Frame Your Aim A pragmatic crossing to the media world of 21st century youth
Original Title: Frame Your Aim - A pragmatic crossing to the media world of 21st century youth ©2012 All rights remain with the authors of this publication Layout & Design: Mobil Kiadó és Grafi kai Stúdió Kft . Production manager and cover design: Sofia Moudiou Manufacturing manager: Gyula Sandor Editor: Kriszta Zsiday Proofreader: Bela Szabo-Abranyi
Appetiser Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. Voltaire
Itâ€™s time to share our story In the past years through our non-formal media educational activities we faced numerous challenges and beautiful moments. During the 18 month long international Video Volunteers (ViVo) project, we worked on the media literacy education of youth as well as on social activism and inclusion. Looking back, I appreciate all the personal stories, methodological developments and international teamwork that I encountered. Our stories came from international trainings and exchanges and in addition local workshops and actions. These offered possibilities for young people to share their realities and learn from each other. Collaborative media productions not only upgraded their media literacy and technical skills, but were approached as opportunities for personal development. As the cream on top, we ran researches with the inclusion of youth to find answers in a joint effort on the usage of media and its role as a meaningful education tool for youth. Th is is unique and valuable as it combines different areas of youth work such as nonformal education, youth participation and research. Video Volunteers, thank you! All participants of the activities brought something new to look at and act for. Their trust and willingness to participate was essential and rewarding to our work. I would like to thank all the volunteers and peer educators who invested joy, commitment and working hours into our activities that really paid off on our project. You have done a great job as team leaders and I really appreciate the personal care you have put into this adventure. I am grateful for the organisations that joined us on the exploration of this field, encountering various obstacles and overcoming them together. And I am grateful for the Youth in Action programme and the Council of Europe for supporting our work. Here are some of our invaluable stories that deserve to be shared. Kriszta Zsiday Project Manager
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Essentials - background information on our journey into the field of media education 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5.
The human nature of media, Kriszta Zsiday The debate, Sofia Moudiou Yours digitally, Andrew Hannes Surmising the ViVo Age, Peter Dral and Gyula Sándor Free to Like!, Peter Dral
6 7 10 13 16 22
Chapter 2 Aspects - different understandings of the partners on the use of media in youth work in the 21st century 2.1. Watching the watchers, Michele Di Paola 2.2. Human rights in practice with the involvement of the new social media, Manuel Rodríguez Rodríguez 2.3. You C@n Help! Become an „e-Volunteer“,Rocio Reina
27 28 31 32
Chapter 3 Lookouts - different personal experiences in ViVo activities 3.1. Video activate yourself!, Virginia Negro 3.2. From my point of view, Gyula Sándor 3.3. The story of Slovak Focus group, Veronika Schweighoferová
33 34 35 38
Chapter 4 Completions - practical results and methods in international media literacy related youth projects 4.1. 4.2. 4.3. 4.4.
Ways of blending, Kriszta Zsiday Save as, Andrew Hannes Checklist, collected by Kriszta Zsiday Media Manifesto
Appendices a. b. c. d.
Authors Partner organisations Funders Online Resources
Table of Contents
39 40 44 47 50
51 51 52 54 55
Essentials - background information on our journey into the field of media education
The human nature of media â€œReaching out to touch a stranger, Electric eyes are everywhereâ€? Michael Jackson: Human nature
Dynamic interplay When I went on Facebook today, the top post was about someone who went missing, with a picture and description, asking for support to fi nd him. Later on, it turned out that he was in a hospital, as a doctor replied to the post. The media is there to share personal matters, but it may also affect our personal lives. Research shows that if a soap opera is popular, there is a surge in newborn babies named after the main protagonists. Media, its creators and audiences have an interdependent relationship that develops through a very dynamic interplay. How can we empower youngsters to use it with all its complexity, rapid changes and probabilities in a meaningful and humanistic way? While acknowledging the power of new technologies, when talking about the influence of the media we also need to consider the human mind and society as a hugely powerful entity. Technology-based media education and learning have the potential to exploit human rights and needs. You might be able to take perfectly framed and sharp photos, but sharing the technically perfect portrait of a person from a mental hospital on Facebook might not be the proper thing. When working with youngsters and integrated groups of participants coming from diverse and often difficult backgrounds, I found that by setting the focus on the social and human qualities in media activities, the results were very much reformed. In the sense of having fruitful interchange between having a message to relate and having the technical skills to support it. Sharing and discussing social and personal matters that largely determine the lives of disadvantaged youth proves to be helpful on both a personal and community level. Moreover, it brings noteworthy content into their media productions. For example, going through the clashes of different belief systems when making a production can be a great asset to the content of the fi nal video - if itâ€™s conducted well. The challenge of a trainer, a youth worker, is in this appropriate supervision. It is a principally process-orientated approach, while working towards targeted results.
Affection and action If someone is excited about hip-hop music, they may be involved quite easily by incorporating this interest into other activities. Affection and action are interdependent. If I like something, I will do it if I have the opportunity. If I do and experience something, an emotional connection and attitude will be established instinctively. One of my young peer educators offered to a group of rural boys that they make a music video. They ended up writing a song about their social problems, in a hip-hop style. To encourage the sharing of interests and regular activities of youth was a key element in
Chapter 1.1 | The human nature of media
our general approach in all activities. In Video Volunteers, we work mainly from personal towards social.
Transactions To bring the individual interests to a more relevant level, letâ€™s say to connect it to a social issue, is a significant step. Communication involving two or more people reciprocally affects or influences all those who are involved in it. In our activities, it happens both during informal and non-formal activities. When participants are having lunch together during an exchange, they discuss where they come from, and hearing about life in a Roma settlement or studying hard to be a doctor affects both partners. Similarly, organizing a flash mob, having debates on the benefits of reading books instead of watching movies, have an immediate influence on all members. What I often hear from young people is that they cannot do this or that, because the world and the social rules bind them. And it is true in many ways. Still, the recognition that every human has the power to have an effect on other people, and in this way on society, is a key moment. Th is transactional understanding gives both prospect and responsibilities. The transactional view of the individual and society encouraged us to notice and coach personal issues while discovering their places and roles in bigger groups. Ambiguous themes, such as racism or negative personal beliefs, can be settled with this in mind. It is not necessarily something big or complicated. Once, a participant climbing up a hill suddenly got frightened of the slippery, elevated ground and could not go as fast as the others could. She wanted to turn back, saying that anyhow, she cannot help the group in any way. Sharing and acknowledging her fear and belief of worthlessness was the first step. Hearing this, other participants stated that they are a group and together they can do things what they would otherwise not be able to achieve alone. As a result, she made it to the top, the group started to talk about what exclusion is, and a few days later, they made a video on racism. Transactions and transformation are part of human nature that can be shared through media. Believing in their own ability to make things happen, people are more likely to be activists.
Social activism I am the product of my society, but on the other hand, I am also creating my society. To do so, it is necessary to select and alter behaviours, actions and affections. Th is is the point at which the combination of personal development â€“ media education â€“ and youth work culminate. In other words, we can state that this is one way in which young people may learn about shaping their lives in a socially meaningful way in the 21st century. The common qualities I see in media, personal development and social matters are: the rules, the resources and the sanctions. They are there to guide, organize and regulate human interactions and issues. To tell a story in a meaningful way, you have to follow the rules of continuity editing in video making. To learn something new about yourself, you might need resources, like another person to coach you or the opportunity
Chapter 1.1 | The human nature of media
to participate in educational events, a library with books and so on. And to have and experience the consequences of mistreating someone for being a gipsy, for example in a youth exchange, acts to ensure inalienable fundamental rights and equality. Media education, just like personal development and youth work, can be perceived as purposeful and change-orientated. In doing so, it becomes a tool for development and provides broad possibilities for participation, exceeding technical skill and knowledge improvements.
Fostering changes Large-scale changes happen through mass communication and media. Enabling individuals, youth groups and minorities to share their stories may be beneficial for civil issues, freedom of expression and the representation of diverse views. We base our actions on three basic concepts: 1. Media can promote change in its audience. 2. Learning may happen both through direct experience and seeing others gain desired outcomes. 3. Social modelling promotes change both through instruction and through motivation for participation. During non-formal educational activities, we set our goals and aspirations in line with these basic concepts.
Principles Th roughout the past years while working with youth in media and personal development projects, I observed certain persistent behaviour. I fi nd them valid and effective to ensure media education with human qualities: 1. Literacy is a key element in personal and social development. The situation was the same when most people did not know how to write, and itâ€™s the same in the age of digital media. Ideas, values and styles of behaviour form norms and practices for individuals and social groups. The diversity of this brings affection and action, which should be considered and shared. 2. Personal beliefs may significantly effect and alter events. The acceptance of affections manifesting in actions may be modelling positive, negative or transitional qualities. Modelling is happening in and through the media on an accelerated and large scale. 3. Programs ensuring opportunities for self-education can extend the capacity of self-directedness of youth. In this way, they can intentionally influence their own functioning and life circumstances. 4. Youth, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged ones, should also be the creators of media content not just the consumers and subjects of it.
Chapter 1.1 | The human nature of media
Competitive advantage Media and social networking sites are rapidly changing the way users, young people behave, and in a similar way, organisations can adapt themselves to maintain their youth work, incubate new ideas and ensure maximum awareness of their services. Accepting and acknowledging how youngsters spend their time and in what kinds of activities they participate willingly gives a chance for professionals to reach and include them. In doing so, media activities can be a great advantage competing with less meaningful free time and learning activities. Focusing media education on humanistic values and rights, accepting the affections and actions that are occurring while creating and consuming media plus keeping in mind the behavioural principles, youth can be supported in reaching out to touch a stranger while meaningfully operating the electric eyes that are everywhere. I believe that working through the human nature of media is a rewarding combination of content and context. Kriszta Zsiday
Chapter 1.1 | The human nature of media
The Debate “Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences.” Mike DiLorenzo
Human Rights in practice with New and Social Media During the ViVo project, the ViVo team often mentioned that, “We live in the age of Social Media and everybody has a message to tell”. This phrase was used numerous times to describe and motivate youngsters participating in the project to express their message and the importance of the message itself. Importance in the sense of being accountable for it and knowing what affect it will have on the audience that will receive it, read it, hear it or watch it. As the development of social networks is increasing, participation has grown in many ways from connecting and communicating to creating new contacts and exploring self-expression. In the peak of social media usage and communication, where participation and civic involvement is re-forming, Facebook and Twitter are becoming a medium for organising civic movements, as well as a source of information that reports on political and human rights issues. As the simultaneous user, creator and consumer of online media, each one of us is exposed to publicity, feedback and criticism on issues as diverse as the social and economic inequalities and personal cultural background that arise in a similar way in our everyday “offline” life. With regard to the latter, it is widely known that there is a range of declarations and documents that protect individuals and their rights in real life, but does it work in the same way in “online” life? And here is where the questions begin to emerge. Are diversity and personal cultural background respected on the internet? Are there rules and regulations that protect human rights online? How should we practise Human Rights when using Social Media? We, the ViVo team, had been troubled by these questions throughout the whole project, approaching them in different ways. On one occasion, it happened during an informal evening when we were all sitting together and one of us shared a personal story: “I used to work in a camp with people with special needs and there was a person there who was very special to me and I was very close to her. She had Down syndrome and she was very old for someone with Down syndrome, she was 45 and she had no teeth. We really had a connection with her. What happened is that I uploaded a picture of her while she was eating on my Facebook profi le, she was eating mashed food. For me, this was a loving picture but for someone else this might be repelling, very weird, funny or even disgusting. But I really loved her. And out of this love I uploaded her picture on Facebook. What happened later is that I found out that someone had seen the picture on my profi le; he found it funny so he took the photo and wrote on the picture, circulating the picture on the internet and making fun of her.
