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CULTURE

My Story, My Goal

Journalism students task colleagues around the globe with bringing Millennium Goal stories to life

by Aaron Kohn
on 29 July 2010
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The United Nations Millennium Development Goals—the ambitious list of global objectives put together by world leaders in September of 2000—have just five years until the deadline and are seriously behind schedule. With pie-in-the-sky targets like education for everyone everywhere and ending extreme poverty and hunger, students at the Knight Center for International Media from the University of Miami's School of Communication decided to take a different approach to the high-minded initiative.

Realizing that often the most effective way to effect change in people is to tell the human side, Knight collaborated with journalism students around the world to tell the stories behind the goals.

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Asking budding reporters in Africa and Asia to respond to different Goals, the students at the Knight Center compiled a website of the completed multimedia stories, including video, infographics and photo galleries.

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Using all three mediums, a group in Lagos, Nigeria–Subsaharan Africa's largest city–tackled the biggest challenge facing the United Nations—the eradication of poverty and hunger. In the overpopulated city, the students tell the story of the unexplained demolition of a market that was home to 10,000 people. Following those that returned, the story shows the determination of some to survive within the rubble of extreme adverse conditions.

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Other stories cover topics such as equal education in India and maternal health in Sierra Leone. Supplementary info on the site helps viewers contact NGOs working toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals in the related countries. A social media component allows for sharing, discussing and embedding each part of the website, bringing the stories to all wired corners of the world and opening the project up for dialogue and interactivity.

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