The Huffington Post published an op-ed by USC Annenberg’s Media Activism Participatory Politics (MAPP) project about the use of the media by activist group Invisible Children.
The researchers found that Invisible Children is becoming an example for youth civic engagement because it operates hundreds of clubs on high school and college campuses and relies heavily on the media to further their cause.
“Invisible Children represents a new generation of groups rallying for social change,” Shresthova and Kligler-Vilenchik wrote in the article. “Media is not simply a tool for raising money, but is vital to their mission; they are not only increasing public awareness but also recruiting and training the next generation of activists.”
The story also discusses Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video that was one of the most popular online films ever released. Shresthova and Kligler-Vilenchik attribute the video's success to the group's dedicated members.
“What's working here doesn't rest on one man's shoulders: it depends on the collective power of youth,” they wrote.
Invisible Children released a new video this week called Move, asking today’s youth to consider what it means to be a citizen, as well as an activist. The video also addresses what the organization has learned from those who were critical of the Kony 2012 campaign.
The MAPP project at USC Annenberg is led by Henry Jenkins, Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts. The project is meant to provide case studies that discuss “exemplary youth organizations” and “networks that encourage productive forms of participation in the public spheres.”
Shresthova is the research director of the MAPP project. Her work centers on the connection between popular culture, performance, new media, politics and globalization.
In addition to being a doctoral student at USC Annenberg, Kligler-Vilenchik is a staff member for the MAPP project. Her work centers on youth political and civic involvement through media and pop culture.