WITNESS Talks Archiving with Democracy Now

Yvonne Ng, WITNESS’ Senior Archivist, appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss filming tips for protestors, and how archiving is an integral part of activism for future justice and accountability.

Yvonne, who co-authored WITNESS’ award winning Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video, and Democracy Now! hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, looked at current events such as the Ferguson protests and the death of Eric Garner at the hands of New York police where activists and citizen witnesses used video to document human rights abuse. At question is where and how archiving should be considered in the video production workflow.

Some key take aways from the segment include:

  1. While WITNESS provides resources for how to film events, one should consider what they’ll do with their footage after the event;
  2. Archiving’s role in preserving video and the metadata associated with it is essential in using footage for exonerating the falsely accused and bringing accountability and justice to human rights violators;
  3. The point of archiving is to insure that your video is preserved, intact and ready to be used when you need it.
  4. Common video platforms such as YouTube are not archiving solutions because a) they strip essential metadata from video files and b) they often take down video for a variety of reasons.


For quick tips on archiving, visit the WITNESS Blog where Yvonne posted highlights from a recent online Q&A she moderated.

For a deep dive, visit The Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video.


Visit our COVID19 Response Hub for resources on documenting human rights abuses during the crisis.


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