Non-Photography Networking

BBC Pop-Up
Two young BBC affiliated journalists undertake the classic North American road trip and create a new model for journalism along the way. BBC Pop-Up is the challenge that Matt Danzico and Benjamin Zand of BBC Video Innovation Lab and BBC Trending, respectively, have given themselves: hit the road, arrive in a new town, investigate the stories that people there feel are important, and disseminate them world-wide on social media. “Crowdsourcing” story ideas in this way gives voice to local concerns, and projecting the reports on Instagram and Twitter makes them global concerns. Danzico and Zand see a future where the World Wide Web is irrelevant and people get their news though social media. In such a future, the kind of concise, relevant and very mobile reporting that BBC Pop Up is now pioneering may be the norm.

Changemakers is an initiative of 'Ashoka: Innovators for the Public'. Self termed a "Community of action" Changemakers collaborate to solve the world’s most pressing social problems through mentoring and by sharing experiences advise and encouragement. They pride themselves on trying things never tried before, forming surprising connections and unexpected partnerships across the globe that turn the old ways of problem solving upside down. The mantra is “Everyone a Changemaker” encourages individuals to make massive differences with the support of the collective. 

Committee to Protect Journalists
There have been so many recent cases of journalists being attacked, imprisoned and even murdered that the Committee to Protect Journalists is clearly a much needed voice, one that helps defend freedom of the press by helping to keep journalists safe. Acting as a sort of Amnesty International for journalists, the Committee keeps track (using strict journalistic standards) of imprisoned and missing reporters all over the globe, so that each one’s name and situation is not forgotten. While the CPJ site is certainly a testament to the hazards of reporting the news, (the home page features a grim column of statistics marking the number of journalists killed each year, and the number killed in the Iraq war since it’s beginning), it honors the work of reporters by publishing up to date alerts for infringements on freedom of the press all over the world, and calling for justice for those that pay a price to get the story. More than that, CPJ offers direct assistance, financial and non-financial, to journalists in hiding, in prison, in need of medical attention and other kinds of support, and to help keep reporters safe they publish On Assignment: Covering Conflicts Safely, A Guide for Reporting in Hazardous Situations, a frighteningly comprehensive manual.  

Equal Rights Advocates
Sharing an acronym with the groundbreaking Equal Rights Amendment, Equal Rights Advocates has carried on the legal fight for women’s rights since 1974. ERA legal services support women who are up against all kinds of discriminatory practices and harassment, as well as those fighting for a sane balance between work and family. The site features breaking news about equal rights for women and much information about current laws and how they can be enforced. Equal Rights Advocates also offers an advice and counseling hotline, free for women struggling for equal treatment.

Free the Slaves 
It’s difficult to believe the fact that there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in our history, and so for the non-profit organization Free the Slaves, part of the work of ending modern slavery is telling the world about it. The other, harder, part of the problem is how to free the enslaved and change the conditions that lead to slavery. Apparently, this has not stopped Free The Salves from adopting an absolutely “Yes We Can” attitude to abolishing slavery, and their boldly designed site is loaded with up to date facts and figures, video testimonials from former slaves and anti-slavery activists and most importantly, an extraordinary 25 year plan to end slavery. Working with governments, grass-roots organizations and individuals, Free the Slaves takes on the problem from many different angles, always the focusing on the efforts of individuals and celebrating each victory. The site is both deeply troubling and wonderfully inspiring.  

For those who want to make a positive impact in the world but aren’t sure where to start, this Web site is just the place. Promoting “action without borders,” lists more than 58,000 nonprofit and community organizations worldwide that focus on the arts, environmental protection, human rights, education, animal welfare, women’s issues, and more. Visitors can search for a volunteer opportunity, internship, job, or local events, and can connect with people around the world who share their interests. Visit the site’s Image Gallery to peruse photos of both individual members and volunteer groups, complete with descriptions, personal statements, and e-mail links.

Investigative Reporters and Editors
Investigative journalism has a grassroots defender in IRE, a non-profit that provides a community, a forum and a resource center for those in the business of asking tough questions. The site tracks conferences and training, job prospects, news and current events, computer-assisted reporting links, as well as offering a truly useful resource center.

Thompson Reuters Foundation
As the charitable division of the venerable and respected Thomson Reuters news service, the Foundation employs all the expertise that has made Thompson Reuter’s reputation in order to create ways to “increase trust in and access to the rule of law, to save lives through the provision of trusted information and to improve standards of journalism.” These inter-related goals are addressed by three programs: TrustLaw, a proposed global hub for the practice of pro bono legal work; TrustMedia, a program of training courses for journalists around the globe, imparting the skills and values that have made Reuters’ international reputation; and the Emergency Information Service (EIS) a system that uses many means to get emergency survival to people caught up in natural disasters. The Foundation has also joined other media companies in signing up to a multi-media centre in the United Arab Emirates to train, develop and promote Arab talent in journalism, broadcasting, film-making and publishing. is packed with information for aspiring journalists all over the world.  

Chronicling the possible paths to a “bright green future,” Worldchanging is a non-profit media group that aims to bring to light evidence of creative and sustainable solutions to some the seemingly intractable problems of life in the 21st century. As their name suggests, this organization thrives on the power of positive thinking and, of course, positive action. Divided into categories that range from the micro of daily life (Stuff) to the macro (Planet), the site offers current reporting on the many ways in which people are acting to change the world for the better, every day, everywhere. Clearly, this “Yes We Can” attitude is catching on; Worldchanging’s 2008 resource book of emerging innovations and solutions is a best seller and Nielsen has named the second-largest sustainability site on the web. No wonder, in dour times it’s both exciting and reassuring to see all of the forward-thinking work being done to change the way we all live for the better.