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WITNESS and Storyful launch new global channel for human rights video


The channel seeks to be the preeminent source for collecting and sharing citizen video relevant to human rights.


Washington, DC (May 24, 2012) – WITNESS and Storyful today announced they are joining forces to launch the new ‘Human Rights Channel’ on YouTube, at Google’s Internet at Liberty Conference. The channel is a platform to tell breaking stories through the lenses of citizen journalists that will change the way we view, share and engage human rights video.


Human Rights Channel“The new Human Rights Channel will give people an ‘on-the-ground’ perspective of underexposed stories often absent from mainstream media, highlight ways to take action and develop new collaborations amongst interested citizens,” says Sam Gregory, WITNESS’ Program Director.


The project grew out of a dialogue between WITNESS and Google in the wake of the Arab Spring to discuss ways in which the web community could better come together around human rights advocacy. The exponential growth of portable video devices - especially in developing nations - has enabled everyday citizens to record otherwise hidden abuses and advance human rights from the grassroots level.


Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager, said, “From its inception, YouTube has been a platform for free expression. Activists around the world use YouTube to document causes they care about and make them known to the world, and in the case of human rights, video plays a particularly important role in illuminating abuses of power. This new channel from WITNESS and Storyful is a welcome addition to exposing human rights violations in the 21st century.”


David Clinch, Storyful’s Editorial Director, explained, “Our job is to verify each video to a journalistic standard, using a combination of local sources, regional experts and pioneering algorithms.” WITNESS will then curate these videos into clear and powerful stories and distribute the videos to a diverse community of journalists, local activists, international organizations, regional experts, academics, and engaged citizens.


The channel will feature:

  • Daily updates of breaking stories, alerts and related campaign videos
  • Featured stories through playlists gather videos together to provide insight into an evolving situation or an undercovered issue
  • Profiles of videographers and organizations on YouTube who have made a major impact or a significant contribution to video for change
  • Tools and tactics offering 20 years of WITNESS expertise in video for change


This project will offer users new avenues for action and impact on Google+, where the broader human rights community will take part in discussions, share their material, and find collaborators.


Note to Editors:

The channel can be found at Human Rights Channel »

And the conversation continues on Google+ »



WITNESS is the global pioneer in the use of video to expose human rights abuses. We empower people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change. Founded in 1992, WITNESS has partnered with more than 300 human rights groups in over 80 countries, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders, developed widely-used training materials and tools, and increased the visibility and impact of over 100 campaigns by supporting the inclusion of video.


About Storyful

Storyful's team of professional journalists separate actionable news from the noise of the real-time web, 24/7. We work with professional news clients, acting as a social media ‘field producer', discovering and verifying content and contacts through a combination of good journalism and pioneering technology.  It is the first tool-kit for newsrooms that want to blend social media into their newsgathering operations.

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