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Chapter 1.2 | The debate
And that was a big issue for me, a wow moment when I realized I had done something. First of all, I uploaded a picture of another person, and then it was used in this way. Then I began to think of human rights.....” It was then that I started thinking of “offl ine” and “online” life. What would happen in real life if someone would take a picture of me, print it, copy it and spread it around in the streets without me knowing? Would that be a violation of my rights and my privacy? Or what if I was at the opposite position, the one taking the picture; would I have violated someone’s rights? I asked my team colleague about what happened afterwards. “Then I removed the picture and I changed my privacy settings on Facebook. I feel bad about what happened. It was not my photo. I should take more time to consider my privacy settings on Facebook; I shouldn’t upload pictures of other people in this way and should consider what reaction this could bring out in an audience. A picture of someone who didn’t have the ability to tell me “I want this photo on Facebook” or “I don’t want this photo on Facebook””. At that point, the importance of ethics came into the focus of our discussion. There are situations when there is no clear responsibility for the result of the action. And in this case, if it is not the uploader’s or the misuser’s full responsibility, then whose is it? There is a significant difference between what law regulates and what has an effect on people’s lives. Law would not be practised in cases like this, but a personal approach and ethics towards Social Media may still have very different outcomes. The conversation then shifted again back to “offl ine” and “online” life. It seems that opinions on the subject are formed based on the comparison. Does what happen in “offline” life also happen online? Is there a difference between the two? And do people act the same or not? Following a long discussion and after sharing our own personal experiences, we all agreed upon the fact that when online, we are functioning like human beings, just as when we are offline, with the same habits and behaviours. The difference is that “online” life exists in a virtual space, an unlimited space, sometimes even undiscovered. It’s constantly developing and there are numerous parts of it that we don’t know about, we don’t know how they work, where they end and what our exact space in it is. Although this online space also gives us possibilities and tools to enhance our activity, but the bottom line is still that the way we function in it is with the same human behaviour and intentions as in our “offline” life. So then the question arose: how do we protect ourselves in the online space and how are others protected by our behaviour? We are all familiar with the Declarations and Conventions of Human Rights1 and the institutions and bodies2 that safeguard and protect human rights around the globe, but what about human rights violated in the online space? So far, the only accepted international treaty to protect freedom, security 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Court_of_Human_Rights / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_Ministers_of_the_Council_of_Europe
Chapter 1.2 | The debate
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and human rights online is the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. 3 So the answer to the above questions can be that yes, there are some rules and regulations that safeguard some of our rights and reprobate some of our behaviour, but similarly to in our â€œoffl ineâ€? life, practising human rights can make the difference. It is an attitude and a way of living that can lead to a safer world both offline and online. But to what extent are we practising or tend to forget human rights when posting a cool picture or sharing a fascinating video so that we are seen and liked by many? Because stories should be shared, everyone should have the right to expression, and disadvantaged youth live through and sometimes express sensitive experiences. And so the debate goes on.... Moudiou Sofia
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Chapter 1.2 | The debate
Yours digitally The online participation of young people in ViVo
Let’s be honest… There is a difference between Online and Offline participation. In the landscape of online media, online participation of young people seems to be an organic entity that can take various shapes, grow rapidly or vanish in a second! What makes a youngster like, push, forward, create content or make media is something we can contemplate upon. In my opinion, there is a simple reason for this. We know very well that Facebook is important for engaging young people in social participation, but a lot of times we know no more than this… It’s actually amusing to see how the need for media literacy is expressed continuously in the non-formal education world throughout Europe at the moment. Everyone knows that it’s important. Not everyone understands how it works.
Let’s tweet about it! I will never forget the moment when peer educators of ViVo met in Malaga, Spain and some of the young people had iPhones or BlackBerries with which they were tweeting instantly, spreading the word of Video Volunteers’ actions, engaging an audience with a photo or a short video and getting a vast response from (Facebook) friends. As a media educator, I know very well how to use Facebook and Tweeter; up to a point. What intrigues me is, in fact, the way that youngsters are using online media in their everyday life and for what! As part of my research to comprehend their daily online participation, I didn’t hold myself back from buying an android phone. And that was the moment when I joined the jungle of social media and online communication that literally moves around with me, giving me endless opportunities to voice myself, access information and have fun, every single moment of my waking life. Tweeting about my activities, sharing my photos through Hipster and interacting in Facebook with my friends was never so easy.
Who’s got the power? Sometimes, it is very clear when young people choose to participate in online activities. During summer 2011, we sent a call by email to youngsters asking them to write small articles to be published online, about their experiences at one of the international events of ViVo (“The FIREWORKS Xperience”). In December 2011, we made a call (by email and Facebook event) for the creation of a series of videos about wishes for the year of 2012 (“I wish… 2012”). In the first case, we simply received a couple of responses and in the second, more than 15 video responses. What is it that makes video so attractive to participate in? How is the use of media & social media initiated
Chapter 1.3 | Yours digitally
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by youngsters? What makes youngsters participate in online activities? The FIREWORKS Xperience: videovolunteers.eu/blog/the-fireworks-xperience I wish…2012: videovolunteers.eu/blog/i-wish-2012-is-here
The urge for belonging In the international activities of ViVo, one of the most common learning questions coming from youngsters was connected to technical competence (learning editing, visual grammar, and equipment use). The content of a video/photo comes second. The image plays a more important role than the message that it portrays. This craving for learning how a camera works comes from the desire of youngsters to express themselves in the most desired medium of expression these days: video; and online social media. The magic of Facebook can easily reveal the core of the urge of youngsters to create media. The sense of belonging within an open collective platform is bringing young people the state of willingness to understand how it works, how they can express themselves and how they can participate more in an on-going digital space where people come together. The team of Video Volunteers wisely uses this urge to bring Media Literacy into the game! A Facebook group, a blog, a Vimeo account and a customized channel are used online to bring people together. T-shirts, international and local events are also brought to online life with the sense of belonging. These are the tools of attraction. Media literacy consists of the use of tools like these but also of understanding them and using them for a cause.
Be Cause What I fi nd beautiful is the moment when young people grasp the idea of how many things they can relate through media such as photos and videos and through social media such as blogs, Facebook, Vimeo etc. Beyond techniques, there is a message, a story that can transmit values, concepts, a cause… Active citizenship looks very different when activism becomes media activism. In Video Volunteers, I repeatedly saw how a cause gets a different dimension when it is shared online. From Flash mob videos in the beginning of the project, to the latter Focus Group research videos, the content slowly became more important for the youngsters than the techniques themselves. This happens gradually after accessing and analyzing media, getting in contact with reality (local or foreign), creating your own products and giving and receiving feedback.
Surprise! The biggest surprises came unexpectedly and it’s important here to mention how ViVo works with informal learning. The web channel I’mpossible is a great example, not only because it hosts some of the main planned videos like the Focus Group interviews but because it is a space for young people to share their stories. I’mpossible is the place were videos like “Moldava”, “Don’t be”, “Volunteers for Children”, “Dwoja’s video clips” and the most recent “I’m trying to stay alive” can be showcased. You can find all of them here: http://vimeo.com/channels/imposiblevivo
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Chapter 1.3 | Yours digitally
These productions were made by young people who participated in the project and decided to continue working with issues in their local community. Videos showing Roma campsites and the struggle of the young people, broccolis for the metaphorical pause in young people’s growth, play sessions on the impact of volunteering on kids from rural areas, life portraits for presenting how to go through difficulties in life, or rappers singing their guts out for the issues of young people in society today, are the ones reaching out to create awareness and tackle social issues. In occasions like the I’mpossible channel, I fi nd myself inspired by the profoundness of young people’s videos. Online participation (and not only that) suddenly seems to be happening naturally, and this is due to the fact that ViVo and it’s online activity was not pre-planned, after which young people had to fit it as usually happens in formal education, but instead it was designed for and interlinked with young people.
Push the Space bar! I have to admit that there are no clear recipes on how to increase the Online Participation of youngsters. I once believed that through Facebook I could do anything and things will run by themselves. Just like in fashion, “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out!” What I keep in mind is the sense of belonging. I participate because I want to be with people and share my story. When there is space – whether this is online or offl ine – participation is transforming and growth is simply a next step… For the people out there who want to increase the participation of young people: simply push the space bar, for a bit longer than usual… Yours digitally, Andrew Hannes
Chapter 1.3 | Yours digitally
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Surmising the ViVo Age ViVo research activities included quantitative surveys and qualitative focus group discussions which involved youngsters, youth workers, media experts and practitioners in the five participating countries. The main findings from the survey are summarized in this chapter, while summaries of focus groups are presented in the following one.
Sur-why? Aims, topics and participants in the survey The ViVo survey aimed at providing a broader insight into the use of media by youth and in youth work, including with disadvantaged youngsters. We explored the frequency, ways, purposes and routines of using traditional, online and social media and their linkage to participation and involvement in public life. We were also interested in the ways and motivations for contributing to existing media and the creation of people’s own media productions. The survey was distributed online and promoted among national and international youth networks and in social media. The questionnaire was accessible from March 6 to 29, 2012. A total of 471 individuals participated in the survey and 414 completed it. All countries of the ViVo project were represented and no quota was applied to account for different population sizes. At least 50 participants from each country completed the questionnaire with Greece, Italy and Slovakia reaching the limit, Hungary exceeding it and Spain being overrepresented. The survey was dominated by females, people aged 20 to 35 years and university graduates. More than half of participants were employed or self-employed and one third were still studying. More than half live in a city with more than 100 thousand inhabitants. All interpretations of the collected data must be read in line with the described profi le of participants. In itself it indicates who the most likely respondents are of a survey conducted and promoted only via online channels. As a result, some categories of respondents were not populated enough in our survey: participants below 15 and above 46 years, with completed elementary and vocational education, the unemployed, individuals not working or studying with young people, people working in some areas (health care, trade, politics) and respondents living in municipalities with less than 5 thousand inhabitants. As in any other survey, there are also additional methodological limitations which should be accounted for. Specifically, responses to some questions are based on subjective measurements, e.g. the frequency of different media usage. In addition, even if the research focus was not controversial or highly sensitive, some level of responsiveness (answering in line with what is generally expected or “proper”) might have occurred. This may apply especially to questions dealing with the intensity of youth and social participation. Due to the described limitations, future research should employ quota sampling and also more traditional ways of collecting data besides online distribution to be representative of the given country’s population. However, if the fi ndings of the survey are read carefully they can still provide interesting insights. The following subchapters group them into four areas: 1. the uses of different types of media, 2. the relation be-
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Chapter 1.4 | Surmising the ViVo Age
tween youth work and the use of media, 3. the links between creating, sharing and having impact, and 4. the possible effects of using and creating media on participation.
