We love highlighting stories about citizen journalism and its positive impact around the world. The latest story we stumbled upon this week is about Video Volunteers, a citizen media group that focuses on training marginalized groups to use cameras to cover their communities. The organization was founded by journalist Jessica Mayberry after spending a year training rural Indian women in filmmaking as a W.J. Clinton Fellow of the American India Foundation in 2006. Seven years later, Video Volunteers is still going strong.
“The primary reason behind VV was the simple belief that women taught to use a camera could be empowered to bring about positive change in their situations and communities,” Mayberry told IJNET. “Today it’s our journalists who counter the usual government line about why people are dissatisfied. They bring out the voices of those displaced and whose basic human rights are threatened.”
Many of the stories the women cover range from health care to government corruption. Savitha Rath created a video about the dark side of India’s mining industry. Rath was already an activist before, but the video training added a new dimension to her skill set. “They trained me to use a camera and record the voices of people, their tears, their struggles,” she said to PBS MediaShift’s Idea Lab. “Suddenly I realized I really had the power to make a difference.”
Learn more about Video Volunteers by clicking here.