Rethink India takes a look at community and alternative journalism in India to investigate how people are using new media to tell their stories.
How many times have we all heard (or lamented ourselves) people decrying the fact that celebrities and sport constitute “news” while conflicts, land rights abuses, systemic racism and discrimination against indigenous people are continually left off the editorial agenda (at least in terms of mainstream media)? With the rise of new media, groups who are justifiably outraged at the lack of diversity on the evening news are taking matters into their own hands and reporting on stories themselves.
Rethink India is a project started by German journalist Frieder Piazena and filmmaker Eva Hoffman which looks at community and alternative journalism in India. The project explores three separate areas of media in the country: the role that community journalism plays and the impact it is having; a general look at the media in India; and the way that foreign correspondence from India shapes the German view of the subcontinent.
The project attempts to break down each of the individual currents that flow through the media stream in order to give a well-rounded insight into the whole picture while concurrently dissecting the means used by people looking to tell their own stories, offering insight into what and who is transforming the local media landscape. One organisation that the project places emphasis on is Video Volunteers, which works with underprivileged communities in India and equips them with video journalism skills so they can report on the issues pertinent to them – which are often overlooked by the mainstream media. As with mobile journalism platform, CGNet Swara, Video Volunteers particularly looks to give a platform to indigenous Adivasi tribes as well those from the lower Dalit caste.
The team recently completed a round of crowdfunding for their project, allowing them to continue their project. Head over to their website (in German) for a look at their findings and check out Video Volunteers here.
Author: Anna Rees/ RESET editorial