media justice

Video Deconstruction of Alltel Commercial

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Organization: 
Media Literacy Project
A video deconstruction of an Alltel commercial coordinated by corps member Leticia Miranda. Watch the video online on Media Access Center's Website.

Where did you get that bright and shiny digital literacy?

Recent policy papers call for the support of community digital literacy providers, including community-based organizations, but there is little appreciation for the variety and richness of these organizations’ work. The Aspen Institute and Knight Foundation’s “Digital Literacy: A Plan of Action” admits there is “little awareness of programs and services in digital and media literacy education,” and recommends the mapping of community digital and media literacy resources.

Digital Expansion Initiative Program Developer

Organization: 
People's Production House
VISTA Name: 
Kristofer Rios
Program Start: 
7/2008
Program End: 
7/2010
Project Description: 

PPH has three major projects: Radio Rootz, which teaches classes in radio journalism and media literacy in public schools; the Community News Production Institute (CNPI), which trains low wage and immigrant workers as radio journalists; and our Digital Expansion Initiative, which works to educate and organize the public around access to digital technology. We build media organizers: media literate youth and workers who can create and demand a media system that works in their interests.

This position is part of the Digital Expansion Initiative. For 2008 to 2009, the CTC Vista participant will
• formalize our Digital Expansion curriculum and conduct educational workshops for community organizations and public school classes throughout New York City;
• work with the Digital Expansion team to analyze data from our surveys and interviews;
• conduct original research into the state of Internet access in New York City and train others to do the same;
• record, edit, and produce radio journalism and train others to do the same;
• review and compile new research and articles related to Internet access and Internet policy.

Project Outcome: 

This year, Kristofer took the lead in developing and formalizing the curriculum for our youth-led policy program, the Digital Expansion Fellowship (DEF). After taking feedback and evaluations from our first DEF summer project, Kristofer redesigned the summer curriculum into a full 8-week summer course for a new round of fellows. The new curriculum is a comprehensive training in media policy research; combing basics in digital journalism and an introduction to policy analysis. This summer the fellows used their newly acquired digital reporting skills to examined mobile broadband and cellphone policy from a community perspective. They produced a news feature looking at how a proposed bill requiring ID for prepaid cellphones would impact low income and immigrant communities. They also produced four cell phone literacy workshops that will be included in a collaborative tool kit project focused on expanding cell phone literacy.

People’s Production House proposed a large community media network project during the second application round of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program. Our proposal brought together 21 New York City community organizations to imagine a constellation of community media centers across New York that would work as media production centers for a community news outlet. Kristofer was the main outreach organizer for this application. He helped recruit many of the organizations to the project proposal and coordinated a lot of the application process with the groups. While we weren’t awarded our BTOP grant, the organizing provided us with an opportunity to advance our goal of strengthening our community media network. We are taking the momentum from our BTOP organizing to develop a New York City Digital Justice Coalition. Throughout the year, Kristofer also engaged with other community media organizations to share or work, exchange ideas, and collaborate on larger national projects.

One of the goals that Kristofer set for him self was to help us develop workshops and training materials in Spanish. Kristofer lead our first Spanish language community journalism training in his first year as a VISTA and he wanted to take it further by developing media literacy tools that could accompany the trainings. This year Kristofer helped organize the first Spanish language track at the 2010 Allied Media Conference. In developing the Spanish language track, Kristofer engaged some organizations that serve the Spanish speaking in New York, helping to develop Spanish language community reporters.

In addition to the work completed in our project proposal, Kristofer also helped refine our 12-week media community journalism training curriculum. The curriculum needed an upgraded and he assisted with the process. Kristofer also helped strengthen ties to partner organizations through his involvement in organizing the Allied Media Conference and his participation in the Media Action Grassroots Network. Through these conferences and networks, Kristofer has helped facilitate projects on a national scope, including our upcoming Cellphone Literacy Toolkit, which is a collaboration between allies in New Mexico, California, and New York.

Outreach Coordinator

Organization: 
Media Literacy Project
VISTA Name: 
Candelario Vazquez
Program Start: 
9/2009
Program End: 
7/2011
Project Description: 

The VISTA member will assist in building NMMLP’s MAG-Net projects. MAG-Net is a project of the Center for Media Justice. NMMLP, along with other organizations nationwide, is a member of MAG-Net and is working on media justice projects in New Mexico. General support for MAG-Net will include outreach efforts – creating handouts and flyers, recruiting participants for Girl Tech Collective, documenting events and activities, and assisting with the New Mexico Media Assessment.

Goal 1: Support the MAG-Net Projects: Girl Tech Collective and New Mexico Media Assessment
Goal 2: Support the Media Monitoring Project

Project Outcome: 

The three main project goals for this position were to support the Girl Tech Collective program, support a media assessment of New Mexico, and support a project on media monitoring.

