New Media with, for, by Digital Citizens : Reflections from Asia TV
ASEAN Youth Organization-IDOVE PROJECT: STRENGTHENING YOUTH PEACEBUILDERS RESILIENCE: COUNTERING MALICES IN THE DIGITAL SPHERE by AsiaTV Studios
Media is simply put a vehicle to create messages, and share narratives. It is the art of communicating ideas, feelings, experiences and beliefs hence the field “communication arts.” Much like peacebuilding, human stories are at the heart of media relations.
That is, diversity and inclusion. It begins with giving voices to different kinds of individuals and communities. The next task is dialogue, whereas traditional Peacebuilders have mediation tools, the challenge for media platforms is to enable 2-way communications between the general audience, and at the same time key stakeholders. Representation in peacebuilding is as important in media, as it opens gateways to shaping public perception. In as much as the corporate advertising world studies market trends of demand and supply, sustainability advocates and policymakers also conduct consultations, in order to inform public policy and programming. The role of the private sector is also enhanced in this process of sharing best practices in communication arts, apart from resource mobilization and fundraising.
In the advent of industrial revolution, the next generation has made social media a lifestyle, not only a flat 2-D method of information dissemination. Millennials and Gen Z’s, the children and youth are shaped not only by schools but increasingly the digital space, where public and private sector have shifted also the way they see the power of the public eye online, as it translates offline.
Historically, we have seen the growth civic movements in mainstream media which was instrumental in furthering women’s rights and the evolving images of gender in TV, radio and print. In recent decades, social media has casted a wider net in mobilizing peoples, as can be seen by young people who led the Arab spring, one of many examples of such. Today, the next generation is even building their own “institutions” so to speak with the more decentralized and deregulated Web3.0 in the crypto space, and the wider future of the Metaverse as virtual reality has started to become the norm for big private firms, and even slowly but surely multilateral institutions.
New solutions, new challenges, new media… the world of communications is ever-evolving, and at the same time, inevitably, how humankind defines peace and achieves it.
This is why AsiaTV Studios, a youth media company in the Philippines, with an AfricaTV branch in Morocco, is dedicated to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals throughout Web1.0, to Web4.0.
For the past 2 years, since the field of international development itself has engaged its New Normal, several formats have been initiated and exchanged across the region. Guided by the 5 pillars of SDGs, there have been 3 cross-cutting trends in the new media space:
Diversity : Eco-Tourism as the New Normal of travel, with the rise of socially-conscious digital nomads who work from anywhere, especially as pandemic restrictions eased up mobility. Social media vlogs and reels are brief but trendy mediums for intercultural exchange, especially the sharing of best practices that can jumpstart important conversations.
Featured partner : Experience Travel and Living Magazine and TV
Creativity : Creative Industries also experienced a revamp, with the increasing need of art as a medium of healing, and a universal language for deeper rooted social issues. This billion dollar industry also expanded digitalization, from online artivists, to NFT artists, the animation and gaming industry are also emerging entry points for the younger generation.
Entry point : Ginji Cartoons
Sustainability : Social businesses and entrepreneurship are models for practical action that demonstrate the nexus approach to sustainability. SDG 17 on partnerships for the goals, proposes that any and all sectors can contribute to sustainability and each of the other goals, from food security, healthcare and education, to biodiversity, to urban development, and sustaining peace. Circular models of engagement are able to bring together the private and public sectors, with all stakeholders, across all types of media.
Featured partner : Clicdph
This year, AsiaTV launched the first ASEAN’s next peace vlogger, with the winning entry as the official correspondent of the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum Asia Pacific session. The next challenge is that of localization for social media content creators in every ASEAN member state. Suggested topics include learning to combat disinformation, hate speech, cyberattacks, as part of a longer term module on digital citizenship.