Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Jackie Byars


This dissertation is an institutional analysis of two interrelated UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization) activities. These include the Creative Content Programme, and the Audiovisual E-Platform, an online catalogue and social networking hub for independent filmmakers/media producers from the global South. Contained by these activities, the author focuses the multi-method approach on gender and access by (A) conducting an analysis of the composition of programs and practices of the Creative Content Programme and the E-Platform; (B) conducting textual analysis of documentary media and interviews with Diaspora women producers; and (C) participating in and observing community-based multimedia production practice.

The research reveals that the Creative Content Programme and the E-Platform shape media practices and content to meet UNESCO values and policy objectives. Further, independent and local production practices considered successful results of institutional activities are documented, and the video is promoted through the E-Platform website. Together, the Creative Content Programme and the E-Platform contribute to the creation of a culture consisting of selected producers, practices, and content determined as representative of the institution. Still, local women and other marginalized media producers struggle to express local lived experiences. These struggles are evident in approaches to story development, production, and the media industry.

As systems of power, UNESCO's Creative Content Programme and E-Platform influence media production and reveal tensions between institutional policies, and transnational media economies that specifically affect those at the margins in a developing community.