Hello everyone,

I was listening to the radio last night when a short programme came on which struck me as very relevant to everyone involved in Voices for Our Future. The specific episode I heard was is entitled "Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy: Forget Impartiality", in which the journalist-turned-oscar-winning-film-maker discusses how she found her voice, and why she feels that story-telling (where you get involved with and encourage your audience to engage with the situation and individuals you are writing about from a particular viewpoint) has been so much more meaningful to her than the impartial reportage that she began her career producing. I'd be interested to hear your reactions. Do you agree with Sharmeen's conviction that this approach to documenting important issues is the best way of effecting change? I found the talk incredibly interesting.

You can access/download recentepisodes as podcasts on the programme's webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/fourthought

Looking at the titles of previous editions, there might also be other speakers very much worth listening to here.


This approach has been take by a lot of activists in the past who worked with the depressed and the oppressed. It has certainly worked in cases where the victim was reluctant to report or talk due to fear or other socio-cultural barriers. Because the purpose of those activists/social workers was to empower or help the victim, the ideal approach was to engage with them on a personal level. I know this from my experience as a women's rights activist myself. Off course we had to share their stories sometimes for the common good so that women in similar situations would start speaking out. However, this is where it gets interesting. If the victim did not allow us to make the story public as there would be a lot of risks involved for their personal safety and privacy, what do you do then? So, even though it is a very interesting idea, it does require some very fine tuning and has to be taken on a per case basis (in my humble opinion.)

Thanks for sharing this. Cheers.

Iffat Gill

This approach may be effective but can all professional journalists afford to be impartial? Should they get involved with people and issues they have no specialized knowledge in? Being an excellent reporter/journalist is one thing, but can everyone be an influencer? I would think not.

My two cents.

Iffat Gill

Hi Sally, have you heard of this? I learned about it 2001 when I was at Agnes Scott College for their Atlanta Semester:Women. Leadership & Social Change ...I love it!

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi Debra K. Adams, MAIS * Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS) * Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder. Please learn more about me here: http://re.vu/debrakadams