India: Community Journalism with Video Volunteers

Video Volunteers is a non-profit organization of media producers from the villages and slums in India, creating content that is relevant to themselves and screening it inside the communities, reaching thousands of people a month with news and events that affect them and call them into action.  Channel 19 is the online video channel where this media, created by and for the communities is showcased for the rest of the population.

In the latest video from Video Volunteers, there talk about the strike in Dharavi, the world's largest slum in Mumbai, India. The reason for this strike is that the government had promised an allotment of 400 square feet per family to build, but they went back on that and during the last meeting, they had discussed that it would only be 300 square feet per family. The following video, Black Day in Dharavi, has the complete story, shot and produced by the video volunteers:

Other videos by the VideoVolunteers of Channel 19 are insightful and inspiring: on Women Can Play Too!, the community journalists ask around their slum about what kids do to play. It turns out boys play, while girls have to do chores. So they ask a female cricket player about the importance of playing, as an inspiration for other girls to do the same. In Never too late to teach, a woman rag picker decides to change her future and decides to study to become a teacher and get certified.


  • Being a student journalist I am most interested in the stories that you never really hear about. They always seem to be the most interesting and heartfelt. The Channel 19 group really seemed to do that well when presenting these topics. Not only is it a great thing for their own community but also for others, like myself now, who have had an opportunity to see it. Hopefully it will just continue to spread even more.

  • bringing awareness is always good :)

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for this writeup.
    Do suggest if you know any ways we can work on our TAKE ACTION page and DONATE FOR PRODUCERS FUND pages as we are still trying to work out the online networking space.

    I am excited to know people are watching Channel 19 videos and I hope our site can become more interactive soon!

    Please do check out the latest videos on our page and the blog posts!

    Ruchika – online manager for channel 19

  • Hi again.. would just like to make a clarification:

    The video “Black Day in Dharavi” was produced by one of the Community Video Units that work with Video Volunteers.
    The CVU is Hamari Awaaz which is the media unit of the Mumbai based NGO, YUVA.


  • […] in October we wrote about the work of Channel 19 in promoting citizen journalism and empowering communities through video training and movie […]

  • […] in October we wrote about the work of Channel 19 in promoting citizen journalism and empowering communities through video training and movie […]

  • […] Video Volunteers aims to empower the world’s poorest citizens to participate in the community media movement and make their voices heard. On May 3, World Press Freedom Day, Video Volunteers launched IndiaUnheard, an initiative involving a network of Community Correspondents around India who will produce video stories about life in their community, and the issues ignored by mainstream media. […]

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