Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Finalize Your Video Advocacy Plan

August 21, 2009 4 comments

The WITNESS Video Action Plan (VAP) is a questionnaire designed to assist our partners in developing a comprehensive plan to integrate video into their human rights advocacy.  We provide two versions here, one formatted for use by our partners, which is a more in-depth plan, and another version for more general usage.

Download the Video Action Plan:
pdf VAP for WITNESS Partners
pdf VAP for Non-Partners

What Next? Choosing Your Equipment

Plan Your Video

August 14, 2009 2 comments

[note: this and the outline are a bit of the same, need to find optimal path for users on this]

Step 1:  Write a ‘guiding paragraph’

Take time to write a description of the story and what viewers will see in your video.  This should not be a summary of the video’s message or an analysis, but a description of how you visualize the story unfolding.  This can also incorporate the style and feel of the video – for example, If you are looking for a fast MTV-like feel or a more slow-paced story, or a series of stark images interspersed with title-cards.  An example below is a description of a story on internally displaced people in Burma.

Think visually and verbally – every word should describe something you see in the video.  If you are producing a series of video, discuss with your facilitator how to consider how elements of your story will be conveyed through the series of videos.


Step 2:  Finalize Your Messages

List out the most important messages for your audience and put them in order of importance.  Remember, this should be a list of messages that you will be able to convey in your video with interviews, testimony and b-roll images and audio.  Think big, but be realistic.

Step 3:  Choose Your Messengers

Among the messages you identified that will best move your audience to the action you want, who can tell your story most compellingly for your audience?

Remember that compelling and memorable individual, personal stories are part of most powerful videos and stories, and that an “expert” interview may give credibility and help elaborate nuanced legal or policy obligations.  You may consider how you would tell “both sides of the story” or explain why this is infeasible or ill advised.   Consider that ‘who’ tells the story can also include the narrator – you can read more about narration here.

Step 4:  Choose Your Audiovisual Content

What are the video, images and audio that can best support your video to move your audience to action?  Write a create a wish-list of content and prioritize it, accounting for what you may already have or have access to easily, what content you’ll have to shoot yourself and what archival content you may want to find.

Step 5:  Create a Video Outline

How to Stream Video From Your Mobile Phone

August 10, 2009 2 comments

Mobile video streaming technology is changing the world. Well, at least the world of video and how it can be shared online – and instantly!  Streaming tools run on a few different platforms that enable users with strong networks and a data plan to share their video in the moment and keep a copy in their user account – which you will need to set up in advance.  With an account comes a user profile page, similar to a YouTube profile page, where you can select your settings, describe who you are and enable people to find and download your content.

There are quite a few noteworthy features that some of the providers offer. In particular you are able to:

  • Indicate if your video is public or private
  • Geo-tag your content to document your location
  • Time-stamp your content in an indisputable fashion
  • Make your media embeddable and downloadable by others on the internet

As more ‘smart’ phones and robust networks are introduced and become accessible to more people, streaming video will be a more viable option for mass participation.  However, it has been and is being used in creative and effective ways to support social change campaigns. The following are two brief examples and ideas to spark your imagination.

Streaming video from an action or an event

Activists and groups have used streaming video from phones and even their computers’ web cams to show supporters their actions in real-time.  Smart tactics include inviting supporters to visit their website at a certain time to see what they and their supporters were doing to pressure their targets – often with an air of mystery by using email alerts and messaging that alluded to what was going to happen but just enough to ensure their supporters would come.  In addition to reengaging their supporters and keeping them updated and inspired with the campaign, streaming video can help drive actions to build email lists and garner more attention.

Case Study:  Streaming video to get news out from censored areas

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) continues to be one of the most innovative grassroots organizations, successfully integrating online tools and video to raise awareness and pressure key decision makers.

During the 2008 Olympics in China, SFT worked to bypass the censorship and barriers to getting news coverage and focus on their actions within China to spotlight the campaigns to Free Tibet. Their innovative and multi-tool approach showed the potential of integrating new and old online and mobile tools – including a 24-hour live streaming video from six different cities around the world to cover their actions in Beijing – while keeping the focus on their campaign and supporters engaged. Additionally, they would stream video from their phones while actions took place to ensure the visuals got out and the story was heard.

Every situation is unique and comprised of a plethora of considerations that you will asses to determine your personal safety, which is clearly what is important.  Another consideration is the safety and security of those that are in your footage – how may they be negatively impacted if they are identified.  WITNESS, an international human rights organization that trains activists how to use video for advocacy, has a host of comprehensive guides that cover these topics in-depth.

Resources for streaming video from your phones

Please list company and brief description with links to the phones they support and FAQ pages.

FAQ with list of supported phones

general problems with qik

company website

site comparing qik and flixwagon with introductory videos (2 minutes and 1 minute)