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Making Media, Building Peace. A Media Literacy and Digital Storytelling Peace Workshop
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Making Media, Building Peace. A Media Literacy and Digital Storytelling Peace Workshop


The aim of this workshop was to think about our new media languages and the ways in which they can be used to speak about real life issues. We focused not only on how to “speak” through media, but …

The aim of this workshop was to think about our new media languages and the ways in which they can be used to speak about real life issues. We focused not only on how to “speak” through media, but also on how to “read” media critically. Reading media critically is important to understand what kinds of messages build the cultures we live in and shape our identities. Combining media literacy concepts with digital storytelling techniques is an empowering communications strategy that will allow learners to increase their awareness and understanding of particular issues such as media and environment, health, problematic gender representations and body images, violence, media, power and identity configurations.

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  • 1. Making Media, Building Peace A Media Literacy and Digital Storytelling Peace Workshop Sara Gabai Youth Peace Ambassador Training Workshop 8th November 2012
  • 2. Workshop Activities1. Introduction to Media and Digital Storytelling1. Participatory activity: critically reading/ analyzing digital and print media2. Key elements to create Digital Stories
  • 3. What are MEDIA?
  • 4. What are MEDIA?Media Literacy takes a broad approach to MEDIA thatincludes anything through which information passes orreality is represented.Television; Radio; Advertising; Newspapers; Magazines;Books; Billboards; Movies; Videos; DVD; Computers;Smart phones; iPods; iPads; tablets ...
  • 5. What is Digital Storytelling?Digital Storytelling is the practice of using digital toolssuch as images, video, music, sound and texts to tell a3- 8 minutes story to an audience.
  • 6. Who is using Digital Storytelling?EVERYONE CAN CREATE THEIR OWN STORY AND SHARE IT WITHTHE WORLD!NGO’s, Marketers, Non- Profit Organizations, GovernmentOrganizations, Researchers, Peace Activists, Artists …
  • 7. Using Digital Storytelling to:• Promote community engagement• Listen to and learn from members of a community• Increase awareness and understanding of particular issues• Lobby, advocate and denounce particular issues
  • 8. Key Questions to be asked when creating an effective Digital Story:1. What is your channel of communication (video, print, Web, radio, social media, ...)?2. What do you want to say?3. Why do you want to say it?4. Who is your audience?5. How are you going to say it?
  • 9. Exercise 1 Video AnalysisDove Beauty Pressure Onslaught VS Dove Onslaught (er)
  • 10. Dove Beauty Pressure Onslaught1. Channel of communication: YouTube, Dove Website, TV1. What do you want to say: Beauty must be re- defined because the images of girls and women that we see everywhere (television, magazines, cinemas, fashion shows, billboards, commercials) are limiting and unattainable1. Why do you want to say it: The pressure of the beauty industry is causing low self- esteem problems, depression and eating disorders for women and girls1. Who is your audience? Women and mothers of young girls (2.160.493 viewers just on YouTube)1. How are you going to say it? Worksheet A Deconstruction Key and Worksheet B Techniques and Attention Hooks (use of cute children, playing with emotions, generating fear, anger, stimulating a reaction, ...)
  • 11. Dove Onslaught (er)1. Channel of communication: YouTube, Greenpeace website1. What do you want to say: Dove must stop using palm oil to make its products1. Why do you want to say it: Rainforests in Indonesia and South-East Asia are exploited and destroyed. Dove and other company’s use of palm oil for their products have an impact on the world’s eco- system.2. Who is your audience? Broad audience (men, women, governments, corporate business, NGOs). 1.678.079 viewers just on YouTube1. How are you going to say it? Remixing the original Dove commercial. Worksheet A Deconstruction Key and Worksheet B Techniques and Attention Hooks (use of cute children, playing with emotions, generating fear, anger, stimulating a reaction, ...)
