Sensitizating Local Populations Through Visual Media

The human eye processes more images per second than some human technology. Humans have the capacity to translate complex data in microseconds. Visual media is able to communicate ideas quickly and effectively because it engages two of our most powerful senses: sight and sound.

From the days of word-of-mouth to today, media has continued to evolve and those who export and create more of it often flood the market with ideas (real or imagined) from their cultural context and worldview. These ideas permeate down to the local level and become standards within disparate unaffilliated societies.

Many nations, particularly developing ones must learn the benefit in empowering media instead of censoring it. In fact, you will not need to censor an informed and educated population that sees the benefit in promoting its own values, ideas and systrms. It can be argued that educational systems also act as a kind of normative media, helping to shape the ideas and concepts of a society in its most nascent stage: childhood. It helps children to be able to process media better when their education system works to help them better understand their society and its features to detect those that do not. Further it motivates creators within that society to perpetuate quality narrative that support the society and its culture by instilling a local or indigenous pride.

Many former colonies like South Africa, Hong Kong and India among many others often have education systems that prepare students more readily for Western ideas in Media than local or indigenous cultural norms. The result are nations rife with individual and community cultural contradictions. This makes it possible for foreign media and marketing to succeed. It makes it possible for a nation to take less pride in its homegrown inventions and institutions than those outside of it.

Couple all of that with an overall neglect of local education in some societies, which results in a disunity within the populous about shared goals and values. The vacuum enables foreign media, devious actors and unscupulous business interests to exploit local populations easily. Often, by the time leaders realize s/he has no support in the face of a coup d’etat or a major uprising, it is too late.

An uninformed populace, that has no national unity and shared values within its own nation are easy targets for ad campaigns crafted to provoke averice or contempt. Media and education play a crucial role in helping ordinary citizens understand and navigate their role in society and the larger world as well as the ingestion of media.

Investing in both education and local media creators can become a boon within society. This does not always amount to financial gifts, but also policy and opportunity. The future of the developing world and its perception among local and foreign actors lies principally and partially in the in the hands of those that promote it– its media and educational institutions.

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