Sur-face: Uses of traditional, online and social media Daily experience shows there are differences in the ways people use traditional, online and social media. Their usage varies in frequency, duration, main purposes and the level of interaction. Unsurprisingly, the survey confi rmed the use of media is an everyday practice for the vast majority of people. More than two thirds of participants use traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) every day or at least three times a week, regardless of their age, gender or level of education. The proportion of online and social media users was even higher and reached 90%, which is most probably the result of distributing the survey online. Particularly interesting were the levels of active/passive use of different media. Only in the case of social media did active contributors outnumber “pure consumers”. From a cross-country perspective, lower self-declared activity was noticed among Greek and Slovak users. Possible explanations may be that surveyed participants in the two countries are “objectively” less active than their peers elsewhere or, alternatively, they are stricter in assessing their own activity. The primary purpose for using social media is to have fun and this applies to most of the social media users. However, since multiple answers were allowed for this question, the vast majority of participants also indicated other purposes. Users who consider themselves as “rather passive” declared having fun more often than other purposes. Users who claim to be “rather active” use social media equally for fun and for sharing personal issues. And those who are “very active” more often declare that they use social media for posting work and sharing opinions on public issues. What most of the survey participants declared about themselves clearly differs from what they think about other users. In their eyes, the most prevalent use of social media is for having fun and sharing personal issues. Sharing of opinions received significantly less points and posting one’s own work was attributed only by a negligible number of respondents. Boys attributed having fun more often than girls. Interestingly, lower praise for the use of social media by others is the same among occasional and everyday users as well as in the case of active and passive users.
Sur-prises? Youth work and the use of media There is no obvious reason to assume that people working with youth would as individuals differ from the general patterns and habits applicable to all media users. At the same time, use of media has become almost a necessity in contemporary youth work. For research purposes it was thus useful to distinguish youth workers as private media users and youth workers using media within their professional activities. We did not restrict ourselves to inquire only among youth workers by profession but offered several options for the frequency and type of contact with youngsters. More than one third of survey participants are in close contact with young people as they are students at secondary schools or universities. For one third, youth work is a
Chapter 1.4 | Surmising the ViVo Age
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regular job. For more than one quarter it is a part of their professional activities and about the same proportion is engaged with youth in their free time. These proportions indicate that a number of participants relate to youth work in more than one way, e.g. work with youth during their free time while still studying. Only a marginal number of survey respondents do not engage with young people at all. With regard to disadvantaged youth, the picture is rather different: almost one third do not work with this category of youngsters at all and another third just occasionally. Two explanations are at hand: the survey did not reach a sufficient number of people working with disadvantaged youth, and/or only a small number of youth workers deal regularly with this group. Use of media by those for whom youth work is a regular job or at least one of their professional activities differs by the type of media. Social and online media are used more than traditional ones. Full-time, part-time and free-time “youth workers” consider themselves as “rather active” or “very active” users and in this way differ from people who have nothing to do with youth work. They also regard their participation as more balanced between fun and serious activities while “others” are seen as using social media mostly for fun. Youth workers do not create their own media more often than the rest of the sample and in comparison to other professionals they are no more inclined to say that young people actively participate in public life. The majority of participants believed that social media increase awareness but do not necessarily increase the participation of young people in society. This applied similarly to youth in general and youngsters with fewer opportunities. Th is view outnumbered more sceptical voices regarding social media as being “for fun”, but also optimistic opinion that they easily motivate to participate. On the other hand, people not involved in youth work or involved only partially believed more often that video/media-making may increase the participation of youngsters in society. It thus appears that professional youth workers are more sceptical about the mobilization potential of video-making. This cautious opinion was held by people working with youth in general and also by people working with disadvantaged youngsters.
Sur-feit: Creating, sharing and having impact Within the survey, the creation and sharing of one’s own productions was considered the highest level of participation through media. Productions were broadly understood as photographs, videos, short movies, illustrations, blog articles and the like. The proportion of respondents who declared they create media was high: 80%. However, the frequency varied: the majority (60%) creates content a few times a month, while the rest several times a week or even daily. Productions are primarily meant for dissemination to other people. According to the data, creative work is neither gender- nor age-specific and has nothing to do with the level of attained education. Media creators differ according to the primary purpose of their productions. Most of them indicated self-expression (38%). Almost one fi ft h creates media for fun and 1216% does it for educational purposes, as part of their job or for some other, unspecified reason. Data reveals that age plays some role here: with higher age the prominence of creating media for fun decreases while production for educational purposes slightly
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Chapter 1.4 | Surmising the ViVo Age
increases. However, creation for self-expression remains the highest and is stable across all age groups. More than 80% of media creators believe that sharing media has an impact on online and offline society – no matter how often they do so. However, conviction about the impact does not mean one will automatically start to create. On the other hand, those who create just for fun believe in impact much less than creators for self-expression or educational purposes. Attained education also seems to play some role here: those believing in impact are more represented among university graduates than among participants with other levels of education.
Sur-cease: Media and (increased) youth participation The last area of our research dealt with the impact of media on youth participation. Interestingly, the largest number of survey participants (almost half) thinks that only few young people around them are active in public issues. A higher level of participation was indicated by one fi ft h of those asked while almost the same ratio responded that youngsters are aware about public issues but do not directly engage in them. Only a marginal number indicated that young people do not care about public issues. Participants who are in some way involved in youth work declared a slightly higher participation of youngsters than those who have nothing to do with youth work. 181 participants used the opportunity to comment on the impact of sharing their media/video-productions. Their statements ranged from the most sceptical to absolutely positive. “Sure” statements - “Any information we get influences the way we think or perceive the world, at least unconsciously.” - “If something has an impact during “personal” sharing it has an impact during online sharing as well because connection between humans is happening virtually these days.” - “At the very basis of the idea of sharing, there is the idea of getting in touch with other people, stimulating dialogue and confrontation. It is obvious that this has an impact on online society as well, exactly as it happens between people communicating face to face without filters.” “Surrebut” statements - “After a certain critical mass it raises debates.” - “It is usually only a very short-term effect. People view every message to entertain themselves, but the meaning – even if it reaches them – is forgotten in two days, resulting in the lack of actions taken.” - “It has no real impact on society itself, but I believe it has an impact on individuals, which is the reason why I do it.” - “On the internet there are so many things, websites, videos, so my videos or photos are practically invisible.”
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“Surmount” statements - “It’s a way to stay connected and to connect people. It’s also a way of sharing opinions and stimulating debate, and to provoke people to question things / life.” - “Some political blogs may influence some local policies.” - “Other young people join our activities, as they saw on FB how cool what we are doing with others is. Young volunteers have started to use the social media for other purposes than just for having fun (creating community, sharing opinion, recruiting people for various events).” - “I’m creating a webpage for the disabled. They can learn there about their diagnosis and its cure.” In cross-country comparison, the highest level of participation was declared in Slovakia, Spain and Hungary, while lower levels were indicated in Greece and Italy. In these two countries we can also see the largest proportion of people who regard youth as being aware of public issues but not becoming directly involved in them. Participants from Italy most frequently indicated the largest ratio of youngsters who do not care about public issues. Age, education and occupational status did not inf luence the responses. From the listed areas of participation, sports and leisure activities featured the highest, followed by art production, environmental and social issues. Only a marginal number of survey participants held the view that social media do not increase participation because they are used for fun. The majority opinion was rather cautious – social media defi nitely increase awareness but not necessarily participation. The rest either sees social media as easily motivating people to participate or think that their use is participation in itself. The frequency of using social media did not influence these views. Participants who are themselves creators believe slightly more in the positive effect of social media on participation. In cross-country comparisons, participants from Italy and Greece seem to be more sceptical about the influence of social media, although the dominant view in all participating countries regards them as tools for increasing awareness but not necessarily involvement. There was no variation in this conviction in terms of age, attained education, place of residence size or professional area. Almost two thirds of respondents do not have experience with video/media-making but believe it may increase participation. Video/media making is thus not widely used for this purpose but its potential is widely recognized. Only a marginal number of respondents think it cannot work because youngsters are generally disinterested in public issues. Out of those who do have experience with video/media-making, two thirds declared that it really increased participation while one third indicated the opposite. Interestingly, people who do not have experience with video/media-making believe more often that it may increase participation than those who have already tried it. Stronger believers are also among those who never created their own media/ videos and are only passive users of social media.
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Chapter 1.4 | Surmising the ViVo Age
Sur-over: Closing remarks The main fi ndings of our survey indicate that social media are widely used but do not necessarily increase participation. The main purposes of their use are fun and sharing information with friends. However, self-assessments of social media users differ from their views about others and tend to put more emphasis on “more serious” activities. The views of people working with youth are neither more sceptical nor more optimistic with regard to social media and their impact on youth participation. Individual media productions are created as a means of self-expression and for sharing with others. Creators widely believe in their impact, even if to a limited extent. Educational motivations are not completely absent from media/video-making but they are far from featuring prominently. In fact, they are not widely used in youth work, even if they are believed to have significant mobilization potential. Further research could test the presented fi ndings on a larger and more representative sample in order to receive insights about youth work and the use of media across populations. In other words, we surmise the age of Video Volunteers is coming, but in assessing its potentials and effects we still have to rely more on intensive work with the few than on extensive research among the many. Peter Dráľ and Gyula Sándor A more detailed version of the article is available at http://videovolunteers.eu
Chapter 1.4 | Surmising the ViVo Age
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Free to Like! Focus group discussions represent the second research activity of ViVo. They were organized in all five participating countries and involved youngsters, youth workers, media experts and practitioners. The main theme of the focus groups was framed as a question: What is the relation between audiovisual and social media with youth participation?
Focus Group Methodology A Focus Group (FG) is a method of group interviewing in which interaction between individuals provides a space to share thoughts, feelings, attitudes and ideas on a certain subject. It is a meeting of a limited number of people (usually 6 to 10) who discuss a topic they usually know in advance. An FG is lead by one or two facilitators and usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes. In an FG, open questions are used which move from general to specific. Facilitators do not express their own views, do not take sides and ensure everyone has an opportunity to speak.
