Anna is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development category of JustMeans. She has experience working for international organisations – both in the public and private sectors – in Africa, Asia and Europe. Anna is interested in collaborative approaches to sustainability, poverty reduction and international development....
Reporting on the World Unheard
Foreign correspondents may keep us up to date with conflicts going on around the world, but the people that live there and experience them first-hand are increasingly finding their own voice in the conversation. Journalism is changing; we don't simply rely on newspapers to fill us in on other people's lives. Today, the people that live in these places are telling their stories for themselves.
However, most often a lack of facilities, equipment and know-how prevent those affected by conflicts and crises from telling their story.
The Tiziano Project is a project that fills this gap. The project "provides community members in conflict, post-conflict and underreported regions with the equipment, training and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives." Giving these unheard voices a channel to share their experiences is a crucial item on the development agenda, and the explosion in new media outlets offers huge opportunities for interaction. The Tiziano project gives people the tools and skills to participate in the universal conversations on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Training them up to be journalists, the direct goal of the project is job creation.
In a recent interview, one of the founders explained that the idea came from a trip to Rwanda a few years ago: "The idea was, in a time where YouTube exists, it's immoral for genocide to exist in human history." Whilst he recognises that this was perhaps idealistic, the Tiziano Project has gone on to become a successful non-profit that is run by volunteer journalists, and has provided training to people in Somalia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and most recently Iraqi Kurdistan.
The media's role in development is often questioned, concerning the potential risks of exacerbating situations, or reporting inaccurately, however, projects like Tiziano reiterate the media's ability of giving a voice to people who were previously silent.