Media matters

Media is a powerful format that conveys information about society and the common ideas, beliefs, and understandings held by many in society, especially those who are deemed to be part of the “dominant society”.

Often, much of the information presented in the media is controlled by the people who run the media, like corporations, elites and government. The messages that are conveyed often influence how people think about themselves and others and society as a whole. Many peoples’ voices are not included, especially people who experience various forms of oppression in society.

This means that media is a very important medium to pay attention to, in terms of identification of violent “norms” and prevention of violence. How can the media become a tool to address violence, rather than a method of inflicting violence?

One route is for journalists and others involved in media to learn and do better. To help with this femifesto, a Toronto-based feminist organizing collective that works to shift rape culture to consent culture, produced Use the Right Words. This guide was created in recognition of the power media has in shaping understandings of sexualized violence, and to support people who work in the media to cover sexualized violence in ways that are more respectful. As femifesto puts it, “Use the Right Words provides the language and frameworks required to report on sexual violence in ways that do not shame or blame survivors.”

There are also many, many examples of the ways that people have created their own media, in many formats such as film, music, art, writing, poetry, speaking, zines, blogs, and much more.

In this section, we have put together a series of links that illuminate examples of and promote alternatives to the violence found in mainstream media.

In our Media Faves section, we have a selection of videos, websites, and projects that inspire us and contradict mainstream messages that promote violent ideas.

In Media Articles, there are articles about the media, media literacy and more.

Survivor’s Writing features an incredible selection of media created by survivors who courageously shared their stories with us at AVP.

Look at AVP Made-Media to see some of the things that AVP has created, including our postcard series, “Yes makes sex hot. Get consent!” Also, we have a series of magnets, each with a different saying on them. You can order both the magnets and postcards by contacting us with details about how many and which AVP products you would like. And, we have coasters! Check out the fantastic coasters that our very own AVP volunteer created and drop by the office to pick one up!

And Make Your Own Media features a number of links on how to make your own media!

Use care with yourself: Some of the content featured in this section may be upsetting or triggering (or empowering!) to read/watch/listen to. Please use your own discretion in choosing to browse these materials. We welcome your feedback and if you would like confidential support, please contact the Anti-Violence Project or one of our recommended contacts.