Journalism shouldn’t just cover activism, it should be activism. It should be useful to activists and their communities, and to readers who want to be more than passive observers. We want our stories to spark dialogue that inspires action, so we want the process of producing them to be based on dialogue as well.
We’re not here to tell our readers what is important and why they should care. Instead, we want you to tell us.
What are your biggest concerns and your highest priorities? What information do you need in order to take action toward solving problems? What is missing from mainstream media coverage?
Below is a questionnaire we’re sending out to people, groups, organizations, and publications. Your answers to these questions will guide is in our reporting and help us generate stories that matter to you and inspire our readers. Please, share it with everyone!
About the problem you’re trying to solve
- What issue are you focused on and why is it important to you, to your community, to the world?
- Who are you fighting for and how are their needs not being met?
- What progress has been made toward solving this problem?
- If the problem has worsened, how so?
- What is contributing to the problem?
- What is the dominant narrative that’s being told in order to perpetuate this problem?
- What cultural norms perpetuate this issue or problem?
- Who determines these norms?
- Whose stories were ignored or erased in order to create these norms?
- What are the underlying assumptions that support the dominant narrative?
- Does pop culture perpetuate assumptions, stereotypes, etc?
- What underlying assumptions do the members of this change movement share that challenge the dominant narrative?
- What does this movement really want?
- What are the incremental steps to get there?
- What are some of the tactics, stories, and images this movement uses to tell an alternative story and to manifest change?
- Is there anything happening that gives you hope with regard to this problem?
- What is your vision of a future in which this problem is solved?
- What is your vision of a future in which it is not solved?
How Does the Media Portray your issue/movement?
- How is this issue oversimplified by the media?
- How is the mainstream media misrepresenting the issue?
- What elements of this issue are missing from mainstream media? What are the questions no one is asking?
- What must be emphasized to offer a new angle on the issue?
- How is the mainstream media misunderstanding or misrepresenting the community you’re trying to help?
- Do the people affected get to determine their own narrative in terms of this issue? In what ways? If not, why not?
- Which individuals, groups, institutions or nations are portrayed as powerful/good, villains/bad?
- What are the relationships of power and privilege in the dominant narrative?
- How are the terms of debate surrounding this issue limited or censored to benefit the status-quo? How can we change them?
- What perspectives need to be included to portray the issue more accurately, or to reveal who has the power and how it is being used?
- What does the general public misunderstand about the problem you’re trying to solve?
- Think about the people you’re acting on behalf of: What is the difference between how they see themselves, how the general public sees them, and how they are portrayed in the mainstream media?
- Is the mainstream media misrepresenting your activist group or your group’s intentions? How so?
- Is the media focusing on only one tactic used by your group while ignoring the other methods you use to create change? If so, what are you doing that’s going unnoticed?
- What is the difference between how activists see themselves and how they are seen by the general public and portrayed in mainstream media?
Your Movement’s Opponents/Critics
- Who are your most vocal critics and what do they misunderstand about your group, your tactics, your motives and your goals?
- Whose minds are you trying to change and what do you want them to do?
- What are your opponents’ values, stereotypes and dominant cultural assumptions?
- What do you think you and your supporters need to learn about those who oppose you in order to create more understanding and make more progress toward solving problems?
- What activist groups and projects are missing from mainstream media coverage?
- What issues or communities are missing from mainstream media coverage?
- What long-term, ongoing projects are activists working on that never get attention?
- Where should Permissionless reporters go – online and in real life – to engage with your community? Keep in mind that we can travel and may be able to show up in person.
Email us: Permissionless@protonmail.com