Using Social Media to tell the other side of the story

Reading this post this morning, on the important role that social media has played in social uprisings in Ukraine and Venezuela , made me think once again about the important opportunities which are missed by so many in the UK to tell the stories the mainstream media are not interested in.

When you are in a crisis situation like that faced by people in the Ukraine, and all the big media tools are in the hands of those you are struggling against, you can now turn to social media to get your story out. We have seen this happening during the Arab Spring and in places like Syria.

But, in Britain, this is still not happening to any significant extent. While the mainstream media uses its power to stigmatise and berate communities in programme like Benefits Street, we still see people with leadership roles in disadvantaged communities in the UK (and I am talking mainly about paid professionals here) shying away from using the tools we all have at our disposal to tell the other side of the story. Most of them will have multimedia storytelling devices (otherwise known as smartphones) in their pockets, but they don’t seem to want to use them to unleash the power of that storytelling. Is it that they don’t want to, they don’t know how to, or they are hidebound by health and safety and data protection rules from doing so?

It’s really not that hard, and I am getting increasingly frustrated about how many people are failing to realise this potential.

Here’s me talking about how I this can be done. Get in touch if you want to know more

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One thought on “Using Social Media to tell the other side of the story

  1. I’ve just used Facebook in a campaign to help in a local campaign fairly successfully. Lots of people engaged (we didn’t ‘win’) and speaking out – some possibly for the first time in their lives. I would love to get a grassroots journalism project going. The voices and stories of people are important. One of the difficulties will be to convince people that their stories are worth telling. (one of the derogatory comments I hear all the time about FB is ‘its just about people discussing what they have for tea’.

    Indeed this principle might actually be transferring into some work I’m doing with the local council around special educational needs.

    One person actually said that a short you tube video post that I did (at my desk) convinced him to take part in the campaign.

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