Week 2 – Derek Yoshikane – Response to Witness and Engage

In the Witness Your Environment-TED lecture, a few things that Kelly Matheson spoke about stood out to me.  The purpose of WITNESS is to, “Elevate the stories, so their stories are heard”.  I like the fact that WITNESS provides an honest place where stories could be told, especially with the media bias on all of the major news reports.  They also verify the stories, so you don’t have to waste your time double-checking sources (or wondering).  Kelly Matheson also mentions how government agencies, such as in Egypt, also know of the power of video and its ability to “scare” people into behaving a certain way.  When she mentioned this, I thought of corporate advertising and military propaganda videos.   Anyone can use the internet to spread stories, good or bad, anytime and everywhere.

WITNESS is providing great resource for citizen journalists.  They provide how to videos, planning and distribution tips, and examples of what a “good” video looks and sounds like.  Their approach is exactly what effective education looks like.  Here’s generally what that involves: Explain/demonstrate an objective or goal, provide an example of excellence, and provide support and feedback for the learner to achieve excellence.  I would say the only piece I do not see is feedback, but that is probably done privately.

I found myself very disturbed by the pieces on the Cambodia Land and Housing Rights.  The raw footage was shocking and almost unbelievable.  It was really hard to take, especially when the children talked about their mothers being taken away and imprisoned.  Maybe I missed it, but it didn’t seem like there was a contact or a place for viewers to go to help the cause, if they wanted to.

The Engage video I watched about the Bunga Papua School told a story about how a community started their own free school for their community.  The video ended with information for viewers to donate to the school.  Having a way for someone to help, provides hope for the viewer that they can participate in the desired change.  I don’t know why all the videos did not have this information available.  When it’s not, it kind of makes you feel like just a spectator that has no power to affect change.



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2 comments to Week 2 – Derek Yoshikane – Response to Witness and Engage

  • lpaters5@uoregon.edu

    Derek, I agree in that I too felt like a spectator. Perhaps that is the point though, simply to inform anyone watching via the Internet that these events are happening, acting as a source on important issues outside of each countries’ media. Do you think it would nullify their efforts at all if there was a link to donate after the majority of videos? Would people be more likely to say that the videos or “fake” or “staged” in order to get donations? I’m sure not everyone would think that, but I do see the potential for criticism from many in the online community. That said, I wish there was a way for people to become involved in someway to affect positive change. Maybe they are hoping for a journalist or documentary filmmaker to pick up the cause and take it to the next level?

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