Center for Open Access in Science (COAS)

ISSN (Online) 2560-5283 *


2022 - Volume 6 - Number 1

Eyewitness Video’s Role as a Policy-Oriented Mechanism for Human Rights

Sandra Ristovska * * ORCID: 0000-0001-5165-8871
University of Colorado Boulder, College of Media, Communication, and Information, Boulder, UNITED STATES

Open Journal for Sociological Studies, 2022, 6(1), 5-14 * DOI:
Received: 11 May 2022 ▪ Revised: 10 July 2022 ▪ Accepted: 12 July 2022

LICENCE: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ARTICLE (Full Text - PDF)

This paper examines eyewitness video’s role as a policy-oriented mechanism for human rights by mapping out why and how human rights collectives have been aspiring to professionalize video activism. It shows how the systematic approaches to video production, standards, and training help these collectives tap more prominently into the institutional and legal environments where human rights agendas are developed, discussed, and implemented. The paper argues that the professionalization efforts result in a proxy profession that places activist and other eyewitness videos into institutional and legal service. These pragmatic policy achievements, however, may come at the expense of using video more creatively to advocate for bold programs for human rights and social change.

KEY WORDS: eyewitness video, human rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Syrian Archive, WITNESS.

Sandra Ristovska, University of Colorado Boulder, College of Media, Communication, and Information, Boulder, UNITED STATES. E-mail:


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