Every leap forward in communication technology -- in the twentieth century from film to radio and broadcast television to cable and the Internet -- has brought with it enormous claims and aspirations for its impact on education, poverty, health, justice and democratic participation. The testbeds for journalism, education and social action created by the groups represented.
In 1970, many of us making and distributing social documentaries, in 16mm film, were waiting for video, the portapak, for a tool that would democratize television, a tool that could penetrate into everyday life and equip communities to tell their own stories, provide the evidence and testimony that would speak truth to power, that would engage, inform and mobilize constituencies for social change, that would arm social networks of nonprofits and activists to speak for themselves, and fuel alternative channels of news and culture.
We have seen a new kind of global communications collaborative take shape, representing the knowledge and networks of civil society organizations worldwide. One World centers from New Delhi to Helsinki are tapping into a large audience with a hunger for authentic and diverse global voices and stories, into a growing interest in international affairs, global interdependence, and multilateral problem solving, in building effective, articulate support for a just and sustainable world order.