Document Type

Article

First Advisor

Thalyta Swanepoel

Second Advisor

Pam Greenlee

Peer Reviewed

1

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Community Application

Abstract

Advocacy journalism takes the basic principles of journalism — factual integrity, clear concise writing, storytelling, and educating the public — and uses them to tell the story of a particular cause or organization. Advocacy journalism moves one step past the traditional confines of journalism to reach an audience with a particular message. As Reader (2011) said, "Objectivity is about presenting what is, but advocacy is about changing what will be" (p. 2).

The goal of this project was to use advocacy journalism within a blog platform to raise awareness of the work for the not-for-profit organization, Casa Elizabeth, a home for pregnant teenagers in crisis situations in Quito, Ecuador. The project represents a creative project begun during the summer of 2014 (when the researcher served as an intern living in Casa Elizabeth for two months with five teen moms and their children) and continued through the 2014-2015 school year.

The project was accomplished through a blog that told the stories of the home — the participants', the workers', and mine (as participant-observer journalist) — to gain support for Casa Elizabeth. The blog posts were both in Spanish and English, incorporating media such as photography, audio and info graphics. To measure effectiveness, a record was kept of followers, hits, shares, and the likes of particular posts. This record was used to create a best practices methodology. Conclusions show that consistent posting increases blog participation over time, builds a social media network surrounding the blog and creates a greater reader-investment in the cause.

Comments

Honors Cohort 5