  • 12. Can a political remix video help effect actual change in the world?Outcomes of the Greenpeace Campaign:“Thanks to the staggering public support for our international Dove campaign in April 2008,Unilever has now agreed to play their part in saving the Paradise Forests of South East Asia.As the biggest single buyer of palm oil in the world, Unilever (Dove’s corporation), has aspecial responsibility to help clean up the industry that is behind so much forestdestruction”. Unilever has agreed to:• Support the call by Greenpeace for an immediate suspension of their activities on deforestation for palm oil plantations• Urgently contact other major companies calling on them to also support the suspension of their activities on deforestation for palm oil plantations* Of course, the process is always long and we as citizens have the responsibilityof monitoring the work that corporations, governments and NGOs are doing. Weall may play a role in supporting these kinds of initiatives by being “out there” andreporting to the world what is happening just behind the corner of our homes.One way to do this is through effective digital storytelling.
  • 13. Exercise 2 Ads Analysis• Break into groups of 10. Each group will have an advertisement to critically analyze• Refer to Worksheet A. Media Deconstruction Key & Worksheet B. Techniques and Attention Hooks• Talk to members of your group, understand the theme and message of these ads and if there are any problems to consider• Dialogue and Sharing: Choose 1 speaker from your group to report to the workshop participants 1 key message from your discussion. What is the main peace message you want us to take home? What do you want us to do about this issue?
  • 14. Pointers for your storyboard team:1. Point of View: Your digital story should be told in 1st person. The aim is for your audience to hear your perspective and voice on a particular issue.1. Critical Questions: Ask yourself: “Why am I creating this story”? “What do I want my audience to know”? “What is the message I want them to take home”?1. Content: Gather and select the materials that will best allow you to tell your story. You can use:• Powerful written statements/ slogans: it is recommended to use short effective sentences, rather than very long paragraphs. Be careful to good grammar and language use. Keep in mind your target audience (politicians, men, women, children, advocacy groups). The language you use must be the one that is best understood by your target group.
  • 15. Pointers for your storyboard team:• Videos and short interviews: videos and interviews are a good strategy because they allow you to speak to your audience in a more direct way. If you are exposing yourself in front of a camera, keep in mind that many different people may see your digital story once it is shared on the Internet. Plan your performance in advance, prepare a script and think about what you will be saying. Ask yourself: What will be the social implications and consequences of your message? Are you harnessing someone with what you are saying? Are you putting yourself in danger? Before you address your issues publicly, make sure you are aware of the policies, rules and regulations effective in your country. The advice is to always be diplomatic and still convey your message effectively without harnessing or discriminating anybody.
  • 16. Pointers for your storyboard team:• Images: think of yourself as a citizen journalist who is reporting on a specific issue. People will more likely believe to your story when it looks real. Choose images (photos, drawings, animations, comics) that are trustworthy, and that represent who you are and the context you live in. If you are telling a story about your people and your country, pay attention to the images you select (especially if you are downloading images from the internet). Ask yourself: Do I identify with the images I chose? Are these images too mainstream and commercial? Do these images faithfully show the reality I want to represent? For instance, if you want to create a story about women’s rights and activist women’s groups in South- East Asia, you would have to be very careful in the selection of your images. You would not choose images of western, white, middle class women in business suits, rather, you would be as inclusive as possible to find images that best represent women from South- East Asian countries.*A good tip to make your stories realistic and best voice your experience and theexperiences of your community is to take your own pictures. This strategy willconvey your point of view effectively.
  • 17. Pointers for your storyboard team:4. Remixing tools: There are many free programs and software available on theinternet that will allow you to add to your digital storytelling audio soundtracks,special movie effects, transitions, comics, and so on. Digital Storytelling is aboutcreative self- expression; therefore, you may choose the best tools to convey yourmessage effectively.Resources:60 Sites for Digital Storytelling Online Tools Friendly Music & Sounds; Photo Search & Tools Sites
  • 18. Pointers for your storyboard team:5. Length and Pacing: The challenge when creating a digital story is to make your narrative flow and your point come through effectively and in a short time frame. When you build your storyboard distribute your time in such a way that the narrative will flow smoothly. For instance for a 5 minutes digital story you can distribute your time as follows:(1.5 minutes)Beginning: This is the opening scene of your movie. Here you will introduce your problem and addressyour critical questions(2 minutes)Middle: This is the body of your story and where the action takes place. Here you will present your issueto the audience in a more detailed way, provide examples and bring your experiences to the story(1.5 minutes)Ending: This is the resolution of your story. Here you provide an answer to your initial questions andaddress the ways in which the audience can take action and support your cause
  • 19. Pointers for your storyboard team:6. Sharing your story: Keeping your target audience in mind, identify the best channels where your story can be distributed. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and MySpace are just a few examples. Ifyou work in an organization that is committed to the issues you are bringing up in your stories, show your digital story to your supervisor and ask permission to upload and share your digital story on the organization’s website. If you are a student and you decide to create a digital storytelling project for a class assignment, talk to your professors and see if you can create a virtualroom in your school website where you and other digital storytellers canupload and share your work. The objective is to share your stories with othersand learn from one another’s voices and perspectives.
