As with arts and entertainment, the news media and social media are also largely consumed by GenZ and Millennials who attend universities. The news media can revictimize survivors by sensationalizing their stories and delivering the news repeatedly and insensitively by showing repeated images of survivors in comprised positions of being sexually violated; emphasizing the way they were dressed or how they behaved thereby indirectly placing the blame on those victims of sexual violence.
Working with news media partners and journalists, we will work towards responsible reporting of these incidents that show the need to hold perpetrators accountable; to ensure due process is carried out so that perpetrators and survivors are not judged in the court of public opinion based on media framing of news; and that social media trolling, hate and sexist-violent comments and photographs are discussed with social media partners to raise awareness and responsibility to protect targeted individuals and remove offensive content quickly.
Both news and social media platforms can be mobilized to empower and advocate for survivors and to draw attention to offensive and violent sexual content as being unacceptable in a democratic society. Students will engage with sector-partners to engage in critical analysis, dialogues, debates and case study analysis thus building knowledge, sensitivity and expertise within the universities and externally within the news and social media sectors. Our students will work as interns with Facebook, a partner to this grant, and with journalism schools at various universities. Consider some of the exciting projects we are currently embarking upon:
The “Internet Pornography and Youth Cultures” research program explores the personal, social, and ideological consequences of growing up as the first generation with unfettered and on-demand access to internet pornography. The site of the research is a two-part theatre production led by NeWorld Theatre and Studio 58's graduating class in Vancouver, BC. The research program brings together scholars, artists, directors and students from Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University Art and Design, and Langara College's Studio 58 Acting Program.