Pioneering citizen journalism project, ADTV, involving The Media School’s Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson and Ann Luce has recently been featured on BBC radio and BBC’s The Politics Show, for a full 8 minutes!
In a nutshell, ADTV is about empowering older people, disabled people and carers to gain a public voice through citizen journalism. Thanks to Fusion funding, we have been able to work with local charity, Access Dorset, who represents these groups locally. They have put together a fantastic video about ADTV on their website.
The project is now in its second phase. From November 2013 to January 2014, Ann Luce – together with BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism student, Nicolas Williams – led a five-week intensive training course for twelve Access Dorset volunteers on foundation principles of video journalism. This gave them the skills and confidence to develop a citizen journalism website alongside their other advice and support functions.
Since then, the volunteers (who now actively self-identify as citizen journalists) have thrown themselves into the project and pursued a range of different stories. They have made videos about living with cancer, anorexia, emergency medical treatment for older people, inaccessible footpaths for disabled people, and overcoming attitudinal barriers to disability to name a few.
One of the most high profile reports has been in support of their campaign to make Pokesdown railway station accessible for disabled people. The funny, playful yet powerful video they made shows Bournemouth resident and Access Dorset citizen journalist, Kelvin Trevett, being repeatedly told there is no way for him to access the station platform in his wheelchair. The film pretends to be shot over several decades, with creative use of a newspaper stand marking various landmarks in the development of disabled people’s rights since 1960.
We are now working with Access Dorset and their citizen journalists on research interviews and ongoing evaluation of the project. The findings of these will be presented at the IAMCR annual conference in Hyderabad this July, and ECREA annual conference in Lisbon, November. Publications are also lined up to disseminate these research findings in books and journals. Building on the Fusion funded project, we are now pursuing external grants: to ensure the sustainability of the project and advance this model of citizen journalism beyond Dorset, and to explore new ways for marginalised groups to get their voices heard – both within grassroots initiatives and national media.