Darfur Celebrities

Good Essays
Since the creation of old media sources, like T.V. and radio, countries across the globe have used technology to document important events. However, the continuous portrayal of negative conflicts broadcasted by news stations often cause people to change the channel. Traditional forms of media cause this lack of empathy because of the absence of strong leadership and motivational involvement. In contrast, new media is designed to be interactive, impelling users to be involved. Celebrities can use their influence on social media to connect their followers to conflicts they believe need the world’s support. As a result, users feel they should support their favorite actors and athletes by spreading the word through posts, hashtags, and videos.…show more content…
Actor George Clooney has been one of the most prominent celebrity role models standing up for the Darfur refugees. Clooney teamed up with the Enough Project, a non-profit organization that uses social media like Youtube and Twitter to spread awareness about crimes against humanity, raise money to aid victims of genocide, and to promote unity. In one of his Youtube videos with the Enough Project, they interviewed a young teen from Darfur named Naim, who shared his torment by the Janjaweed. His village was burned, and ‘[h]e was tied up like a goat and questioned’ (Prendergast 1). Naim urinated himself out of fear; ‘[h]e did not know what was happening’ (Prendergast 1). Naim was brutally tortured for days with other members of his village in a nearby cave. People all across the globe began donating to the Enough Project blog after seeing the truth behind the genocide. Shortly before the publication of this video, Clooney was arrested for protests against al-Bashir. Consequently, the Darfur crisis became a major headline after several Youtube videos of the actor’s protest and arrest went viral. Journalist Nicolas Kristoff saw many of Clooney’s videos of the crisis in Darfur and took action. He was very assertive in his writings in the New York Times to influence the government's opinions on Darfur. His use of new media in various blogs eventually evoked change, because the United States declared the crisis in…show more content…
If there is a strong leader, new media can gather groups together to protest conflicts, raise money, and hold meetings with governments. It can connect people internationally, giving humanity the ability to communicate to others about the importance of a particular conflict. The more people helping to bring peace and prevent future crises, the easier it will be to end the conflict. ‘[R]eal leverage for human rights and peace will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they caused’ (Trussel 1). Youtube videos can be used to leverage peace because they raise awareness. They can be shared instantly, not only on Youtube itself, but on other social media sites, therefore expanding the window of viewers. They show firsthand evidence of conflicts. Facebook is the perfect medium to form humanitarian groups, protest, and connect the world to crises. It can be a tool for peacebuilding by using hashtags like ‘Team Darfur’ to gather individuals to discussions pertaining to the Darfur Crisis. Creating pages to raise money for a crisis or to discuss ways to bring humanitarian groups into areas of conflict is another method that can be used. Clearly, no matter what the conflict is, new media can be used by everyone to raise awareness about crises and to influence the world to help build peace and prevent future
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