The Girl Tech Collective program began this past year, but was shifted to another staff person. Instead, Candelario supported another youth program in New Mexico called Digital Justice for Us! (DJ4U) program. This was a more strategic move because it connected to MLP’s work on broadband in New Mexico, a project that this VISTA member would already be working on. The Digital Justice for Us! program was successful and MLP learned a lot from this first year. Cande supported the youth involved in this program, assisted in organizing the event to showcase the young participant’s video work, lead an evaluation on the program, and documented the process. His work will make the DJ4U program stronger for the coming year. MLP’s Program Director helped support this program.

The second project goal was to support the New Mexico media assessment. This project took on the form of an assessment of broadband access in New Mexico. Cande helped to host researchers from the Social Science Research Council in our state as they conducted focus groups in the greater Albuquerque area. Cande also formalized new organizational partnerships around the broadband issue, helped to build MLP’s base, and participated in community conversations. The increase in supporters of MLP and the collection of stories and information on how broadband affects rural and low-income communities has greatly strengthened MLP’s programs and projects. All MLP staff, partner organizations, and community members helped support the goal for increased access to broadband in New Mexico.

The third project goal was to support the media monitoring project. Cande helped to support Siembra la palabra digna, MLP’s initiative to address responsible speech in our media. Cande assisted at outreach events, collected video stories from community members, and monitored media clips to examine how issues and communities are framed and reported on in various media. Support for this project has helped MLP develop better workshops and materials that connect responsible speech with access to media and storytelling. MLP’s Campaign Coordinator assisted the VISTA member in this initiative.

Media Justice Organizer

Organization: 
Media Literacy Project
VISTA Name: 
Leticia Miranda
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member will support Media Literacy Project’s media justice campaigns and public awareness efforts and ensure that the message and effort of the campaigns are connected and relevant to partners, members and constituents. The Corps member will also participate in all campaigns and will function as a liaison between MLP, campaign partners and will assist the Campaign Coordinator with implementing and revising as needed MLP’s campaign strategy, with conducting campaign evaluations, and with creating campaign curricula.

MLP’s campaigns for the 2010-2011 program year include the Prison Phones campaign, the Cell Phone Literacy campaign, and the continuation of their Universal Broadband and Network Neutrality campaign.

Project Outcome: 

In 2010 MLP wrote into our strategic plan the need to develop a strategic communications department for our organization. Leticia Miranda stepped in and helped us start that process. What has changed at MLP as a result of her activities includes: MLP’s website was being redesigned and Leticia provided helpful feedback during that process

–MLP has a lovely new website that we launched in January of 2011; MLP has always created monthly deconstructions and Leticia came up with the idea to do video deconstructions
–while we can’t do these every month, she created a process for when we do them 2 or 3 times a year; MLP’s newsletter was redesigned; MLP had an increased presence in the press as a result of the Op-Eds and press releases she wrote
–prior to her arrival we did not have press releases as often or of the same caliber; MLP’s reputation as a national player was elevated through the film Free the Air, which was an MLP response to a Verizon ad, directed by Leticia; we have a communications plan; we have new ideas and plans for our annual Girls Toolbox class and Girl Tech Collective as a result of her participation and insight; due to the success of MLP’s increased visibility we were contacted by a funder who offered to provide us monies for the next 2 years for a Strategic Communications Director. Leticia has worked with the new hire and the work will continue.

Impact Quote: 

Leticia not only accomplished the proposed project, she offered her skill set in other areas as needed. Challenges initially arose around the creation of a communications plan because MLP needed a new strategic plan for her to use. Once program goals were clarified, she was able to create the plan.

Outreach Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Tom Schwallie
Program Start: 
8/2003
Program End: 
8/2005
Project Description: 

In building the capacity of the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy, Tom took on the following responsibilities:

Media Monitoring – this includes daily logging of local news coverage for the studies that GRIID produces yearly on election coverage, race & gender representation, and any other issue that we may be monitoring. This may also include occasional monitoring of entertainment media; commercials, movies, ads, etc.

Grant Funded Projects – this includes assisting GRIID on grant funded projects that involve working with students and community groups on issues such as tobacco, gender issues and the West Michigan Progressive Directory. This work gives us an opportunity to apply the resources developed in the media monitoring process.

Web Site Maintenance and Design – Tom has learned some of the basics of web design and has helped update and create new content for the GRIID website (www.griid.org). In particular, he updated the GRIID media directory and the GRIID lending library pages. Tom also designed and created his AmeriCorps VISTA web page (www.grcmc.org/americorps/tom/).

Community Outreach Projects – working on various community-based projects that GRIID is involved in through the Progressive Directory. This involves attending meetings, conducting media trainings, producing media with community groups, and promoting the coalition building through the Progressive Directory. In many ways this is the main outcome goal of GRIID – getting community groups to develop their own media strategies.

Project Outcome: 

Tom played an essential role in completing the Youth Anti-Tobacco Advocacy Project (http://www.griid.org/antitobacco/) He collected and correlated all the data for this study and created the online report. He also worked with the student volunteers in creating the study and accompanied them when they presented the study to the Grand Rapids City commission. Tom also helped in the creation of several grant-funded video productions that GRIID produced, assisting in both the editing and the filming process.