Face to Face, or Face to Facebook? It perhaps comes as no surprise that sharing was selected as a kick-off topic. Sharing is the core of human interactions, no matter if they are immediate or mediated by various technologies. The distinction of face-to-face and mediated interactions popped up very soon in all discussions and participants expressed their preferences or ways of combining the two. Besides all too common features (personal/impersonal, time-consuming/fast, full-fledged/shallow) a couple of analogies were also brought up. Social life differs in online and offline worlds but activities conducted there do serve similar purposes: exchanging information and ideas, influencing and motivating people to think and act, searching for and finding people with a specific knowledge or attitude, communicating and cooperating, and the like. Both spaces are not always accessible and not to everyone as they require certain personal or technical “equipment”. And both bring up pleasant as well as disturbing moments which may motivate to their intensive use as well as escape. People who combine the two worlds distinguish the purposes of their use. Many do not share personal issues online or share them only with a closed circle. On the other hand, a lot of people connect more easily online than offl ine. There are others for whom emails are an indispensable part of their work but stay away from social networks. And there are still others who deliberately go online to express ideas, show their work and promote anything they find important and interesting. For a number of people, the online world serves as an extension of their offline social space to continue discussions, set up meetings and maintain connections. Refusal to use either of the two spaces may be explained by the lack of education. As noted by Julian, participant at the Greek FG: “Any tool is useful only when you know how to use it”. That means mastering the skills of efficient and appealing messaging, or sorting out “valuables” from “garbage”. David, student of audiovisual communication in Spain,
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Chapter 1.5 | Free to Like!
inferred that it is up to each individual to set their own limits. And history teaches us that people do not stop using something only because they do not know how to use it. Fundamental differences lie in the way media enables or even requires active involvement. Chris, English participant at the Greek FG, noted that traditional media are set up more or less for receiving, while new media expect “broadcasting”. And another difference stems from the “scope” one is able to comprehend. While we have learned to switch off from the world out there, we are not as prepared to switch off online. As María from Spain contended “We cannot hear anything when there is a lot of noise and this is what happens with internet nowadays...”
Chit-chatting about the Higgs Boson The use of social media distinguishes people. What followed from all FGs is that social media are useful if you do not regard them primarily as substitutes for “real life”. For those who do not expect social media to be bottomless containers of valuable information, as Ondrej from Slovakia, one’s presence there is more about sharing certain “feelings”: “Yesterday‘s status of the day was ‘I’m going to the market with a basket to buy the Higgs boson.’ Indeed, we are talking about it these days, media are full of it but nobody really knows what it is. And that’s why there is this kind of reaction. It has zero information value but, of course, I ‘liked’ it.” Efficiency or usefulness might not be appropriate measures to assess social media. But is it any different from most of the offline meetings? The amount of small talk we all experience everyday is no reason to stop talking to people. When sitting in a pub we spend most of our time chit-chatting, but even if most of the things we learn are rubbish we enjoy it anyway. Therefore the only way efficiency and usefulness can be employed in social communication is to learn how to filter information and protect oneself from an overflow. For this reason, many use a strategy of „joyriding“, enjoying what others offer but not giving much in return. And they are always ready to switch off. Andrej, another Slovak non-formal educator, sees the ability of self-regulation and the increasing efficiency of social media. According to him, if some space becomes full of “videos of kittens playing with a ball”, alternatives soon emerge. As Juan, student of PR from Spain concluded: “There is a public for everything.”
The Clash of Generations? The older generation seems to regard social media as yet another source of information. Mária, a teacher from Slovakia, says that if she goes online she searches for something specific, be it information or feedback. On the contrary, Slovak youngster Gabriela sees most of her peers not using social networks to get information but rather to deliver their own. The flow is rather one-directional: “Half of my contacts post something on the wall every half an hour and they don’t really care if no-one reads it.” And Angel, Spanish student of biology, sees that young people tend to measure their activity in society by the time spent on social networks. If Karoly, senior educator in a Hungarian orphanage, were to hear that, he would certainly roll his eyes. Seeing youngsters online 24/7, he testifies how difficult it is for kids nowadays
Chapter 1.5 | Free to Like!
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to express their thoughts verbally and in writing: “When I prepare kids for graduation exams I see they are not able to write their essays. And this does not apply only to children in institutional care; I have private students as well. 99% of them would ask about trivial words, because they do not use them. But they are sitting in front of the computer day and night.” Then Tamas, a video journalist and media educator in his early 30’s, talks about the internet as a path to social isolation; generational argument starts to lose the ground. “I am so much narrowed down and there are probably a few hundred or thousand people like this in the world who are interested in the same things, and by using the internet we can share the info. But that does not bring me closer to anyone. It is exactly the opposite.” It is a common misperception that in virtual social networks we behave much differently than in our offl ine life. Quite to the contrary, whether rebelling or conforming, overloading with content or silently witnessing, we are likely to do just the same in both worlds. If we don‘t have a need to post statuses every day it is perhaps because we are not extraordinarily extrovert people and even while hanging out we prefer listening to talking. If we are the type to discuss anything, anytime and with anyone we will most likely do it in the streets as well as on online forums. Of course, there is a lot of pretention and fake information on the internet as it is harder to control. But can anyone say there is less cheating and lying in offline society? The generational frame is too narrow to explain things. It is again more about a “feeling” than some clear-cut boundary in the calendar. The Greek FG revealed a paradox when older participants testifed how they embraced social networks while youngsters, like Ariadne and Orfeas, voiced nothing less than “You write to your friends but you don’t really communicate, you alienate youself from the others” or “Parents should control what their kids do online”. The last piece of generational interpretation was trashed when Anna, the Greek teacher, claimed she would never control her kids and that banning never works. And Francois added: “Kids do exactly what I did when I was a teenager. The only difference is that before it wasn’t accessible to everyone in the world.”
Let him who is without sin cast the first stone! When Eszter, a young volunteer from Hungary, started to talk about media and the internet as “something” you should not trust, a whole new debate unfolded: Ester: “I upload a lot of things about myself because in my eyes the largest “game” of the internet is anonymity. A lot of people abuse the advantages of it to share politically incorrect things or other stuff they would not dare to say under their own names. Therefore I post many things to share my real self. I certainly do not manipulate my images: ‘Oh no, I don’t look great on this picture, so let’s manipulate it a bit’. I accept if I look stupid. And with my Mom it is a huge debate. Once I uploaded photos and tagged her. And she went on: ‘My God it looks bad, my hair, you should not share this.’ But I think this is what protects you against the anonymity, that you share what you really are.” Tamás: “If a girl goes downtown she obviously puts on her best clothes. The specific clothing she is wearing is not representative of her wardrobe.” Károly: “That would be true if you put on your own clothes and not someone else’s. My wife is 51, she’s a pretty woman to me. But as a profile picture of her I wouldn’t post a
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Chapter 1.5 | Free to Like!
photo of a celebrity from Playboy. But that’s what you’re saying – that the best dress is like pretending to be another person. But the two are not the same.” Tamás: “I don’t care what others are posting about themselves, but what they post about me. There are plenty of things on Facebook where I am not registered, and they tag me, share about me. To deny this, first I would have to register. Honestly, I think this is a very sensitive and bad part of the issue. People are not protected.” Gyula: “But that’s exactly the same as in real life. This is the first time I meet you and when I walk out of the room I can say anything about you to anyone and you cannot check it. I know your name and I can tell a story about you and tag your name saying it was you saying it.” The relation of media and youth participation is sometimes overrated, other times underestimated, but what is sure that it cannot be ignored or neglected. It is a tool we all should learn to use. Like! Peter Dráľ
Chapter 1.5 | Free to Like!
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Aspects - different understandings of the partners on the use of media in youth work in the 21st century
Watching the watchers Listen to the natives In 2007, my organisation developed a European project named “non-virtual youth citizenship in a virtual world1”: it was our first attempt to work on the relationship between youth and new media. We focused on the role of the internet as a multiplier factor of this relationship: for the first time we could work using the net as a crossbarrier bridge in social relationships, between distant youth groups, for instance using our webradio to bring them together and share some work. And we were a good few years ahead of the blue-social-network boom in Europe; the only tweets you could hear came from birds on the trees! In this project, we proposed different activities, form mountain climbing or shooting short movies using “Second Life” avatars as actors, to recording podcasts for our webradio or hiking in a national park in Romania. In particular, regarding the activities with the media, we spent a few days during an exchange in Italy to create the youngsters’ avatars, dress them properly and imagine some background stories for them to strengthen their characters: so we had people trying to recreate themselves exactly online, and others focused on improving their appearance to super-sexy, super-fashionable, top class people. At the end, youngsters moved their avatars to a party island inside the Second Life environment, and their interaction with other inhabitants’ avatars and with the place itself was recorded using open source screencast soft ware. When we measured the satisfaction level of young people engaged in this, we used flow theory2 and found that what youth demands from adults are simply challenges that are adequate to their skills – and they just do not care if it is happening in a subterranean river inside a cave, or while recording a screencast with some avatars dancing on a virtual beach in their room. The point, to quote once again our good ol’ pal Marc Prensky3, is that we are facing generations of youngsters who are digital natives, while many youth workers, teachers, etc. should pick for themselves the label of digital immigrant. Moreover, people working for youth should really start to ask themselves very quickly whether the challenges that they offer their youngsters are adequate to the young people’s skills, or are only adequate to their own skills. We suspect that we would find many situations in which adults are only offering challenges that are old and ineffective in the new world that is to come.
I don’t speak americano Swedish Mafia’s recent world-smashing dance hit samples an old Italian song from the 50s, making fun of Italian youngsters acting as Americans, in a time when thousands of Italians were emigrating to the States. But the point is clear: as an immigrant, 1 http://www.spaziogiovani.it/download/pubblicazioni/report-web.pdf and also http://www.spaziogiovani.it/download/pubblicazioni/Report-NonVirtualYouth-flow.pdf (in Italian only) 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology) 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_native
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Chapter 2.1 | Watching the watchers
you want to work hard to get yourself integrated with your new environment, even if it may be funny for your friends at home. Now let us focus a bit on these digital immigrants: do social workers, or to an even greater extent schoolteachers, really realize and understand that their world has changed forever? Who is going to help them to shift from classrooms, blackboards, flyers, photocopies etc. to something more fitting the 21st century style? Look, I’m not actually worried about teachers and social workers, as they are responsible adults. I am worried about how they could teach the youth to understand, filter and control (not be controlled by...) the new asset of media, if they themselves are unable to do so. During the activities of Video Volunteers, we often came in contact with immigrants like these: teachers, social workers and adults usually in their 50s or more, desperately trying to cling on to their idea of a world where a journalist is a journalist, a teacher is a teacher, and a youngster is someone who knows less than you, and is longing to be fi lled by your wider knowledge. We learned from this, and we are developing a new line of intervention partly based also on what we experimented on with Video Volunteers: a kind of follow-up entirely dedicated to teaching the teachers. Social workers are more inclined to non-formal education methodologies, so in a way many of them are trying to manage this change. But school in Italy is a battlefield, as far as media literacy is concerned. And you know, in emergency situations, emergency methodologies are permitted. So try it yourself: enter a room in which 10 middle-aged teachers are sitting, put a digital camera in front of them and just say: “Ok, now please shoot a 2-minute video about what you are going to explain to your class tomorrow, and put it on YouTube”. I’m positive, what you will see in their eyes will reward any kind of frustration you accumulated towards your own teachers during your school years.
