Voices of Our Future Classroom

Welcome!

You are in our Voices of Our Future online classroom, an online citizen journalism and digital empowerment training program for grassroots women leaders.

The goal of this program is to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to actualize and vocalize your visions for change.

This page is your portal into the onling training portion of this program.  We also offer an interactive version of this training for a select group with our staff and World Pulse mentors. If you are interested in applying to Voices of Our Future, sign up to receive our email notifications or come back to this page for more details.

There are a total of five learning modules in the program. The first three cover citizen journalism and digital media concepts; the fourth module covers video and photo slide-shows; and the fifth module is our training of trainers (Each One Teach Five). Within each module you will be asked to learn new concepts, reflect on your own experiences and complete unique assignments.

In the first three modules, we work with program partners The Global Press Institute and The Op-Ed Project, to train you on the principals of practicing ethical citizen journalism. The modules focus on: conducting an interview and writing a profile; writing about a timely issue which affects your community and is related to larger global concerns; writing an op-ed. Each learning module is designed to help you harness the power of your voice by guiding you through the process of creating well-crafted, dynamic pieces of journalism.

Digital media concepts and opportunities are integrated within each citizen journalism learning module. You will be taught how to streamline your online experience; use Google effectively; and use Twitter, Facebook and mobile technology as tools for journalism and social activism.

In the fourth module, you will focus on multimedia storytelling using video and photo-slideshows. In this module, you will learn how photo-slideshows and video can support your work for social change; ethics, safety and security; principles of making quality videos and slide-shows; basic equipment and editing; and tips for overcoming technology challenges.

The fifth module is called Each One Teach Five. Through this training of trainers module, you will be given the tools to reach out to at least five other women in your community to train them on the principles of citizen journalism, digital media literacy and empowerment, and bring them on to World Pulse. In this way, thirty one Correspondents quickly becomes 150 empowered women.

Acknowledging that you may live and work in unfriendly media environments, we have created a Safety and Security toolkit, which provides you with resources for staying safe online and offline, risk minimization tools and strategies, and links to human rights and journalist associations around the world. Please read through this toolkit prior to starting the program.

Let's Get Started!

You can also visit Digital Security Basics for Journalists, a guide created for the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

Getting started with the Learning Modules

  1. The learning materials are organized like a book, which you can read through by clicking the link that appears at the bottom right-hand corner on the learning material pages.
  2. Printer-friendly version: We know that your time on the Internet can be expensive and limited. You can easily download a copy of the learning materials to take home and read by clicking on the link in the upper right-hand corner that says "printer friendly version," which appears on each of the learning material pages. 
  3. Suggested activities: Within the learning materials, you will find "Suggested Activities". These are not required assignments, but suggestions to get you started discovering more about the learning topics.
  4. Navigating back to the main pages: To navigate back to main pages (this page, Learning Materials Page, etc.) from the learning materials, click on the "up" text in blue at the bottom of each page.
  5. Audio/Visual learners: Not all of us learn best by reading books/text! To assist those of you who learn better by watching and listening, and to make this a fully Web 2.0 experience, the first three modules are accompanied with short video recordings. You will find a link to these videos in each learning module.
  6. Safety and Security: Your safety and security are incredibly important to us. We have created a toolkit and resource list for you regarding online and offline security. You must review this information before starting the program! To access this information, click on the link below labeled "Your Safety and Security". We work with Global Journalist Security's Frank Smyth, also a Committee to Protect Journalists' advisor, and Cristi Hegranes to help ensure your safety. 

Follow the links below to get started with your journey to the frontlines of digital media and citizen journalism!