Empowering Marginalized Communities through Media & DOCUMENTING HUMAN RIGHTS THROUGH EYEWITNESS REPORTS
The ability of everyday citizens to document their communities has presented new possibilities and challenges for human rights documentation and advocacy. Since 2011 I have worked to empower traditional human rights advocates as well as citizens and activists around the world to use citizen journalism and eyewitness media to make an impact. I have led trainings, developed guidance, and with the human rights organization, WITNESS, led a pioneering program curating eyewitness videos from around the world to not only expose under-reported stories of injustice, but to understand how average citizens and the technology they use can contribute to more effective documentation of human rights.
El Tímpano: Collaborative, Local, Spanish-language Reporting
In collaboration with the Listening Post Collective of Internews, I led an assessment of the information needs of Oakland's Latino immigrants. I met with leaders of two-dozen community organizations, facilitated listening sessions with engaged residents, and surveyed dozens of Latino immigrants to understand how they access news and information and engage in civic conversations, and identify gaps and opportunities. We plan to launch a report in spring of 2018. Learn more at www.eltimpano.org.
Watching Western Sahara
Watching Western Sahara is a platform for curated and contextualized eyewitness footage from Western Sahara, developed as a collaboration between the WITNESS Media Lab and the FiSahara Film Festival in early 2016. The project aims to bridge the gap between international human rights monitors and at-risk Sahrawi journalists and human rights defenders filming within Western Sahara, a territory that has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. Due to Morocco's restrictions on local media and regular denial of entry to foreign correspondents and international advocates, online videos by Sahrawis offer rare documentation for the outside world to see.
Ethical Guidelines for Using Eyewitness video in Human Rights Reporting and Advocacy
Human Rights Channel
The twice Webby-nominated initiative was the first YouTube video channel dedicated to curating eyewitness footage of human rights abuses from around the world. As Program Manager, I also analyzed the evolving role that eyewitness video played in exposing injustice, and developed guidelines for media activists, journalists, and human rights professionals on filming and using eyewitness footage safely and effectively.
Presentations on panels and conferences on citizen reporting and human rights:
Best Practices for Using Eyewitness Footage - webinar for Poynter's News University, March 2016
Designing Ethics in the Digital Age - Online News Association, November 2015
State of Rights: Citizen Witnesses Documenting Human Rights - US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, March 2015
Media Policy and Participatory Journalism: Teaching, Engaging and Protecting Acts of Journalism - Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, August 2014
Hacking Attention: Media, Technology and Crisis - SXSW Interactive, March 2014
Collaborative Images: New Models of Authorship and Aggregation - Magnum Foundation's "Photography Expanded," March 2014
Media, Technology and Crisis - National Conference for Media Reform, April 2013
A selection of articles on citizen journalism and human rights reporting:
Tools and Strategies to Verify Online Videos from Western Sahara - WITNESS blog, July 2016
Verification is a Spectrum (Lessons Learned Curating Human Rights Video on YouTube) - MediaShift, July 8, 2015
Human Rights Channel's 2014 Year in Review - WITNESS, December 10, 2014
Assessing and Minimizing Risks When Using UGC - Verification Handbook, 2014
Will the Syrian Hero Boy Make Us Question Everything We See? (and why don’t we do that already?) - WITNESS blog, November 20, 2014
Navigating the Ethics of Citizen Video: The Case of a Sexual Assault in Egypt - Arab Media & Society, Fall 2014
5 Innovative Projects Show the Power of Citizen Collaboration - PBS MediaShift, August 5 2014
When YouTube Videos Expose Crimes that go Unpunished - PBS MediaShift, February 24, 2014
Video Exposes Police Abuse in Venezuela (or is it Mexico? or Colombia?) - WITNESS blog, February 25, 2014
Is it Authentic? When Citizens and Soldiers Document War - PBS MediaShift, November 20, 2012