Amusing ourselves to death So if school is not teaching youth about media, then who is? Apparently, media itself, one would say. And in Italy, this means mostly one thing: television. But during the last decades television in Italy, more than in any other European country, has been a tool to influence and control the general public; the fact is so notorious that there is no need to expand on it, but is important to understand what was taken away by this misuse. Years of Striscia la notizia4 and such, do validate the famous quotation from NeilPostman’s book 5: medium is the metaphor, not the message. Th is means the media does not give a plain, single message, but they organize our minds and integrate our experience of the world. Philosophical discussions cannot exist in a culture that uses smokesignals as media, as they did in our written-language European culture. Written language has been shaping our culture in a certain way for centuries, but then with visual media, this shaping changed, and now this change is growing faster and deeper. A philosophical discussion on television becomes a “talk-show”, with audience clapping, people phoning from home to support one of the speakers, cameras zooming in on clothes or glasses, and less space for the matter of discussion. So do you wonder how the media are 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striscia_la_notizia 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death
Chapter 2.1 | Watching the watchers
[ 29 ]
shaping Italy? And what kind of literacy can come out from these media and reach youth? An interesting observation is put forward by blogger Lorella Zanardo, who also produced a documentary that attracted huge interest in Italy6. The thesis is that television has spread a misuse of the image of female bodies. From one side, this is a mirror of the low consideration of women in Italian society (down to the “bunga-bunga” parties known all over the world); from another side it has lead to a lower consideration of women by women themselves, which can be measured with the incredible spread of plastic surgery to remove any sign of ageing, an over-exposition of naked young female bodies on TV at any hour of the day, and so on. Anyway, I am not saying that youth should only read (paper) books, and everything else is bad for their growth: I strongly support Steven Johnson’s theory7, and I am also a devoted videogame player :) However, every time we put together media-illiterate, digital immigrant adults and the youth of today during the activities of Video Volunteers (for instance, in our local focus group), the oldskool always scored a point. Even if youth becoming the media8 can be a fantastic way of being socially active, of spreading their creativity and so on, their knowledge of the rules of the game is quite low. For instance, youngsters would never share their personal pictures or videos with strangers outside school or in a supermarket, but they actually do it online – and when you bring it to their attention during the media education sessions that we hold at school, they are often disappointed to realize what they are doing. They often seem to be somehow living an online experience that stays separated from general life in-the-middle-of-the-street - from “real life”, one would say. And as long as the impact of using media and sharing them online maintain this separation, it will be quite difficult to leave a mark on reality. Micah White came out with the new word clicktivism9, and in a way, it fits: you can share a video that you made, but this should be the starting point for a new process, not a goal in itself.
So what? The change we are experimenting with is an ongoing process, and moreover nobody can really tell what else is going to come next in the future: for instance, talking about media, could you imagine a world without YouTube? Whereas in fact, it was only created in 2005. Even if the European Commission is apparently changing its ideas on the issue, I would say that we are still in strong need of non-formal educational tools, support and programmes, to further develop a fully effective frame of intervention regarding media literacy. We have learned that we will have to operate on three different levels: youngsters, parents, and social workers/teachers, mixing up the different target groups, as one can learn from others and teach something too. We are also focusing on the risk of separation between media-generated virtuality and media-covered reality, and this will be the main topic of all our follow-up activities. Michele Di Paola
6 See her documentary called after her blog: Il corpo delle donne / Women’s body – here with English subtitles http://www.ilcorpodelledonne.net/?page_id=91 7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_Bad_Is_Good_for_You 8 From a slogan of the fi rst youth media-activist groups during the 1990s: “don’t hate the media – become the media” 9 Find some of his articles defi ning clicktivism on the website: http://www.clicktivism.org/
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Chapter 2.1 | Watching the watchers
Human rights in practice with the involvement of new social media The social network revolution has created a new change in the traditional communication concept. Th is social network has created a 2.0 concept that allows everyone to communicate with each other, thus creating their content. Even thought nowadays the journalist profi le still exists, we can increasingly see how the social networks turn their users into journalists who themselves contribute to the content of the social networks. Pro human rights NGOs have not overlooked this fact; they have joined this new media, where the main advantages are the fact that there is no fee, and the wide dissemination that can be achieved both easily and dynamically. With more of 500 million users according to Quantcast, Facebook is today the most used social network in which active members are sharing and creating content every second. But not everyone uses these great opportunities with good intentions. In the case of many social networks, we can see how they violate human rights in a worrying way. Among the most violated: the right to privacy and the right to intellectual property. Social activism now has a new medium among their possibilities, where the impact of their actions is greater than in the traditional media, and free of charge. Youngsters now join, participate in and generate a global community concept from which undoubtedly all can benefit. Many associations and collectives that promote the defence of human rights have finally found out how to perform global communication in which human rights are respected. Butâ€Śwhat about the videos? YouTube, with more than 800 million visitors per month, is today the leading platform that provides a large amount of content to Facebook. Thanks to the easy creation of multimedia content and the zero cost needed to produce it, many people can create, share and generally promote pro human rights content. This is the positive side, but the negative one is how easily YouTube can distribute content that does not respect human rights. We need to have a clear understanding of this, closely monitor the content of YouTube, and try to keep this in mind when we view or share such videos on the Internet. It is easy to create a video and every day, more people regardless of their age and social origin get together to create and share new content or videos. The social networks distribute this content, but we certainly need to be aware of the non-infringement of human rights and to avoid falling into the trap of generating bad content. On the other hand, social networks have facilitated and are facilitating one of the most important human rights, freedom of expression. Thanks to them, we today have more freedom to express views and disseminate content than we had just 10 years ago. Therefore, we have before us a completely new communication medium that promotes and generates free content, which with a little awareness of society will promote and generate respect for human rights. Manuel RodrĂguez RodrĂguez
Chapter 2.2 | Human rights in practice
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You C@n Help! Become an “e-Volunteer” The biggest volunteer-made website, Wikipedia, says: “Virtual volunteering, also sometimes called e-Volunteering, is a term describing a volunteer who completes tasks, in whole or in part, off-site from the organisation being assisted, using the Internet and a home, school, telecenter or work computer or other Internet-connected device, such as a PDA or smartphone. Virtual volunteering is also known as online volunteering, cyber service, telementoring, teletutoring, and by various other names.” In today’s fast-paced world, young people are increasingly looking for flexible volunteering options that fit in with their busy lifestyles; with e-volunteering, they do not need to travel and have a great degree of flexibility in volunteering during hours that fit with their schedule. The Internet revolution is a channel to support the cause of sustainable human development, working from a laptop or iPhone anywhere and at anytime! Volunteering online allows young people to use small amounts of spare time effectively. It also gives people the opportunity to get involved with a cause or issue when there are no suitable volunteer options where they live, and it also helps to overcome some of the obstacles to volunteering such as lack of time or transport, and disability. What can e-volunteers do? Online volunteers can support organisations in numerous ways. They take part in projects to raise awareness, educate or advocate on a specific cause; participating in online forums; providing legal and business advice; website design and creating online resources; fundraising; media promotion; training and mentoring; translating documents; researching, writing and editing; managing online news sites and blogs or facilitating online discussions via social media and networking sites. If you have decided to become an “e-volunteer”, remember that you only need two things: the Internet and a strong commitment to making a real difference to development. ‘‘There are people in this world who want to do something good in life... The Online Volunteering service is a great platform to serve humankind and get experience, inner satisfaction and enjoyment too!’’, says a young volunteer of the United Nations. We can do a lot more than in the past! Thousands of e-volunteers collaborate with development organisations every year through this new method of volunteering. If you are interested search online for opportunities or check out the following sites and find opportunities to become an online volunteer. www.onlinevolunteering.org www.serviceleader.org/virtual www.youthnet.org Rocio Reina
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Chapter 2.3 | You C@n Help! Become an „e-Volunteer“
Lookouts - different personal experiences in ViVo activities
Video activate yourself! The Media training for Educators and Youth Workers was held in Prespa, a transboundary region between Albania, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The aim of the training was to teach peer educators to work with local youth on social issues using video making. The participants of the event produced five short documentaries on the environment (Visible/Invisible video), including a promotional clip about the magnificent nature of the region (Discover the harmony), and a short documentary on the history of beans, the key income of the agricultural economy of this area (Delicious Story). The last two productions are about the inhabitants of Prespa. TTTV: the story of an old man, who shares the roots of his family and his experiences during the Italian and German occupation of the country. And Why Should I stay?, a short fi lm about the lives and opportunities of youngsters in Laimos, a small and isolated village in the area, where people sometimes fi nd it hard to cope with the small community or the few opportunities for social life and education. The protagonists of the movies were just as excited as the international team who not only discovered new skills in using the video but took home a bag full of experience. As a Spanish tutor said, “In Greece, the difficulties in shooting the videos were easily resolved through mutual teaching. If a person didn’t know how to use a camera, we searched together for someone who did and instructed the others to learn, and at other times they were given support for example with social activism or editing.” [ http://videovolunteers.eu/blog/the-outcomes/ ] Between June 29 and July 9 2011, a youth exchange was organised in Hollókő, Hungary, a little village which is part of the World Heritage. The fi nal productions of the participants were five short movies that were screened for an audience in a summer camp for children and also in one of the oldest prisons in Hungary. The themes covered racism, non-verbal communication, the journey of snails, connecting ball games and also documenting the experience of a retired coal miner from the village. As a Spanish participant who made the video staring snails said, “We used snails to show how it is easier to make things together. The funny part was trying to collect snails together, and then instruct them!” [ http://videovolunteers.eu/blog/firework-productions/ ] It’s pretty easy to imagine how exciting and positive this experience can be for youngsters, especially to those that don’t have the possibility to travel and to get in touch with the media-creating world and have maybe never used a camera before. But the program isn’t just useful to them; it also enriches the ones that organized it: the NGOs. The non-profit organisations involved have the opportunity to learn and develop a social media strategy and have a chance to increase their awareness of how their information is communicated among youngsters. Virginia Negro
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Chapter 3.1 | Video activate yourself!
From my point of view It is difficult to keep my humanity when working with numbers. As a financial manager, from time to time I wonder what I am doing involved in youth projects and with media. I can describe at length why I am an outsider: My point of view is the outsiderâ€™s point of view. An outsider in the sense that I do not use media very actively; I do not create videos and rarely take photos. An outsider in the sense that during this project my task was to deal with fi nancial and administrative issues, so most of the time I did not work directly with the young people who were participating in the events of the project. Though I followed the programme as well, of course, and I also had some opportunities to support the participants directly. Still, I love to work with kids and youth who are in trouble. Though sometimes it is easier to focus on the numbers, there were moments in ViVo when I recognized that I am someone who can handle problematic youth, support them and face situations to find a way out of the vicious circle of resistance. Because I have more than ten years of experience as a maths teacher and mentor of disadvantaged youth and because in certain situations, regardless of whether I like it or not, it does matter that I am a man.
How do I see the programme from this point of view? I fully merged into the project with the international youth exchange called Fireworks Media and Citizenship Exchange. I had previous experiences with youth exchanges but not with this topic, so I was really curious what would happen and how the youth would react to the topic and the method. What I saw at the beginning was what I would usually expect from a youth exchange: some of them were excited and some of them were passive and reserved; some of them were shy and some of them were confident; some of them were looking for fun and some of them focused on learning. What I saw at the end was what I could usually expect from a youth exchange: the youth overcame their communication difficulties, worked well with others from different backgrounds, and created great things together. Still, it was very different than other exchanges.
