Every person has a right to have their voice heard
Stories are a powerful way to relate to one another and engage with the world around us. We believe that every one of us is an expert in our own life and circumstances, and that by sharing our expertise and telling our story we can create positive change for ourselves and our communities.
Our expertise is in working with others to help them tell their stories.
Media Education has six staff, who together make up the board of directors, working with a shared vision and a core belief that every person has a right to have their voice heard. We are a community interest company who see the application of filmmaking as a tool for personal and community development and that’s why we use a co-production approach, working directly with people with lived experience, to create issue-based films and podcasts.
Iain Shaw founded Media Education in 1989. Before that he was a social action reporter at a local radio station. One winter, while making an awareness raising piece about damp housing, Iain interviewed an elderly woman in her home on a housing estate in Edinburgh. Her wallpaper was peeling and the house smelled of mildew.
When Iain asked the woman about her home, she told him “It’s awfy damn son, awfy damp.”
These words were the perfect soundbite. They made it into the broadcast and the station gave Iain a new assignment, but something about the woman and her situation continued to occupy his mind. Nothing had changed for this woman. What would it have taken to make real change for her and others in a similar situation?
This would require a completely different approach where the woman could understand why her house was damp, what her rights were, how it might affect her health, who was responsible, what could be done about it and who could do it. Iain recognised that moving from a complaint, a disempowered position, to a reasoned argument for change and an empowered position, could help her influence the policy and practice affecting her life.
Iain imagined that media could be used differently, that it could be used to help this woman make that journey. He wanted to take professional broadcast equipment to her and teach her how to use media to tell a powerful story. She could play her story to others and connect with people who share common experiences. She could send her story to targeted audiences and ask for a response. She could be part of events that bring together community members, third sector organisations, service providers and decision makers, who could watch and discuss her story and form joint plans for action.
Media Education exists because of this woman and her story. Over the following 30 years, we have worked to create opportunities for those furthest from power to use media as a tool to learn skills, tell their stories and bring about positive change in their lives.
MEET THE TEAM
Iain started Media Education believing people are experts in their own experiences and that every person deserves a platform to tell their story.
Kate’s background is in charity and community development. She works as a group facilitator as well as on the development team.
Claire’s background is in Intermedia Art. This has helped her gain a fresh and exciting perspective in developing new projects.
Shaun has a keen interest in community work and is a skilled documentary filmmaker. He loves helping others bring their ideas to life.
Aonghus is an enthusiastic and creative filmmaker who loves to work with groups and help them express their ideas through radio and film.
Ania is a passionate filmmaker who loves working with groups and helping others to express themselves through the art of visual storytelling.