Media & Communications

Successful campaigns move hearts and minds and change the dominant stories that prop up existing power structures. HCHR campaigns aim to shift the public and political debate by helping people tell their own healthcare stories, creating their own media and engaging the mainstream media and social media in ways that lift up people’s agency and leadership. The HCHR narrative illuminates how the current system structurally fails to meet people’s needs, and offers a vision and policy agenda grounded in human rights values.

Telling Our Story through Communications and Narrative Strategy

  • What Is a Human Rights Narrative and How Can It Help Create Change? This fact sheet describes the components of a human rights narrative and how it can be used to counter dominant narratives that deny people’s rights and maintain systems of oppression. A human rights narrative reflects shared values that unify people around a positive vision for transformative change.
  • The People’s Media Project:  Media and Communications in the Movement:  This article describes the Vermont Workers’ Center’s approach to media and communications.  Amongst the many themes it addresses are how the VWC thinks about making media, the role movement media plays in shifting public discourse and creating a shared vision based on human rights principles, and how media makers are also organizers.
  • Battle of the Story Worksheet for HCHR Campaign:  This exercise, created by the Center for Story-Based Strategy, is intended to help grassroots activists analyze the current narrative climate around an issue and create more compelling narratives to communicate their campaigns.  The Vermont Workers’ Center used this exercise in developing their narrative strategy in the lead up to their universal health care victory in 2011.


Getting Our Story into the Mainstream Media


Producing Our Own Media: Guides and Samples

  • Stories Project – Guide to Getting Video Testimonies:  This guide, produced by the Vermont Workers’ Center, provides best practices for collecting Healthcare Is a Human Right video testimonials that speak to both personal struggles with the current health care system as well as visions for a universal health care system.
  • Fighting for Universal Healthcare at the State Level — Vermont Workers’ Center Healthcare Is a Human Right:  This video, produced in 2010, tells the story of Vermont’s health care crisis, what a health care system based on the human right to health care would look like, and what the Campaign has done to make this a reality in Vermont.
  • Vermonters Stand Up Against Insurance Profiteering:  This short video clip, released in 2011,  illustrates some of the ways in which for-profit insurance companies take advantage of people and encourages viewers to join the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign.
  • A People’s Budget: Our Voice, Our Needs, Our Rights:  This short video, produced by NESRI in collaboration with the Vermont Workers’ Center and their People’s Budget Campaign, explains how public budgets work now, and how they can and should work based on people’s voices, needs and rights.  The People’s Budget Campaign won a law requiring Vermont to develop a budget that addresses needs, advances equity and dignity, and involves people’s participation. While there’s still a long way to go to make this a reality, needs-based budgeting is crucial for realizing the right to healthcare and other economic and social rights.