What made it exceptional? Their commitment, fi rst of all. The participants were really dedicated to taking part in the programme; they were willing to learn day by day and to apply what they had just learned. What is even more, they were ready to challenge themselves from the first days of the programme. How I see it was based on the way the programme was built up: we did not lead them, but supported them to fi nd their own way. Instead of long lectures on video making, we told them the basic rules then we gave them the equipment to shoot their own videos. Then the whole group, their peers and the leaders gave feedback on the productions so they could improve their skills. And at the end, the youth accepted the biggest challenge I had ever seen during an exchange: the premier screening of the short videos they created were held in a pris-
Chapter 3.2 | From my point of view
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on. And they not only accepted the challenge, but approached the situation with full enthusiasm while being deeply touched; running the whole show by themselves from introducing the programme of the exchange through managing the projector to answering the questions that came up. The next screening was held in a summer camp for children the same evening, so they got feedback from a very different audience. I believe that this commitment was created because of the topic of the exchange: â€œYouâ€™re a firework, come on, let your colours burstâ€?. To do so, they use media on a daily basis, and online and social media is a great opportunity to play an active role in it, not just consuming the products of the media but also creating them and through this making an impact on the world and on the society around them. There was a group of boys who were resisting and behaving in an unacceptable way, destroying furniture and jumping on cars. Instead of punishing them, we defi ned the expectations on how to act within the group, set the limits and explained the consequences of breaking the rules. Twice. Because it turned out that after the first time, the assumption that our explanation was as clear for them as it was for us was wrong, and so they could not apply the rules when set in another, different situation. The second time, besides clarification I also offered support in case they had any doubts at any time concerning their assumptions about the limits we set. Based on my experiences as a youth worker and my past experiences as a teenager, I could provide this and with this I presented them with a reference point that made it possible for them to be part of the community. You have to be very concrete and specific in such a way that it is understood. About directing, making a video production and also regarding being part of a community. To achieve this, some of the team members have to have skills in media and others have to be able to keep structures and limits in a way that does not create resistance in youth but helps them overcome it. This enabled them to be part of the group and learn about media.
Did it continue? Yes, it did. Most of the participants of the exchange joined other events of the programme and they also took initiative. And they are still shooting short videos inspired by the exchange or by social, environmental and other issues they are involved in and publishing those using online social media. Beside this kind of continuation, the outcomes are that they learned to listen, pay attention to each other within their group, and also to pay attention to others who are outside the group. In my eyes, we can call this citizenship. After nine months, I went to the village where the boys live. Seeing me there they were shocked and happy at the same time. It took some time to get over the shock but then they shared stories about themselves in the local community, about how and in what they had changed. Instead of yes and no fights, they communicated and expressed their wills and willingness. To show this to me, someone who contributed to this change, made them shy at first, but with time they came to me and after a while they invited me to dance, including me in their lives, thoughts and emotions back at home.
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Chapter 3.2 | From my point of view
What was required to achieve this? From a practical side, some equipment of course, and what is more important, a userfriendly and safe environment where they could master the most natural way of learning: just doing it. Where they could practice what they learned, test ideas and experience how the others, the audience reacted to what they had created. And where they could get feedback and ask for support if necessary. A great result and return on the time and energy invested. From a human side: acceptance and attention. I am not just a man of numbers, I am also a man of devotion when it comes to doing things that I love and believe in. Receiving and giving has to be in balance, itâ€™s the same for a balance sheet and for humans. And a hug initiated by a bold teenager boy, expressing an emotion in this way, is a priceless reward that does not show on the admin paper but is one of the most important outcomes of this project. From my point of view. Gyula SĂĄndor
Chapter 3.2 | From my point of view
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The story of Slovak Focus group Sometimes I ask myself what the world would look like if we could not talk. Just quiet people, silent nature and a monotonous environment; a life that passes you by. Thank God, we don’t have to live like that :-) We have our mouths to speak, to share, and to care about each other. The whole world is full of communication magic. When a group of people start to talk, it’s so enriched. Sometimes it’s like a present, given in the atmosphere of communication magic, when somebody tells us his or her opinion; his or her point of view; his or her suggestion... The main aim of a focus group is to share knowledge and experiences in an informal way. But the fact that this happens in an informal way does not mean it is not organized at a high level. The opposite is true. The discussion is usually recorded, so it can serve other users later on. I remember my experience from the first focus group we held during our Spanish meeting. At first, it was so strange: sitting in a circle, introducing ourselves. In my eyes, it was similar to an addiction-therapy exercise, but just for one short moment. Then it started. It was like cooking a virtual soup, where everyone threw in his or her ingredient and at the end, a delicious meal had been prepared. Th is was just an exercise in October 2011. The real focus groups were organised after this in the coming months in Greece, Slovakia, Hungary, Italy and Spain. At the beginning there wasn’t much - one ViVo open call for the focus group, the topic we were given and some leading points. To begin with, three of us sat down to think about how the focus group could be organised in a way that would be best for us, and so the result would be fitting as an outcome for the Video Volunteers project. Besides this, there was a lot of personal development and I was curious, what could be achieved from a good idea written down on paper. I can say now, very much can be achieved starting from just a good idea written on paper. There followed preparations, which consisted of working out the focus questions, inviting guests, fi nding a suitable place for the focus group discussion, preparing all the technical equipment and setting an appropriate date. We met on 16th December 2011 at the Milana Šimečka Foundation to discuss the topic of Youth and their connection to audiovisual media; how do they use new and old types of media, what attracts them, what opportunities do disadvantaged youth have. We talked about social networks, if they are seen as self-realization tools, about the social activism of today’s young people, about how a simply shot video can attract many users, and how important added motivation is during key projects, and more. But that isn’t all. Later, we shot some extra footage for the focus group video to make it even more interesting. We prepared personal interviews with people who work with media, with cameras, with the Internet, and with youth and disadvantaged young people to present a complete mosaic. The several months of work on the focus group and the whole process involved with it showed me it isn’t important just to say something, but that the way in which we say it is as least as important as the content. That’s what brings the magic into our communication. Veronika Schweighoferova
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Chapter 3.3 | The story of Slovak Focus group
Completions - practical results and methods in international media literacy related youth projects
Ways of Blending The combination of media education, personal development and social participation can be achieved in various ways. Here we share some of the experiences and methods what we used in the Video Volunteers project. This knowledge and practical know-how are the fundamental resources that allow us to execute our activities in a meaningful way. Knowledge is one factor that makes meaningful personal, media and societal behaviour possible.
What: Flash mob How it works: A flash mob happens suddenly, out of regular activities. Groups of people who assemble unexpectedly in a public place perform an unusual act for a short time, and then disappear as if they had never been there. Flash mobs are mostly organized through social media, interest groups or among friends. For the flash mobs in the Video Volunteers project, the partner organisations agreed on focusing them on social issues that are interesting for young people. The project’s peer educators organised and realised flash mobs as follows. They: 1. Picked the subject 2. Promoted it online, mainly on social media networks 3. Designed and planned it with a smaller group of people 4. Announced it with the place and time 5. Ran the flash mob and documented it with video cameras 6. Edited the video material and published the outcome online Observation: Coaching and support from professionals was needed for picking and framing the social issue on which to build the flash mob. Conclusion: Th is kind of activity can be interesting for many young people from diverse backgrounds as it requires short time involvement and participating in it has a “cool” prestige. The general motivation is to have fun, though while participating in it, many serious discussions take place on the theme. The video documentation of flash mobs provides those who prefer to observe with another kind of active involvement using the camera. The postproduction and editing functioned as a stepping-stone to the next activity, maintaining the interest of the participants and providing space to discover their targeted affections and actions.
What: Public screening How it works: The productions and videos made during international and local activities were shown to different audiences to provide space for dialogues on social and personal issues and to get feedback on the media productions of the youngsters. For example, screenings of movies by youth of the Fireworks media exchange were organized first in a prison and then followed by a show in a summer camp for kids. 1. Spread the word: approach local organisations and institutions offering screenings of videos and debates. Using flash mobs, printed materials or posters may be beneficial. Making clear agreements on technical and human needs is highly
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Chapter 4.1 | Ways of blending
important. Know your limitations and clarify what you want to get out of the screening for the video makers, the youth and for the audience. Invite local leaders, the managers of institutions or organizations to participate at the event. 2. Showtime: prepare the video makers for the screening and their audience. Ask them to run the show in the format they find fitting. Make sure that technical equipment is in place (projector, sound system, computer, video productions). The audience may laugh or become more alert when they see their own neighbourhood or issues on the screen. 3. Debates and discussions: the aim is to discover and expand on the messages of the videos through discussing them with the audience. It may happen that some express frustration, tension or disagreement. This should be facilitated in a balanced way providing both parties with space to express their views and listen to those of others. To keep it within boundaries, have them stick to facts and ask parties to make statements in first person. 4. Feedback: Ask for feedback from the audience to further develop productions on different levels. Allow the audience to ask questions from the video makers as well. Take notes of their reactions during the screening (laughter, dozing off, etc.) and participation in the discussion. 5. Follow-up: after the screening and discussion, allow time for the participants to digest the experience. The follow-up meeting and sharing should focus on lessons learned and acknowledging the things that worked. Observation: Follow-up and debriefing of the screenings, especially if it takes place in an unusual setting such as a prison, have to be planned and executed professionally. Th is enables the participants to reflect on their behaviour, attitude, concepts and many other related issues. The screening in the prison proved to be one of the most powerful experiences of the project. Conclusion: The screenings were prepared in cooperation with professionals from the hosting locations and were followed by non-formal and informal activities ran by experienced and trained youth workers.
What: Web channel How it works: On Vimeo, we created a thematic video channel for youth to share productions in an international community. Publishing times of new materials were divided between the partners. The common themes for productions were youth participation â€“ social issues â€“ and volunteering. The format supports self-directed learning; young people formed working groups and planned the media productions. Youth workers and media coaches in each country facilitated the process on request. Peer educators safeguarded the authenticity, quality and ethical use of media. The productions were created in the following audio-visual formats: 1. Classical video reports on events and actions for and by young Europeans in Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Hungary and Spain 2. Informational videos for young people 3. Creative short documentaries 4. Music videos
Chapter 4.1 | Ways of blending
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Observation: The organisations that do not work with a specific and constant group of young people may face challenges when planning productions. The aim of providing space for self-directed learning and participation encompasses the possibility of low participation and low quality materials. Conclusion: Th is format is very useful for providing a roof for various productions. Once the youngsters understood the concept of it and the freedom, they started to produce very diverse materials, rooted in their personal experiences, aiming at higher goals. Good preparation, trust and coaching as well a good technical background and support are essential for this activity.
