In September 2006 there was a meeting between a small group of people to discuss the possibility of creating a web television channel devoted to Human Rights activities. Present were Terry Smith, Mike Smith, Andrew Samuels, John Jackson, AkaneTakayama and Jack Adams.
The meeting discussed a set of ideas presented by Jack Adams on ten sheets of A4. From that point work on building an on line resource that served Human Rights rather than treat it like a commercial sector became a reality. What followed was an initial statement of intent:
HumanRights TV is established to "empower the voice seldom heard".
We recognise that those who have suffered abuse often suffer further indignity by remaining unheard. In making the individual story, told by the individual in their own words and their own way, visible, accessible and freely available we can offer some support to those who need it most.
Human Rights TV guarantees to the individuals who provide their testimony that it will not be edited into other progamming unless they specifically request that. The testimony remains the copyright of the person supplying it and we never appropriate the voice we serve.
Human Rights TV provides a free service to individuals, free at the point of entry, free at the point of viewing. We do not believe that those who have suffered should have to pay to be heard.
Human Rights TV maintains a sacred space on the web where all who are present share the values enshrined in the Human Rights Declaration at the United Nations in 1948 and the subsequent developments in the ideal of human rights. We promise to protect this space from inappropriate activities, marketing or promotions.
Human Rights TV does not support, represent or promote any political or religious stance and acts purely as a video resource cataloging the history of the progression and activity of human rights in the 21st century. We do not guarantee the authenticity or veracity of any of the content we archive but offer it as prime source material that gives the viewer the chance to make their own judgment.
These values have not substantially altered in the 27 months, at the time of writing, that HumanRights TV has been active. In that time the project has grown and developed so that by the beginning of 2009 our analytics tell us that our videos have been viewed over 12, 000 times since we began.
In the world of the internet such a figure may seem trivial but then HumanRights TV isn't in business, isn't the marketing arm of a money making machine and doesn't believe that numbers are the Holy Grail of success. Our figures tell us that we are being watched by a specific and highly relevant audience, we are watched by universities, government departments, civil authorities and individuals searching for specific information.
We are not watched by idle surfers, the bored or the casual observer. Our analytics tell us this. In addition our material has been viewed in over 65 countries and is globally selected every day. Quality of audience is our goal not herds of net wildebeast we can feed to the crocodiles of web marketing.
All of this has been achieved organically and with an evolution that has only just begun to form the body of HumanRights TV. From 2009 onwards the development we envisage will take the project into a very prominent position in terms of Human Rights web presence. Wait and see!