Engaging Rural Communities in Communication Processes
Lessons from Video Volunteers’ India Unheard Program
Community Video (CV) is participatory and has immense potential to strengthen community communications and amplify the voices of people for their empowerment. By building capacities especially of marginalised community groups, CV endeavours to bring about shifts towards more inclusive communication processes. In various parts of the world, among marginalised community groups, community video initiatives have become instrumental in facilitating micro-level, yet significant changes in communities. The organization Video Volunteers (VV) promotes community media and provides disadvantaged communities with journalistic, critical thinking and creative skills for catalysing change in communities. This paper is based on qualitative research, and seeks to map the range of VV impacts in communities, and provide an in-depth analysis of factors contributing to VV influencing change in communities. Study tools included content analysis of a longitudinal sample of impact videos produced, narratives of community correspondents using the Most Significant Change Technique (MSCT) and interviews with key informants. Using a multi-fold analysis, the paper attempts to gain holistic insights into VV processes. The study maps the key aspects of Video Volunteers as a community media initiative. It also sheds light on engagement of various stakeholders in development processes using the Communication Infrastructure Theory (CIT).