Media is part of a culture that the majority of the world’s population engage with every day of their lives – through radio, newspapers, TV, film, or online. It is something that nearly everyone can relate to whether through a favourite soap opera character or a website that connects them to family and friends.
We believe that this familiarity can be put to good effect in supporting individuals and communities who are in some way isolated, perhaps through poverty, geography, conflict, or illiteracy. MFD sees the use of media as a way of offering people new ways of learning, with a greater focus on audio/visual rather than the written word, and helping people to develop transferable social and IT skills. We believe that strong communication skills underpin successful work and personal relationships. Our work therefore supports the development of useful narrative skills which encourage people to reflect on their lives and in this way leads them to acquire greater confidence in practical ways such as job interviews. Additionally, the explosion of digital and social media brings unprecedented and largely untapped opportunities to turn the technology for community benefit. For example, the ownership of a simple mobile phone can enable individuals to participate in social media projects that can bring benefits to themselves and the communities where they live.
We also believe that isolated communities and individuals can be supported to use media as an important platform for communicating messages to people who otherwise would be unaware of the challenges they face, for example creating links between residents of deprived inner city estates and decision-makers and policy-makers. In this way media can play a role in reducing prejudice and disadvantage, and contribute to the wider engagement of people in their communities and society.