VISTA Viewfinder features the Transmission Project

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The VISTA Viewfinder, a monthly publication of AmeriCorps*VISTA, showcased the Transmission Project and some of our Corps members in its feature article on the Digital Divide: “Amending the Right of Every Community to Speak for Itself”.

(To read the article online click “Enter Campus as Guest” or download a convenient PDF)

A quote from our Director, Belinda Rawlins:

It’s Not the Tweet, It’s the Message

As laptops give way to handheld devices and “content providers” scramble to adapt to new media platforms, it’s easy for VISTAs and the groups they serve to become overwhelmed by the warp speed of the gadget race. In the rush, it’s also easy to confuse technology with communication.

That’s where the Transmission Project comes in. “We talk about technology under an umbrella of public media,” says director Belinda Rawlins. “We define media as all of the different ways that people communicate.”

“It’s about the information and finding ways to help people use those tools,” Belinda says. “It all starts with media literacy and feeds from there.”

And some from our Digital Arts Service Corps members:

Wherever citizens mobilize around a particular geographic issue, whether a toxic waste site, town festival, voter registration drive or school district board election, low power radio can be a hyper-local community asset, says Brandy [Doyle], who keeps track of regulatory issues for Prometheus [Radio Project]. “Just like local food, local farming and local energy production - local media is as important as any of these issues.”

“I think radio is really useful for certain populations,” says Ian [Smith], whose service supports development and communication outreach for Prometheus. A low-power station costs about $10,000 to get up and running. “It’s cheap to listen to and cheap to produce,” he says.

…Reel Grrls participants master a high-tech art form, a confidence booster in itself. Important to the mission are the films themselves. “I also believe that it is crucial that girls’ stories are told,” says VISTA Nickey Robare, another Digital Arts Service Corps member and outreach manager for the film program. “There’s such an overwhelming number of movies and TV programs that girls watch, but they are not seeing the stories of girls like them.”

“You can’t have a functional democracy without a functional media,” says VISTA Nicole Pion, who is spending a second year in the Digital Arts Service Corps with the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.


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Transmission Project