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Worth Watching #154: Good Morning by Already Alive

Captures the emotion and uncertainty many are feeling right now. – Brian Storm

Good Morning from Already Alive.

See what else we think is Worth Watching.

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Undesired Featured at the Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival

We are so thrilled to announce that Undersired, a film by Walter Astrada and MediaStorm, will be featured on January 25th and 26th at the Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival.


The Brooklyn Human Rights Film Festival features short films on human rights and social justice, focusing on women’s rights, refugees and incarceration. The evenings will also host debate opportunities to support local and global communities.

Undesired by Walter Astrada

Undesired tells the story of women in India who face intense pressure to bear a son and the activists who fight for gender equality.

Please join us for this special event. Samia Khan, Director of Partnerships, will be speaking at a panel after the screening on Wednesday January 25th.

The screenings will take place on:

Wednesday, January 25, from 7-9pm at Berg’n, 899 Bergen Street, Crown Heights

Thursday, January 26, from 6-8pm, at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP, at 30 John St., DUMBO

To buy tickets, please click here.


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The Long Night Advocates Help Shut Down Backpage.com


On Monday, January 9th, Backpage.com, one of the world’s largest classified ads sites, closed its adults ads section. Advocates against sex trafficking hail this closure as a victory, as Backpage has been accused by a scathing U.S. Senate report of hiding criminal activity by deleting terms from ads that indicated sex trafficking or prostitution, including of children.

Natalie, the fifteen-year old girl from suburban Seattle who was forced into prostitution and is featured in The Long Night, has been an advocate in this case, claiming that her pimp used Backpage to fuel his business, and her enslavement.

With the help of the ads posted on Backpage, Natalie was repeatedly raped every single day, bringing in as much as $4,000 a weekend – every penny of which would go to her pimp.  With that much money on the table, her pimp became increasingly aggressive and abusive. Natalie had no way to escape.

When her mother, Nacole, an adamant anti-trafficking advocate, first learned of the ads on Backpage, she was shocked. “I live in an American town, how can my kid be sold on the Internet?”

108 days after her disappearance, Natalie’s Backpage ad was targeted as part of a sting by the Seattle Vice Squad. There, she was rescued by officers who understood her situation and have since helped her testify in the case against her pimp. Her pimp, Baruti Hopson, has been sentenced to 26 and a half years in prison for promoting the commercial sex abuse of a minor.

Natalie and Nacole, very simply, are our role models. They used their pain and tragic experience to become strong voices against the sexual exploitation of minors. In helping to close the adult ad section of Backpage, they have made the world just a little bit safer for our children. We thank you for all you have done and hope that in documenting your experiences in The Long Night, we made this fight, a little easier too.

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The 75th Anniversary of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards

duPont 75th logo

This year marks the 75 Anniversary of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, honoring the best in broadcast, documentary and online reporting. This year’s 14 winners will be awarded on January 25, 2017 at the award’s 75th celebration.

MediaStorm is honored to have been the first organization to receive the Alfred I. duPont Award for a web-based production in 2010 for Intended Consequences. In 2011, we received the Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for Undesired.

This year, investigative journalism will be honored with nine awards across network and cable television, radio and local television stations, often in overlapping platforms. Four awards will go to local television news investigations: KXAN for documenting the police’s inaccurate racial profiling records; NBC Connecticut for uncovering widespread home foundation failures; WTHR-TV for exposing massive mismanagement and corruption at a popular charity; and WXIA 11Alive for spotlighting both a problem with the 911 emergency system and promoting potential solutions.

Public broadcasting will receive four awards: two for network hours will go to FRONTLINE’s Syria and Iraq reporting and NOVA’s dazzling yet disturbing look at the impact of global warming. Two silver batons will go to public radio programming:  Michigan Radio’s revealing coverage of the Flint water crisis and NPR/Colorado Public Radio’s exposé on the Army’s mistreatment of disabled veterans. The broadcast news networks will take home two duPonts: one goes to NBC News Dateline’s “The Cosby Accusers Speak;” the other for CBS News’s breaking coverage of the migrant crisis, respectively. Two documentaries will be honored with awards: one for HBO’s “A Girl in the River” and the second for ESPN Films’ “OJ: Made in America,” a nearly eight hour-long documentary.

The GroundTruth Project, an online nonprofit media organization, will win its first silver baton for Foreverstan: “The Girls’ School” and “Razia’s Way,” a hybrid film, digital and podcast look at Afghan women’s education. Another hybrid work, “Death by Fentanyl,” will also be the first duPont award for Fusion.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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United in the Fight: MediaStorm Tribute on World AIDS Day

Thirty years after the first cases of HIV, the World Health Organization estimates 36.7 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS. Of these, 3.2 million are children under the age of 15. Today we commemorate World AIDS Day by remembering those who have succumbed to the virus and supporting our amazing collaborators working to treat and prevent this destructive disease.

AIDS and Family is Kristen Ashburn’s intimate portrait of African mothers, fathers and children being crushed by AIDS. Ashburn’s work connects us to these people deeply; we learn that only through such connection is hope possible.

The Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance, GAIA ,takes the medical breakthroughs of the developed world and brings them to The Far End of the Road. Their focus is one district in Malawi where 1 out of 6 adults are HIV-positive and healthcare can be hours away.

24,000 children under the age of five will die today, many from preventable diseases. In 2009, Save the Children launched the ambitious EVERY ONE campaign to work directly with individuals, communities and government’s to stem this tide of child mortality.

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