Their Cameras Captured Rare Images The News Media Couldn’t (Or Is It 'Wouldn’t'?)

What's your favorite TV channel for stories that actually matter?

**cricket sound**


Yeah, can we all agree that the vast majority are pretty much doing it wrong? Seems like mainstream media is only obsessed with celebrities and straight up useless junk these days. However, there is some hope for stories that matter.

Around the world, people in the midst of such stories decided to take the reporting into their own hands. Check it out:

What does all of this footage have in common?

It was shot by someone just like you with a camera like the one on your cellphone. That's pretty badass.

Some of these events may sound familiar. Massive protests in Ukraine and Hong Kong got a bit of coverage. The rescue video of the Syrian baby after extensive bombing went (somewhat?) viral. The tragedy of Ferguson is still unfurling. But what about some of the others? How many were on your radar?

Let's look at three of the most underreported events featured in this video.

#1: Vietnam — Farmers fight against eviction from land

This past April, farmers in Vietnam were violently forced off 17 acres of land, that they had been farming for generations. Why was this happening? Because the land was to be used for an urban development. The video of the capture represents a triple threat: police brutality, big business, and government overreach —a potent trio becoming far too common all over the world.

#2: South Sudan — Thousands flee after atrocities in Bentiu

This past spring, more than 400 men, women, and children were killed in South Sudan simply because of their ethnicity. The civilians hid in churches, hospitals, and mosques before rebels invaded. Thousands have since left their homes and villages on foot in hopes of finding refuge elsewhere — reminding us that ethnic cleansing is still a thing in 2014.

#3: Kenya — Immigrants rounded up in anti-terrorism campaign

Somalian immigrants in Nairobi have been fined and locked up in detention centers, where the conditions have been described as similar to concentration camps. Men, women, and children — who even have the proper paperwork — are being detained and deprived of food, water, and medical treatment. Why? Because the Kenyan government is labeling all Somalians as terrorists and thus imprisoning and fining any Somalian living in the country.

BUT! Beyond the atrocities, war crimes, and abuse, you do see something else through the imagery of protests and struggle — the power of the human spirit to demand for change. Some would say these videos themselves are a fight against the powers that be!

Thank goodness for citizen journalism. But, as the Human Rights Channel's article puts it, we are reminded that "video is only one tool in the struggle for justice." Please continue onto the HRC's website to learn more about what has happened and, more importantly, what's being done in all 17 events featured.

Consider sharing this so that these images and voices are not forgotten.

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

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Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
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The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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