Collaboration. Journalism. Sorority. Empowerment. Learning. Team. Energy. Love. Compromise. Passion. Change.
These are some of the words that the participants used to describe their experience in the first Mediathon organized by Chicas Poderosas in Argentina, entitled #EnResistencia (which means “In resistance”), with the support of Google News Initiative.
A hundred female journalists, designers, coders, and media professionals from different parts of the country, from the northern Jujuy to the southern Tierra del Fuego, met in Buenos Aires City during two days to create journalistic projects on underrepresented social issues.
The event took place at HIT Cowork on July 13th and 14th. In the morning, the participants had workshops to learn tools for multimedia storytelling: they learned to do data visualizations with Tea Alberti, and videos for social media with Nathalia Restrepo. To make inclusive journalism, they had a workshop on the use of language with Ayelén Cisneros and Emilia Ruiz de Olano, and a workshop to learn to use tools from publicity to generate conversations about their projects, with Flor Loda and Gretel Müller.
The aim of the Mediathon was to bring together women from different academic and professional backgrounds, to work on collaborative multimedia projects and to make visible social issues that are underrepresented in the media.
“The Mediathon was a space of encounter with colleagues, and that is always valuable because journalism is not always collaborative, and I think that is what we should be aiming for,” says Guadalupe Sánchez Granel, a 29 year old reporter at Cronista Comercial. “I loved the opportunity of forming a team with girls that I didn’t know, that I had never seen before, from different parts of the country, and to be able to think a project together, to shape it, and put it in practice: we didn’t just dream it but we made it happen.”
For more than half of the participants, that is 55%, the Mediathon was their first experience of collaborative journalism, according to a survey we did during the second day.
“Even though the participants were all professionals, when we were all there working together, we had a horizontal dynamic,” says María Fernanda Rossi, a 41 year old radio host and journalist from Río Grade, Tierra del Fuego. “In 20 years of working as a journalist, I had never done a collaborative project,” she says.
To make the Mediathon more diverse, Chicas Poderosa offered travel assistance for 16 women from different parts of the country to be a part of the event. “It was a very enriching experience because I was able to meet communicators and journalists from all over the country, who have different visions and professional paths and that always opens your mind and inspires you,” said Samanta Leguizamón, who received support to travel from San Salvador de Jujuy.
“From this experience I value the opportunity to be able to share the eagerness to do things, to create, and to make visible issues that are important to make the a more equal society,” says Paola Albornoz, a Venezuelan marketing specialist who lives in Buenos Aires.
In the Mediathon, one of the goals was to give visibility to social issues that are not being featured in the media. To inspire the participants, 13 organizations that work on social issues participated to share more about one underrepresented topic they are trying to solve, explain why it’s relevant and what resources are available to cover it. Amnesty International presented on the plight of indigenous people in Argentina; Anybody Argentina talked about the need for a national law to have clothes in all sizes; UNICEF referred to the lack of spaces for adolescents to participate; Wetlands International presented on the crisis of the wetlands; INECIP talked about gender and firearms; Proyecto Mujeres presented on the lack of menstrual hygiene policies; UNFPA talked about maternal mortality; Corpora in Libertad presented on the situation of LGBTQ+ people in prison; Doncel talked about the need to implement a law to help children without parents transition to adulthood; ELA talked about the right to care for children; Activismo Feminista Digital presented about online gender violence; UNHCR talked about the situation of people fleeing from Venezuela; Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal, Seguro y Gratuito talked about child pregnancy.
“Having this space to reflect, to learn, to share knowledge and experiences, this is what drew my attention about the Mediathon. This is how important changes can be brought about,”says Álvaro Serrano, Regional Adviser on Communications for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
“I think that together we ca do amazing things and it’s key that we all know how to approach the issues that affect us as we should and with knowledge,” .says Camila Papa from Anybody Argentina
During the following month, the participants continued working on multimedia projects about the social underrepresented issues together with a mentor. The stories will be published in national and regional media outlets on September 1st, and you can read them here bit.ly/historiasenresistencia
This Mediathon was power by: