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ISJC | a media proposal

Frontline social justice coverage

 

I am planning a reporting trip to south-east Asia in early 2013. During that time I’ll be in Myanmar/Burma, Bangladesh and India covering stories for a variety of media. I’m also planning to tie up a loose end and fulfill an obligation to a young girl.

I met Eti in 2008 when I was in Jessore, Bangladesh doing stories on human trafficking and prostitution. She was 13 then and I spent the day with her in the brothel where she worked. I also interviewed and engaged with Salvationists who are tasked with connecting with prostitutes like Eti and the 260+ others in the five brothels on the same street.

For a variety of reasons, the package of materials on the brothel didn’t get published as originally intended. But while I was working with Eti I promised her that her story would be told. I said it might make a difference in the lives of others.

In one way,  I did honour the commitment since I produced a concept video and put it on YouTube [embedded below] where it has since garnered almost a quarter million views. But in another way, I feel more could and should have been done with what this young girl entrusted to me.

So in February I’m going back to Jessore. I want to find Eti. Assuming she has survived five years in a brutal profession, she’ll be 18 now. And this time I want to tell her story fully, using my archival footage and photos plus new material. I want to examine the issue of child prostitution and trafficking through this young woman and, at the same time, position the efforts of The Salvation Army in tackling this immorality.

The ISJC has a key role within the global Army to bring awareness to issues of injustice and shine a light on how the organization is bringing hope and offering solutions. That imperative and mission resonates with my own raison d’être in media production. That may have been evident to you from the range of my SA-related photographs which were used throughout your recent book – When Justice is the Measure.

I have a passion to capture the stark realities of people in distress in a compelling way that motivates others to actively engage with the second part of Christ’s great commandment.

An opportunity will present itself in early 2013 which will allow the ISJC mission and my passions to intersect. I will be reporting in Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma) and would be honoured to work with the ISJC in both of these countries. My brief proposals for this opportunity appear below.

Schools not brothels

Finding Eti | The story of one girl, human trafficking, and the Army’s attempts to bring social justice to a street in Jessore

  • A video about the issue, Eti and the Army’s work in this area, with current and archival footage
  • Creation of motion graphics of the ISJC logo/branding for use in video and elsewhere
  • Writing an article for print/web use
  • Delivering captioned stock photos
  • Producing a four page print-ready package on the topic
  • Giving the ISJC unlimited rights to all material

Once complete, the ISJC would be in a position to use the material in its own communication channels and distribute it to other SA networks and venues. All material would be ISJC-branded.

 

Removing the bushel

In addition to the time in Bangladesh, I will also be in Myanmar/Burma where the Army has thrived, despite its isolation from the rest of the world for decades. With the recent opening of that country, there is huge interest in what life is like there. The ISJC can piggy back on my trip to Burma and secure media that will be timely and topical.

I could supply the following, ISJC-branded, material after the Burma portion of this trip:

Burma | How the Army thrived while the world wasn’t looking

  • A video on the social justice work of the Army in Burma
  • Writing an article for print/web use
  • Delivering captioned stock photos
  • Producing a four page print-ready package on the topic
  • Giving the ISJC unlimited rights to all material

 

Momentum

As an aside, my concept video on Eti in the brothel was produced in two different versions – one branded TSA [which appears above] and the other Micah Challenge [which is posted here]. Since both versions are identical except for the tag, I consider their viewership to be combined. Thus their 230,000 views are almost 100% more than the total views of all 263 videos posted by IHQ, THQ-UK, NHQ-USA, THQ-Australia and THQ-New Zealand. Another way of looking at it is that my video is the most watched Salvation Army film on the internet. Building on that momentum, with a more complete sequel video, could be a communications coup for the ISJC.

All viewership figures were accurate as of mid-October 2012.

My bio is available elsewhere on this website and a resume is available upon request.

Selected photos from Bangladesh
Brothel | SA prostitute training programs | disaster relief