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Pulitzer Center Update October 20, 2014

Media Rise Features Importance of Collaboration in Festival Forum Recap

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From left to right: Robert Samuels, Rudaba Nasir, Kem Knapp Sawyer, Jon Sawyer. Image by Media Rise. Washington, D.C., 2014.

Media Rise featured this year's Media Rise Festival Forum "News & Journalism" panel speakers including Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer and Contributing Editor Kem Knapp Sawyer who focused on the need for collaboration and how best to get beyond statistics to explore issues.

"People have been talking about collaboration all day, and that's very much at the heart of what the Pulitzer Center does," Sawyer said beginning the discussion at the end of the daylong series of talks, presentations and workshops in Washington, DC, on Saturday, October 20. More than 75 people gathered at Impact Hub DC to focus on media as a tool for social change.

The discussion also centered on the value of storytelling in an otherwise fast-paced media environment, a topic with which Kem Sawyer was familiar. She said that although Pulitzer Center stories may be based on statistics, "we are looking at ways to tell stories about what is behind those stats." One such project is the documentary film "Seeds of Hope". The highly-praised Pulitzer Center-supported film by Fiona Lloyd-Davies follows Masika Katsuva, a rape survivor devoted to helping other survivors rebuild their senses of security, dignity, and self-worth through farming and community. "Seeds of Hope" gives viewers a human perspective on Eastern Congo's rape epidemic, where sexual assault has become so widespread—an estimated 48 Congolese women are raped every hour—it can be hard to fully understand the devastation through statistics alone.

Read more about the event in a recap by Brittany Dawson, at