Power Plays

Fall 2018, News
Melanie Clark

USING PLATFORMS TO ENLIGHTEN 

BY MELANIE CLARK

Have you ever seen a movie or play that got you thinking about a social issue? Maybe there was an underlying message about racism, or an overt one about violence. Writers, directors and producers have the power to make us think—and maybe even push their own agendas—through their creative work. And although you don’t have to be an elected official to be a changemaker—each of us can spread awareness about issues that may lead to change—some of us have a more direct line to a larger audience.

This can, of course, have much greater impact. Those who work in the media—newspapers and TV stations—also have a unique opportunity to get information out that can shape opinions, as do online bloggers who have a following. Although journalists are bound by a code to remain unbiased, bloggers have no such constraints, and often use their platforms to share their opinions on a variety of topics.

This often leads to exhaustive online discourses that can be both entertaining and enlightening. This power to change people’s opinions—or even just get them thinking—is striking. And when it’s delivered in an art form, perhaps even more impactful.

In this issue of Today’s Omaha Woman, we asked women who work in these arenas how they channel this power, and they shared with us their successes and challenges—from “fake news” to dwindling newspaper subscriptions. Filmmakers, playwrights, journalists and bloggers were open and honest about their experiences and how they perceive their roles. Each of these women is using her talents to promote the greater good, and each deserves our attention and gratitude. W

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