Korea. KWWAU organized a nation-wide campaign in nine cities, resulting in the first challenge to the Korean minimum wage system since its inception in 1988.

A Mock Tribunal to Advance Change: The National Tribunal on Violence Against Women in Nigeria

A woman testifying with a veilBAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights, in collaboration with the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), highlighted violations of women’s rights in Nigeria that were viewed by the public as normal or even justifiable abuse.  They used a mock tribunal to change public perceptions and beliefs regarding violations against women, and changed public policy and law.

Engaging the Media in Human Rights

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The media, at least in our highly mediated/industrialized societies, is one of the pillars of power. That's why we need to become skilled at engaging journalists and news editors in giant media corporations, and alternative grassroots information outfits alike.

We need to be interested in "engaging" the media not just as another constituency with some influence, but because it is one of the ESSENTIAL levers of power. The media is integral to civil society. The media -- and this may be a worldwide phenomenon -- bolsters or undermines progress. It makes or breaks regimes. It fosters, or undoes, a culture of respect for human rights.

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