What: International non-formal learning activities How it works: We ran a training course, an exchange and workshops on media in combination with personal development and social participation. The activities aimed at providing the technical and personal background needed to manage video productions with disadvantaged youth and on sensitive topics. The participants were promising multipliers, who were willing to become peer-educators. This way we could ensure long lasting results and achievements rooted in the existing needs of youth. The educational activities included: 1. Visual grammar and composition 2. Camera operation and lights 3. Effective storytelling 4. Postproduction, video editing 5. Inquiry methods and asking questions 6. Feedback 7. Using video as encouragement and working with youth 8. Orientation on social activism and sensitive issues (minority rights, physical disadvantages, family problems and other topics) 9. Volunteering and social activism 10. Screening, distribution and rights Observation: Maintaining the continuous involvement of peer educators through local activities is needed. The combination of trainings and local activities are necessary to disseminate results and outcomes exceeding personal developments and learning. Conclusion: The international meeting of disadvantaged youth in a learning setting that provides them with tools to express their issues is highly desired by the participants and results in materials that can be further used. Video productions can be taken into formal and non-formal education sectors as materials for discussion.
What: Recorded Focus Group How it works: In ViVo, each partner country set up a focus group (FG), an open event where a discussion, debate about a common, agreed theme was facilitated. The discussion included at most 10 people with diverse background, age, gender and involvement in media. A focus group is a method of group interviewing in which the interaction between the facilitator and the group, as well as between group members, provides a
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Chapter 4.1 | Ways of blending
space to express and share thoughts, feelings, attitudes and ideas on a certain subject. It has advantages as well as limitations when compared to some other forms of collecting information from different people (observation, survey, interview). There were two facilitators running the discussion based on a previously agreed theme, method and approach. The idea of this action was to have results that we could compare and analyze later. Video recording was organized to present it to a broader audience. Guidelines for setting up a recorded focus group: • Get straight to the point: Pick a clear and specific theme • Plan diversity: Have different partners and groups participating to provide comparable results • Specify the group of participants: Same for all partners, with diverse backgrounds, from a range of ages and both directly and indirectly connected to the subject • Prepare guidelines: Same for all partners regarding the thematic line of the FG • Use the same questions: So as to have comparable results between partners, for example different countries, later • Notify participants: Send invitations well in advance describing the activity (but with no analysis of the themes themselves), so they have time to schedule and attend • Inform them about being fi lmed upfront: Get their consent to be fi lmed; if underage, guardian’s consent is required • Prepare technical equipment: Check cameras and sound equipment (batteries, proper function). Have an extra set of equipment in case it is needed. • Arrange the location: Pick a warm, comfortable and quiet place, ideally with good natural light suitable for fi lming • Record sound separately: Use an extra sound recorder in order to have good quality sound and make transcription of the conversation easier • Prepare the facilitator: Questions going from general to more specific on the subject, some knowledge on the background of the participants • Co-facilitator: Should be there to observe and assist when necessary Observation: This method of involvement was interesting in different ways for different youngsters. Some preferred to organise and facilitate it, others took part in the media production of it, while others simply joined the discussion. Though it can provide different ways of participation, some may fi nd it challenging to fi nd volunteers to help realise the event. Conclusion: Th is is a useful way to collect information and provide an opportunity for participation at the same time. Ensuring that participants of the focus group can speak their native language provides easy access to the event and full participation. At the same time, it means that translation and subtitles have to be arranged in the postproduction phase in an international context. Kriszta Zsiday
Chapter 4.1 | Ways of blending
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Save as Online activities and virtual tools can be used in various ways in youth work. The palette of available resources and their usage should fit the aims and objectives of the project. Here we explain some practical ways and uses that we found supportive in the Video Volunteers project.
What: Online Activities How it works: A project such as Video Volunteers bases its development and promotion on online activities to a great extent. At the start of the project, we set up an online platform customized to the Video Volunteers’ design and needs. A Vimeo account with a Web channel, an official Facebook page, a Tweeter account, a blog, email accounts for internal and external communication and a dropbox account for the transfer of media materials. Th rough this platform, we organized various online activities: • Promotion (through Facebook, blog, forums etc. with direct links to the platform) • Polls and Creative Online Brainstorming (Facebook page) • Special Online Events with video-making (Facebook events, Blog announcements ) • Open Calls for participants in Local and International Events (Facebook, blog) • Open Calls to facilitate writing for the blog and creating videos for the Web channel Observation: Th e Online Activity of ViVo was handled by one person, the Online Manager of the project; this is an essential part of the maintenance of the online activity in connection with the audience’s responses. What is important is to establish a continuous fl ow of content. Th is can in some cases mean that there is an agreement with the partner organizations to deliver reports, documented content of local and international activities and essentially media materials (photos, videos, graphics etc.). In addition, the online participation of the young people involved in the project has to be handled with attention. It’s useful to bear in mind that whatever goes online has to be visually attractive for a young person. Collective activities (online or actual events) are particularly attracting to youngsters. A lot of times, it’s essential for an Online Manager to always check for possible violations of social and human rights in the content uploaded as part of the project’s activities. Furthermore, the logos of and references to the partner organization and the funding institutes of the project have to be present in all online activities of the project. Conclusion: One person managing the online activities is always practical. It is useful to create a platform connected to as many social media as possible, in order to easily reach people and also be easily reached by people. The constant feed of content and information brings continuity to online activities but it is vital that it be accompanied by compelling audio/visual material.
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Chapter 4.2 | Save as
What: Blog How it works: In Video Volunteers we created a flexible Word press blog that we customized with a template. This blog was the center of the whole online activity. You can ensure the structure of the blog with pages, blog posts, languages, galleries and tags; it is also possible to connect the blog with social media and have an overview of statistics on blog visits. We used the blog to publish: • General information about the project • Info on the people involved in the activities of the project • Educational material • Open Calls and Announcements / Latest news • Reports from activities and articles • Audiovisual productions and Visual material / Archives Observation: It is beneficial that the blog is connected to social media (links, embeds, social bookmarking plugins etc.) but is practical that it should operate as a basis of the online activity of the project. Th rough the blog, you can easily check the number of people visiting through analytics and in this way create an established audience which is important for the extension of the project’s online activities. Regarding the content of the blog, it is important that you guarantee a constant feed of news and posts. Visual documentation of the (local or international) events happening in a project like Video Volunteers is a practical solution, so you don’t fi nd yourself working only with text. In the case of working with different languages, provide the human resources that can frequently carry out the task. Conclusion: A blog can be the basis of the whole online activity and it’s significant to establish an audience that keeps coming back by publishing as often as possible. The success of it comes not only from the updated content but also via the general visual structure.
What: Facebook How it works: An official customized page on Facebook is one of the easiest things to access for a user who simply clicks “Like”. Constant updates that contain media materials such as photos and videos usually attract an audience. A Facebook page is useful for: • Events • Shares • Comments and Interactions in the community • Promotion of audio/visual products of the project • Statistics on the audience’s profi le • Direct audience to the blog and Vimeo account of the project Observation: In a long term project with many international activities, it is more appropriate to create a page rather than groups. Not only because you can customize it, advertise it and have statistics, but for the reason that all information and interactions are kept concentrated in one online base, under the same umbrella. It is highly important that the page be user friendly and can evoke interactions and the in-
Chapter 4.2 | Save as
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volvement of users. In the “Insights” of the page, you can also access detailed statistics of the visitors, which can easily give you a picture of who your audience is (age, gender, country etc.), whether they match your target group and essentially what their activities/habits are. Conclusion: Facebook is one of the easiest ways to approach your target group. Since Facebook is a habit for many users, all you need is to publish news feeds and links to other online spaces frequently.
What: Vimeo Account How it works: An account on Vimeo gives you the possibility to create a profi le, upload audiovisual material, customize your thumbnails and publish credits, tags and summaries of your videos. You can also network your videos in different channels or even create your own. To run an international video channel it helps if you provide: • Clear information on the framework of the video productions • Specifications on the genres, length of the videos • Technical specifications (intro and outro of the video, logos of sponsors, format of exported fi le, credits) • Create a timeline of productions • Request a paragraph description of the production and a story board. • Constant communication and reminders to support the realization of productions; Deadlines hardly ever work Observation: We prefer to use Vimeo for the work of the account holders because it uses creative commons and has more options when it comes to building a profi le, a channel or uploading a video. We also suggest using the Vimeo plus service with faster priority uploading and detailed statistics on the views and embeds of the videos. Conclusion: Vimeo is an online space where you can upload, store and showcase audiovisual material in many ways. It can serve as a media archive from which you can embed any material to other online spaces such as a blog or a Facebook account.
What: Dropbox How it works: When it comes to international cooperation with large fi les of the media materials involved, dropbox can be a valuable support to transfer, keep and exchange materials. It works as an extra document folder on your computer which is linked with an online database you can access anytime and from anyplace. You can easily share any folder from the dropbox account with anyone else, without this meaning that the person has access to the account. Observation: It is useful to have as much space as possible in a dropbox account. The risk with too much space and a lot of people using it, is that disorder can easily ensue regarding what is added and deleted or because of the large number of folders. A regular format can help in a situation like this. Conclusion: Dropbox is a tool for sharing and transferring all kinds of fi les which can be supportive when it comes to international cooperation. Having an overview of the account is the key element for maintaining its structure. Andrew Hannes
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Chapter 4.2 | Save as
Checklist The checkpoints are meant as suggestions for a long-term, quality project based on the lessons learned in Video Volunteers.
For managing long-term projects Preparation and kick-off meeting Partners should have their own vision and goals in a long-term international project and those have to be clearly defined and communicated. In order to have a detailed agreement on roles, tasks, human resources, fees and fi nancial plans of the project, partners have to have an overview of it. This should be discussed and settled during the kick-off meeting. Method of communication In a long-term international project the method of communication is critical. In order to work efficiently and maintain a good relationship between the partners and co-workers, it is recommended to create a system of regular communication (e.g. monthly online meetings) and also personal meetings as often as possible. It is very useful to have direct and regular communication among the people who play the same role at the various organisations. Finances Responsibilities have to be set and communicated clearly during the kick-off meeting and maintained in order to avoid misunderstandings. Beside every content-focused event, a meeting should also be held on administrative and financial issues. Co-funding Co-funding plans and projects of a long-term project should be supervised on a regular, at least monthly basis. A clear explanation of what can and cannot be considered co-funding should be given to all the partners at the kick-off meeting, including examples. Human resources Preferably there should be different persons at each partner for handling the content and for dealing with the finances of the project. There should be an agreement on the payment and on the responsibilities of all persons working in the project, even in the case of volunteers. The conditions of payment must be clearly agreed. Follow-up and coaching after international events It is important to create a strong follow-up and coaching system after international events are over in order to maintain the commitment of the participants and volunteers. This also provides support to help them apply the methods they learnt, put the ideas they have into action, and involve the local community in their activities.
Chapter 4.3 | Checklist
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Divide the tasks and responsibilities As many issues as possible should be settled during the international team meetings (including the kick-off, mid-term, training-specific and fi nal evaluation meetings). The division of the tasks and responsibilities should be based on the expertise and availability of the partners. A designated person should be continuously available for each issue the partners need to discuss or settle. Divide the international and national/local activities It is helpful if these tasks are distributed between two people in each partner organization. While constantly communicating and cooperating with each other, the two can focus more intensively on their own duties and responsibilities and one of them can maintain direct contact with the international team. Divide the work on the content and practicals It is advisable to separate professional youth/media related work from organizational and fi nancial management tasks. People responsible for the preparation, delivery and evaluation of the educational events and research activities should not deal with the logistical and financial issues, and vice versa. Active involvement of all partners The organisations should be included and involved in all changes or big decisions concerning the project.
