Everyone as Content Producer – Introducing Felicia Pride
By Felicia Pride
There I was, a bright-eyed, idealistic grad student studying book publishing. I was going to change the world through the printed form.
I was interning with a publisher where I was able to sit in on editorial meetings, the gatherings where decisions were made about what books would be published—what stories would be told, who would tell them, and how.
Something hit me as I looked around the room. There were a multitude of voices missing. I started to wonder how their stories would be told? Who would advocate for them? How would the world learn about their worlds?
The thoughts left me fairly depressed. And it was the beginning of a self-declared mission: highlight the stories of underrepresented voices. I found myself promoting the work of writers and storytellers who had something to say. It was not easy.
This is why a show like State of the Re:Union is so vital to our understanding of each other. It’s a distinct platform that tells the stories of cities and its people, uncovering the morsels of humanity that so often become lost within the cracks.
While my personal mission hasn’t changed—I’m still committed to highlighting stories of underrepresented voices—the way I go about it has altered somewhat.
First, I am a serious bibliophile, but I realized that people like to consume and create stories differently. Some like to watch them on a large screen, some like to view them on a small screen, some like to listen to them, and others like to participate. I’m committed to reaching as many people as possible in the ways that they prefer. It’s the teacher in me; we all have different learning styles and we should approach media production with that same perspective.
Second, because of the increases in technologies that allow teens to create their own movies using $50.00 flip cams, or anyone to start a radio show, or a grandmother to serialize her memoir on a blog, the field is being leveled somewhat. Granted there are still concerns with access, but more and more people are able to produce their own content independently. More people are telling their stories. This is a good thing. A very good thing.
I can attest that my life changed drastically the first time I was published in a community newspaper. Yes it launched my career as a writer, but it also emboldened me to raise my voice; people were reading it. Power.
So these days, I’m interested in supporting independent content producers and nurturing the next generation of storytellers. We can create our own media. We can be a part of the bigger conversation and tell the world about our worlds.
We can create our own media. We can be a part of the bigger conversation and tell the world about our worlds.
This is what I do independently and through 2MPower Media, the firm that I co-founded. At 2MPower we use media to engage, educate, build, and connect. We’re involved in a variety of very necessary projects—from developing educational materials for a forthcoming documentary that will air on PBS to launching a mobile journalism program for teens to creating original content that promotes the causes of a foundation.
On my own, I continue to tell stories that I believe need to be told—whether it’s the transmedia project that covers the legacy of my family living and dying in Baltimore or the screenplay that I’ve written about two people trying to recover love. I do it because I can.
And the beautiful thing is that you can too.
I look forward to connecting with you here on the SOTRU website about the ways in which media and technology can be used as transformative power.
Story. We all have one. The time is now to share it with the world.
Felicia Pride is an independent content producer, creative entrepreneur, and educator. She’s the executive editor of inReads.com, an initiative of WETA and the first community dedicated to “social readia.” She’s also a co-creator at 2MPower Media which focuses on projects that connect media, entertainment, and education. In addition to writing six books, Felicia has launched a youth film project, taught in the South Bronx, developed curricula for books/films, helped to launch an online teen book club, and completed her first feature screenplay which goes into production this summer. Currently, she is a fellow at the Hip-Hop Education Center at NYU. Visit her online at www.feliciapride.com or on Twitter at @feliciapride.