Tom does about half of the actual news watching that GRIID undertakes, and is responsible for documenting and tabulating all of the news watching data collected. He also has taken an active part in writing GRIID studies examining local media coverage on various issues. Over the last six months, Tom played a significant role in creating the content in GRIID’s Election Watch 2004 feature.

Tom worked on the grant funded Video Voter Project. This project tied into GRIID’s election monitoring and education efforts. Tom’s work monitoring and documenting news coverage were important components of the Video Voter Project.

Tom has been involved in several projects designed to reach out and empower community groups. Tom has been one of the producers of Catalyst Radio, a weekly radio program on the CMC’s radio station WYCE FM. Catalyst Radio provides news analysis and interviews featuring local community groups and organizations. Tom writes half of the news analysis pieces as well as being one of the shows on-air voices. He also is responsible for setting up and conducting the interviews on occasion as well as updating the Catalyst Radio website every week.

Another community outreach effort that Tom has been involved with is GRIID’s work on FCC license renewals procedure education. This is an effort to build an awareness in the community on the FCC license renewal process which was designed to hold the local TV media accountable to community needs. As part of this project, Tom has given presentations, created mailing literature, and helped create online resources.

GRIID maintains a large collection of documentaries pertaining to issues of media literacy and media and democracy. Tom has helped organize and promote public showings of these documentary films. Tom also helped facilitate public discussions following the films.

Project: Think Different / Amplifyme

Location:
Boston, MA

Amplifyme is a nonprofit organization that engages people in positive change through the use of media arts. We use pop culture to inspire people to think differently about their power to create change in their lives and the lives of others through civic engagement.

Amplifyme programs provide opportunities for engagement in positive change through the media arts. Our programs focus in four key areas—Media, Music, Video and the Electronic Community. More and more, these methods of communication influence people, both young and old. Unfortunately, not all of these messages are positive. amplifyme’s programs empower participants to create positive messages to reach a broad audience to foster civic engagement.

These programs begin with youth involvement, but are also appropriate for individuals further along in their professional development and who want to participate as a vehicle for change in the media.

- youth media institute Empowers young people with the tools and resources to become future leaders in the media industry.

- empowerment music program Works with musicians to produce socially empowering commercially viable music messages.

- movement pictures video program Works with video artists to create and amplify socially responsible video messages in film and television.

- electronic community media program Serves as an online hub for all of amplifyme’s signature programs, as well as an interactive site for socially responsible music, video, and online community building.

Phillips Community Television/Intermedia Arts

Location:
Minneapolis, MN

Intermedia Arts is Minnesota’s premier multidisciplinary, multicultural organization. Our mission is to by a catalyst that builds understanding among people through art.

PCTV empowers young people to engage with their communities through learning, teaching and making media. For 15 year, PCTV has taught thousands of Minneapolis teens how to make their own TV shows, video diaries, photo essays, webpages and other media projects.

The PCTV crew creates a bi-weekly talk show called Our Turn, a online gallery featuring web design, photography and, creative writing called Mixed Visions, video essays, and other media products. These creative projects reflect public concerns and document work by youth in their neighborhoods. Participants of PCTV, and the schools they are selected from, demonstrate a strong commitment to community service and to engaging young people outside the classroom.

Through their involvement with PCTV, participants develop skills in media literacy, video production and design, including techniques in camera operation, sound, lighting, and editing. They also gain abilities in photography and web design and layout. Simultaneously, students begin strengthening community ties and educating others on important issues. By practicing what it means to be part of a media crew and how to fit in roles such as a director, producer, host, editor, and other operations youth find themselves filled with knowledge and skills enhancing their futures in media production.

People's Production House

Location:
New York, NY

At People’s Production House we are fulfilling the promise of citizen and community journalism by closing the gap in skills and access.

We believe a diverse, ethical, and independent media is an essential element of social change and we believe that historically excluded communities must be protagonists in media democracy. Our work combines media creation, media policy education and media organizing to preserve and expand the free press so central to America’s identity and democracy.

PPH is run and staffed by journalists and community organizers from historically excluded communities. Our projects are unique as we bring together two of the best American traditions: community organizing and independent media creation, to build a community of media organizers: media literate youth and workers who can create and demand a media that functions in their interests.

National Black Programming Consortium

Location:
New York, NY

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is dedicated to developing black digital authorship, and distributing unique stories of the black experience in the new media age through enlightening digital content and community engagement.

NBPC is a national nonprofit with a 30-year track record of increasing capacity in minority communities by funding programming about the Black experience and issues for public television; mentoring emerging producers; and providing professional development training opportunities. With the emergence of the Internet as a viable method of broadcast and distribution, NBPC created the New Media Institute (NMI) in 2006 to train a new generation of makers to produce content across digital platforms. Two major initiatives grew out of NMI collaborations – MojoCo.org, a citizen journalism web portal and training program, and the Public Media Corps, a national service supporting creative, sustainable and community-initiated methods for addressing the broadband divide in communities of color. Both projects extend NBPC’s impact beyond broadcasters to a new generation of community-based media makers, concerned with creating relevant content that will impact the well being of their communities.

Transmission Project