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Here’s Why The Media Matters

Storyhunter is proud to announce We are the Media — a video about the power and necessity of journalists, reporters, and documentary…
Here’s Why The Media Matters

Storyhunter is proud to announce We are the Media — a video about the power and necessity of journalists, reporters, and documentary filmmakers in the face of political repression worldwide.

We are the Media premiered worldwide on May 3, 2017 at UNESCO’s official World Press Freedom Day event in Jakarta. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly set aside this day to recognize the importance of press freedom and to defend the media and journalists from attacks on their independence. And this year, World Press Freedom Day is more important than ever.

Free press around the world is at a tipping point, according to the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 World Press Freedom Index:

Democracies began falling in the Index in preceding years and now, more than ever, nothing seems to be checking that fall. The obsession with surveillance and violations of the right to the confidentiality of sources have contributed to the continuing decline of many countries previously regarded as virtuous. This includes the United States (down 2 places at 43rd), the United Kingdom (down 2 at 40th), Chile (down 2 at 33rd), and New Zealand (down 8 at 13th).

In the face of this decline, it’s more important than ever for the media to stand up and press back against government bullying and censorship. Together, we must report the truth despite opposition. Please join us in thanking the brave journalists and documentary filmmakers who have come together for this video campaign to state why the media matters:

  • Carlos Beltran: A Venezuelan journalist, writer, director and producer. His award-winning documentary work focuses on socio-political issues in Latin America — PASION (2011), VOLUNTAD & PAZ (2012), ROCINHA (2013). Beltran is the founder of a boutique creative house and has produced videos for National Geographic, Univision, Seeker, and more.
  • Kori Feener: An award-winning documentary filmmaker, currently working with Emmy award-winning cinematographer Allen Moore on a feature film. Feener has also covered protests at Standing Rock.
  • Thuku Kariuki: A Kenyan producer and filmmaker with eight years experience working in Africa. Kariuki has traveled to over fifteen African countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to cover their elections. In Kenya, he has reported on the 2013 presidential elections, the Westgate attack in Nairobi, US President Obama’s visit, and the 2015 Papal visit, as well as several other development, technology, and cultural events.
  • Julia Muldavin: A filmmaker, who has worked on short and long-form video content around the #BlackLivesMatter movement in Oakland, California and followed the movement on her most recent trip to Brazil to bring attention to the escalating human rights crises in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.
  • Tobie Openshaw: A South African-born DOP/Producer/ Director/Photographer who has been working in visual media for over twenty years. Openshaw’s recent work includes an insert on funeral pole dancers in Taiwan for National Geographic’s Taboo series and a report for France24 on Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement.
  • Mithun Pramanik: He played a key role as a producer and editor in the film ‘Fists of Fury’ which won a Gracie Award for Al Jazeera America in 2014. He has dedicated much of the last four years filming India’s indigenous peoples, known as Adivasis.
  • Clarisa Quintero: A documentary filmmaker and director based in Venezuela. She has worked in advertising, news sites, music blogs, and fashion blogs. Quintero also directed several music videos, short documentaries, short films, and videos for the web. Her passion is film production and copywriting.
  • Asma Shirazi: A Pakistani journalist and political commentator. In 2006, Shirazi became Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and the first Pakistani journalist to win the prestigious Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Currently, she hosts a primetime current-affairs show on Aaj News.
  • Mike Shum: An Emmy-nominated filmmaker (2015 News & Documentary Emmy Award Finalist for Surviving an ISIS Massacre), who works extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Currently, Shum is producing a feature-length film about the photojournalist Chris Hondros.
  • Fernando Teixeira: Director of photography, director, and editor. Teixeira started working in 2004 as an editor, already having worked in TV and movies. He became a cinematographer years later and collaborated for small and big video productions companies in Rio, São Paulo, and abroad. He has directed TV spots for GLOBO TV, video clips, documentaries, and edited movies selected for the RIO 2015 festival.
  • Sophie Tremblay: An award-winning journalist and producer. Tremblay is a frequent contributor to Fusion Network and National Geographic. Before basing herself in East Africa, she worked as a TV and radio reporter for CBC News in Montreal, Canada. She has contributed to the BBC, AJ+, and the Guardian.
  • Nanfu Wang: Originally from a remote village in China, Wang is a recipient of a Sundance postproduction grant, Bertha BRITDOC Journalism Fund, a Sundance Documentary Fellow, and an IFP supported filmmaker. Her previous work includes two feature length documentaries: DYLAN’S STREETS (2013) and THE ROAD FROM HAINAN (2014), which follows human rights activist Ye Haiyan (aka Sparrow) from town to town as she is detained, evicted, and chased by local governments and secret police.
  • William Wroblewski: A General Editor of Bolivian Express, a monthly magazine and Bolivia’s foremost English language publication. Wroblewski has worked all over the world and covered stories of the lives of refugee camp residents in Kenya to families caring for autistic children in Northern Ireland. He received Telly Awards for online video, and has been recognized by the International Academy of Visual Arts.

Please help us share this important message with the hashtag #WEARETHEMEDIA.

By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor