YouTube As Civil Rights Advocate?

"YouTube and its ilk mean that today anyone can tell human rights stories. And as Hamad's video shows, if the stories are told with enough brio and skill, the public will pay attention, and the government may be more likely to respond. Critics pooh-pooh the importance of all of this by pointing to the fact that civil rights advocates have traditionally had a friend in the press. But they're missing the point: YouTube goes where the mainstream media can't or won't go. It's visceral. It's story first, message second. And it gives advocates instant access to an audience in a way that press releases and op-eds never can."
-Andrew K. Woods-

Could YouTube really be a new tool to promote human rights? In his Slate article "The YouTube Defense" lawyer Andrew Woods argues yes. Woods explains that as user-generated outlets "grab an ever-greater share of the media market, human rights activists will increasingly depend on online tools to change the cultural landscape and with it, they hope, the legal one."

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