June 3, 2011

“Reel Grrls” Empowers Young Women to Create Videos, Take on Corporate Giants

You might have missed the internet dust-up, but the story is a cool one – a Seattle group that helps young women learn media production had its funding from Comcast cut after the company saw this tweet:

OMG! @ Commissioner Baker voted 2 approve Comcast/NBC merger & is now lving FCC for A JOB AT COMCAST?!? http://su.pr/1trT4z #mediajustice
@reelgrrls
Reel Grrls

In response, a Comcast VP of communications reportedly sent the group a message saying the corporation could no longer fund the group’s summer program.

Perhaps evidence that you shouldn’t mess with grrls learning media skills, the group went public with the message and generated sympathetic media coverage in national news, tech, feminist, and other outlets.

After a negative response started up, someone higher up at Comcast apologized to the group and offered to reinstate the promised $18,000 for summer camps, attributing the previous action to the unauthorized response of a lone employee. Reel Grrls has responded by declining the funding, and plans to focus some of their energies on exploring issues of free expression and media consolidation.

While Comcast’s initial response was unfortunate, I suspect the incident has been educational for the Reel Grrls and others. As the Seattle Times editor wrote:

What a great lesson for the girls of Reel Grrls. They experienced firsthand what a concentrated media means for freedom of expression. They were taught about the consequences of speaking truth to power. Most important, they were taught about the power of their voice and the impact of their words and visuals.

Here’s their video response. You can support the Grrls by making a donation online.


One Response to ““Reel Grrls” Empowers Young Women to Create Videos, Take on Corporate Giants”

  1. Jessica A Says:

    You got to be kidding me on this. Somewhat shocked by this and not really sure how to explain the why part of it.

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