  • 20. Worksheet A. Deconstruction KeyTo deconstruct a media sample, answer the following questions in order:1. Your knowledge and life experience are important to this process. When you deconstruct an ad, start with your intuitive response. What do you see? Be aware of the shapes, colors, symbols, sounds, subjects, objects etc. What is your very first reaction?1. What is the context? Where did your ad come from? What kind of magazine or what channel did the sample appear in?1. Who paid for the media? They are the real “storytellers”. Companies do not pay millions of dollars for an ad without a reason. What is this reason? Whose interests are being promoted? Whose stories are being told?1. Why is the storyteller presenting this message? What messages and values are being expressed?1. Who is being targeted? Who is the story being told to? Who are the consumers of the message? Who are the readers of the media?1. Who is being represented in the advertisement? Are media representations harmful? Whose voice is heard? Who is silenced? Whose reality is presented? Whose reality is ignored? Who is advantaged? Who is disadvantaged?1. What kind of lifestyle is presented? Is it glamorized? How?1. How is the story constructed? What techniques does the storyteller use? What tools are used to attract our attention?1. What does the story say, and what does it mean? What is the text of the message? Is there a subtext?1. What is NOT being told in the story? Is there missing information or counter messages that advertisers do not want you to think about?
  • 21. Worksheet B. Techniques and Attention HooksMedia use specific techniques to construct believable stories. They hook our attention through psychological devices andtechnical effects. The techniques are vast and many, but some common ones are easily recognizable and are identified here.Remember, advertisers will use many techniques that are not listed. Add to this list as needed.Technical effects:• The choice of the setting and props can tell us more about the meaning of the ad. For example, a “shopping mall” can represent consumerism and commercial culture; a green forest may be used for a campaign against environmental damage.• Camera angles are very important in terms of determining power. Who is behind the camera? What is the viewpoint? Zooming in (enlarging 1 particular detail) shows where most attention is addressed; zooming out gives a sense of the bigger picture (with less focus on details). For example, in many ads women are represented as the “object” (zoom in of body parts) and are being looked at by a “male subject” who will buy the final product.• Lighting (dark/ bright) is used to draw your eye to certain details• Sound effects (music, silence, dialogue, narration) charge the story with emotion. Popular songs and jingles that are familiar are used to trigger your memory and create a feeling of nostalgia.• Happy and attractive people are made- up and constructed to enhance the message. Storytellers want to “sell” you images of the “perfect life”. What kinds of people are in the ad?• Special effects bring inanimate things to life and make them exciting. This is especially true with children- targeted ads.• Editing is used to pace and generate excitement. Notice how military and video game ads have very fast cuts, usually a scene change every second.
  • 22. Worksheet B. Techniques and Attention HooksAttention Hooks:• Emotional Transfer: is the process of transferring an emotion to a product. For example, a Coca Cola ad shows happy, beautiful people but tells us nothing about the product. The point is to make you feel good and to transfer that feeling to the brand or product.• Sex, Fear and Humour are the 3 main emotions that sell.• Symbols are easily recognized elements from our culture that generate powerful emotions.• Hype: Be sceptical of exaggerated claims, such as “America’s favourite burger.” Statements like these sound good but are meaningless and vague.• Fitting in is a technique that tries to influence us by stating that if everyone buys the products, so should you.• Cute: Representations of children, family and animals always steal the show.• Beautiful: women (very feminine) and men (macho) models sell the most.• Testimonials and Famous people: statements made by people explaining why certain products are great. When famous people speak, the message reaches a broader audience and gains more attention.
  • 23. Thank You