For ensuring quality content and methods Balance process- and result-oriented educational activities If the primary focus is only on outcomes, the participants are motivated to produce quality media/audiovisual products but do not necessarily reflect their personal development and the processes of learning and working together. On the other hand, if the focus is put only on personal development, final outcomes may then not take the shape of media/audiovisual “products” and/or would not be interesting for a broader audience. Fusion of “video-freak” and “activist” participants. The former have usually developed their media/video-making skills to a reasonable level but often have insufficient social skills. The latter are usually strongly motivated for a particular cause and most often have developed social skills but lack the video/media-making skills. Mixing these two types of participants may be very beneficial for mutual learning and also for group dynamics. In this way, the video-freaks can learn how to discuss, compromise, delegate, cooperate and empower while the activists can learn how to translate their ideas and actions into messages set for media/video language. Build up team work Participants are often not very experienced and used to working in teams (to delegate tasks, communicate efficiently, coordinate group and individual work, cooperate, take on and accept leadership, etc.). In ViVo, we found that the development of these skills and their value was appreciated to a large extent.
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Chapter 4.3 | Checklist
Research Research can provide an added value to the projects in various ways. It can link the activities to broader contexts and audiences of youth work, youth participation and media. Besides surveys and focus groups, various other research techniques can be used, e.g. interviews and participatory observations. Educate about inquiry techniques Participants mostly lack basic research skills (e.g. interviewing) which are needed for the preparation and “grounding” of media/audiovisual productions. Without this, productions can often be seen as being disconnected from local realities and needs, as well as one-sidedly orientated towards fun, and lacking a social message that could appeal to broader audiences. Both international trainings and local activities should thus deal more with asking questions on the social issues/contexts of participants. Evaluation Neither process- nor result-oriented assessment should be underestimated. Assessment tools should be ideally designed along with the activities included in the program. Pre- and post-testing can serve as a basis for identifying/measuring the longer-term impact on participants. Successes and good practices can be identified in a more structured way by focusing on results, actions, new understandings and recognized mistakes or shortcomings. Strengthen the follow-up activities after international events It is reasonable to expect that after attending an international training the participants will be motivated to do “something” locally, but it is not realistic to expect that their interest and motivation will last longer without continuous support, both locally and internationally, personally and virtually. Follow-up activities should thus ensure that participants are guided, advised and coached in local activities and on a regular basis. This need should also be reflected in the budget (travel expenses for regular visits, room rental, office supplies, etc.). In particular, it is advisable to design and organize follow-up meetings for participants of the same country after they come back from the international events. In this way, their motivation and activity can be sustained for a longer period. Collected by Kriszta Zsiday
Chapter 4.3 | Checklist
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Media Manifesto This Manifesto contains the Intentions and Beliefs of Youth Workers and Youngsters involved in Video Volunteers with regard to Media and Media Literacy 01. Media is images, sounds and text and/or a combination of them, created by people for people. 02. Media is a tool that people communicate with. 03. Media connects people and can facilitate relationships between people. 04. Media is an opportunity to share a message worldwide. 05. Media has a direct and everyday effect on our life. 06. Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms. 07. A media literate person: - is able to understand how and why people produce media - is aware of manipulation and reacts to it out of personal choice, using critical thinking. - chooses what media to use, see and hear, in daily life. - uses media creatively to express ideas and share information, in an accountable and respectful way. - participates in society using media. - uses media to promote and claim human rights for himself/herself and others. 08. We understand media as an educating and learning process. 09. Everyone must have the opportunity to become media literate through formal, informal and non-formal education, regardless of gender, disabilities, status etc. 10. By developing media literacy we want to empower youth to take action in using media.
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Chapter 4.4 | Media manifesto
Appendix A: The Authors Kriszta Zsiday is a trainer, active at European youth trainings, with a Masters degree and ten years of work experience in the field of media. She is devoted to working with youth with fewer opportunities. She is currently training to become an expression therapist. Gyula Sandor worked in a foundation high school for youth with fewer opportunities as a teacher, mentor and coach. He joined ViVo as the financial manager of the project.
Sofia Moudiou is founder of the Global Soma Youth Association. She works as a trainer in European youth trainings around Europe specializing in media education and working with disadvantaged youth. She’s passionate about images and photography. Andrew Hannes studied music and percussion in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a practicing fi lmmaker and artist. He currently lives in the Netherlands and works as a media trainer in the field of youth work.
Peter Dráľ studied journalism, political science and nationalism studies in Slovakia and abroad. During the past six years he has been working as a manager and trainer of human rights and in intercultural education projects for youth, youth workers, teachers, policemen and other professional groups. Veronika Schweighoferova fi nished high school in 2012 and is preparing for university studies in communication and journalism. She is a devoted volunteer, she runs a documentary fi lm club, participates in investigative video-making and is engaged in several youth organizations. Manuel Rodríguez Rodríguez, from Spain, has a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, defining himself as a creative person, dynamic and passionate for new forms of communication.
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Rocio Reina is an enthusiastic volunteer participating in local and international projects. She is also very active in online volunteering.
Michele Di Paola studied ancient and modern literature. He is in charge of activities regarding European mobility and has developed a new sector of interventions regarding new media / web 2.0 impact youth for youngsters, parents and adults within non-formal education. Virginia Negro studied Semiotics and Communication Science. She worked as an EVS volunteer in Spain gaining experiences in intercultural learning, European citizenship and youth policies.
Appendix B: The Organisations EGYESEK YOUTH ASSOCIATION Our activity is focused on the non-formal personal development of young people and professionals in the field of youth work within the Hungarian and European context. We organise youth exchanges, volunteer projects, training for youth leaders and peer educators, summer camps and schoolbased community service programs. We are specialised in media, coaching, dance and working with integrated groups of youth from diverse backgrounds. www.egyesek.hu +3613210495 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/egyesek vimeo.com/videovolunteers Kriszta Zsiday Media & expression trainer, youth worker trainers.salto-youth.net/ZsidayKriszta +36307695401 email@example.com MILAN SIMECKA FOUNDATION The Milan Šimečka Foundation is one of the oldest NGOs in Slovakia. Since its establishment in 1991, it has been focusing on the promotion of human rights and democracy. During more than two decades the scope of our activities has also comprised advocacy for minority rights, intercultural awareness raising, non-formal education and community development. Currently,
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the three main programmes of the Foundation include Human Rights Education with a special focus on Intercultural Education, Roma Public Policy, and the Holocaust Education and Research Programme. www.nadaciamilanasimecku.sk, www.multikulti.sk +421 2 544 335 52 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/pages/Nadácia-Milana-Šimečku/289605057726430 www.facebook.com/pages/multikultisk www.facebook.com/pages/fj%C3%BA%C5%BEn/122460711164758 Peter Dráľ Contact person email@example.com
Ester Lomová Contact person firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL SOMA YOUTH ASSOCIATION Global Soma is a non-profit organisation active in audiovisual and youth training. We create events to empower youth. Global Soma is a creative social space. This space can take the shape or structure of seminars, research, training, events, educational programmes and workshops, among others. www.globalsoma.com + 30 2311 200996 email@example.com www.facebook.com/pages/Global-Soma-NGO/194982857506 vimeo.com/globalsoma Sofia Moudiou Media educator, trainer +306907532925 firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: sofiamd4 ASOCIACION JUVENIL INTERCAMBIA Intercambia is a youth organisation created by and for young people. Our main activities are based on intercultural learning, by using a nonformal education and youth programme in order to encourage youth participation in an international context, abolish the barriers between countries, reduce racism and promote tolerance between different cultures. Our organisation wants to encourage youth initiatives - we support them by providing information, tools and trainings to help them achieve their goals. www.europaerestu.eu + 34952002774 email@example.com www.facebook.com/europaerestu.eu Pedro Muñoz Contact person +34672028985 firstname.lastname@example.org
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SPAZIO GIOVANI ONLUS Spazio Giovani has been a non profit organisation since 1994, continuing from a previous cultural association created in 1986. Our team is made up of almost 100 people, working on active youth citizenship, youth information and participation, local communities’ empowerment, youth, school and career counselling. Our mission is projecting and developing social intervention on people within local communities, and to improve the quality of life through citizens’ integration and civil cohabitation. After our 2007 Youth in Action 4.4 project “Non virtual youth citizenship in a virtual world”, during the past few years we have run experimental projects on new media and the impact of web 2.0 and social networking on youth work, as part of our intervention. www.spaziogiovani.it +39- (0)39-2301133 email@example.com www.facebook.com/spaziogiovanionlus www.youtube.com/user/spaziogiovani1 www.twitter.com/spaziogiovani1 www.flickr.com/photos/spaziogiovani/sets/ Michele Di Paola Contact person firstname.lastname@example.org
Appendix C: Funders Youth in Action eacea.ec.europa.eu/youth/index_en.php Video Volunteers is a long term project on Video Activism, mainly funded by the European Commission Youth in Action programme, Action 4.5 — Support to information activities for young people and those active in youth work and youth organisations. The Video Volunteers project has been submitted by the Egyesek Youth Association (Hungary) in an international partnership. The partnership is based entirely on competence building, sharing of resources and know-how, active participation and motivation with the focus on socially, geographically or economically marginalized youth. The focus of Video Volunteers is to use media literacy as a tool in youth work with less-opportunity youth, promoting self expression and social activism.
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Council of Europe – EYF www.eyf.coe.int/fej The European Youth Foundation is a fund established in 1972 by the Council of Europe to provide fi nancial support for European youth activities. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012. Its purpose is to encourage co-operation amongst young people in Europe by providing fi nancial support to such European youth activities that serve the promotion of peace, understanding and co-operation in a spirit of respect for the Council of Europe’s fundamental values of human rights, democracy, tolerance and solidarity. This publication was funded by Category B as a project submitted by the Egyesek Youth Association (Hungary), in partnership with the Global Soma Youth Association (Greece), the Milan Simecka Foundation (Slovakia), the Asociacion Juvenil Intercambia (Spain) and the Spazio Giovani Onlus (Italy). The purpose of this publication is to introduce the methodology of using media as a tool in youth work as implemented by the Video Volunteers project.
Appendix D: Online Resources All the materials, video productions and stories are also available online. If you are interested in finding out more about the Video Volunteers project or you are interested in some of the activities or movies mentioned in this book, you may fi nd them at the following websites: ViVo Website: www.videovolunteers.eu ViVo Vimeo Account: vimeo.com/videovolunteers ViVo Vimeo Channel: vimeo.com/channels/imposiblevivo Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/166165290110055/ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/VideoVolunteers.eu Twitter: twitter.com/#!/VideoVolunteer
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Th is project has been funded with support from the European Commission and the Council of Europe. The publication itself reflects only the views of the authors, and neither the Commission nor the Council of Europe may be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. Project reference numbers: Action 4.5 â€“ Contract number 20104872 [Education and Culture DG, Youth in Action Programme] and 4137.1.B.2012. PC26 [European Youth Foundation â€“ Category B].
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