Taboom’s Media Monitoring and Response Coalitions (MMRCs) mobilize journalists, activists, faith leaders, lawyers, policymakers, and other community stakeholders to rapidly and collaboratively combat dangerous and otherwise problematic media portrayals of taboo human rights topics in a unified and systematic manner.
Our inaugural SSOGIE (Sex, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) MMRC focuses on LGBTQI+ rights in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the potential to scale up to other regions pending adequate resources. It lives at taboommrc.com.
We establish strategic partnerships with Sub-Saharan stakeholders to regularly monitor, rate, translate and share local media coverage of SSOGIE-related content with the broader coalition network via this shared platform and centralized database.
Trained media monitors collect and rate media coverage using a 5-point scale. The scale is used immediately to triage coalition responses. Long-term, the scale helps monitor country- and region-specific improvements and deteriorations in SSOGIE-related media coverage over time.
Understanding the Media Monitoring Scale
Taboom’s MMRC uses a 5-point scale. A rating of “1” indicates media clips that are excellent in their ethical and professional treatment of SSOGIE issues. Media clips rated “1” trigger a low-priority two-month response deadline before which local media monitors should thank journalists for producing fair and accurate coverage and suggest additional story angles and sources for subsequent coverage. A rating of “5” indicates news media content that is imminently dangerous in its irresponsible, biased or incendiary treatment of SSOGIE issues, triggering rapid coordinated responses from local affirming stakeholders and continent-wide coalition partners if deemed prudent. Specific response mechanisms and procedures are collaboratively decided for each numeric point on the scale. Coalition managers coordinate high-priority responses and resolve rating discrepancies and disputes among individual media monitors.
Over time, the MMRC will provide clear impact metrics to track our success and a rich database of media reporting examples for use in Taboom’s journalist and stakeholder trainings. Observable deterioration in media reporting, as determined by linear average rating changes, will serve as an early warning system triggering rapid response mechanisms to prevent additional discrimination and persecution before it can occur.
By tracking and indexing media clip ratings in each country over time, we will quantitatively and qualitatively determine which countries and outlets experience improvement or deterioration in media coverage, allowing us to shift resources, mobilize stakeholders and replicate best practices where need is greatest. Changes to average story ratings following specific interventions may also help us determine the effectiveness of each coalition response.
Colleagues in Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, and Nigeria have confirmed a pressing need for this SSOGIE MMRC and are ready and eager to contribute to its development and success. We are currently onboarding media monitoring partners in priority countries. If you would like to join us in these efforts, please get in touch.