civic media: week three

join the conversation


Following the documentary we watched last week, On the Streets, our primary focus for this week was to begin the creation of our own activism video.


Together, my group decided that we would begin by asking students around us about some of the issues or problems they see college students facing today. Then, we would show them a clip from On the Streets, featuring Louis, a PhD student who lives in his car while completing college courses. After watching the clip, we will ask them if their feelings have changed and if they knew that many students experience homelessness every year. Through our video, I believe that our goal is to urge our audience to look at some of the deeper issues within our society, those beyond the surface of our everyday struggles.


I am very excited to see the finished product once we complete the editing process. I have never actually filmed and edited a video like this before, so I am experiencing mixed emotions of nervousness and excitement to see how it turns out. It will definitely be a learning experience for me, but I am looking forward to it.


Video activism also ties in with the other various themes we have touched on this week, such as viral cultures, memes, and the increasing engagement of young people across social media platforms amidst various movements in our society.


By researching past movements, such as the Women’s March in D.C., we were able to see the increasing trend in young engagement across platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. By using hashtags, such as #womensmarchnyc, members were able to share, tag, and contribute to the ongoing conversation about women’s rights.


Further, this engagement reflects the importance of both thin and thick engagement, as some live tweeted and shared content from the scene of the event while others shared their ideas and posts from at home. Despite their differences, both types of engagement contribute to a conversation that has the ability to grow, both online and off.


Touching on the Informed Citizen Paradigm, it is important to note “how young people have gone digital and become skeptical of conventional politics, parties, and politicians” (Bennett and Segerberg). Through civic media, citizens have now resolved to go out, get involved, and make changes. This shift is related especially to the ever increasing content and activism online, such as that related to #womensmarchnyc.


By contributing to this ongoing conversation, whether it be with the Women’s March or something else you are interested in, I believe that there is something special about sharing your thoughts, feelings, or beliefs on a digital platform and engaging with those outside of your direct community.


So, I encourage you to think about what you are truly passionate about – what do you want to see change in the world? Or, what do you love about the world? Tweet your thoughts, be present in your community, and engage with others online.


thanks for reading

– madauer

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