MAKAKILO, Hawaii — How does a local woman’s story on the discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients in Soweto differ from the one reported by CNN?
How would a girl from Morocco cover the issues related to the availability of healthcare services, education and access to the judicial system for Moroccan Migrants?
What would these young women say?
GlobalGirl Media offers the world a leading digital platform that covers what mainstream media fails to—the daily experiences and voices of the invisible majority.
The nonprofit grew out of a coalition of female journalists from different corners of the globe who all recognized that the stories of young women from underserved communities too often get swept under the carpet of the newsroom.
And what brings even more adversity to the mission of refocusing the global digital media lens is the fact that this platform can only serve those who have access to technology.
This leaves many youths in at-risk and impoverished communities out of the critical discussions that take place in the digital media landscape, but that’s also what they’re hoping to change.
GGM seeks to end this disparity by supplying the equipment, education and support that are essential to help young women become leaders in digital media where they can tell their own stories that tackle a range of topics from environmental justice to sexual and reproductive rights.
“There is no shortage of ideas or passion when a GlobalGirl news bureau is in session,” says GGM’s co-founder and Executive Director Amie Williams in her Huffington Post article.
“What we learned from training these young women is that there is a definite hunger for girl-centric stories. Girls want to be subjects, rather than objects.”
By becoming active blog journalists, women from around the world can bring their unique perspectives to the local and global events shared on the web for everyone to read.
GGM is committed to this vision and has partnered with local organizations, such as Shaping Youth, Free Spirit Media, Giving Women and Global Citizen, to ensure that girls around the world can get the media training they need to succeed.
One of their major success stories takes place in South Africa where they launched their pilot program in July 2010.
Girls undergo an intensive three week media-training program during their winter school break where they learn the essentials of journalism—short video production, news writing, digital/mobile platforms, web 2.0 technology and more.
After the girls have completed their training, they continue to file reports and meet the same guidelines in order to deepen their skills.
“Our training is designed thematically around the main principles of good journalism, nurturing creative and independent thinking, instilling ethical practices, and providing participants with the tools they need to engage with new media on all levels,” GGM describes on their website.
Since GGM’s South Africa launch, they have trained 32 girls from Soweto who have produced over 160 video, mobile and blog reports, which have been distributed worldwide.
This success story not only helps girls from marginalized communities gain access to modern technology, it also helps transform them into confident women who have the leadership skills they need to take on the world.
The few opportunities these girls might have locally become entirely irrelevant once they gain access to the digital global landscape.
GGM firmly believes that working with young women from under-resourced and under-reported communities to share their authentic voices and to empower their stories is an investment to our global future.
To learn more about how these young women are bridging the gender digital divide, visit http://globalgirlmedia.org.
– Chelsee Yee
Sources: GlobalGirl Media, The Huffington Post 1, The Huffington Post 2
Photo: GlobalGirl Media