Meaningful dialogues don’t happen enough, so it seems. The idea behind YouTube account Jubilee and their very own segment entitled Middle Ground is one that might just inspire the viewing audiences to engage in one. Jubilee Media aims to “make human-centric videos that challenge conventional thinking, bridge people together, and inspire love.” They also state on their YouTube about page that they “aim to inspire people to LIVE GREATER.” They seem to be encouraging meaningful dialogue through the unfiltered, although provoked, storytelling of human experiences, and as a consequence allow viewers to ponder about the discussions that they have produced through their videos.
Jubilee Media has been producing thoughtfully curated, valuable content on YouTube since 2010. Formerly known as Jubilee Project, they are now known under their official company name Jubilee Media and is operating as a for-profit start-up. Attempting to reach a target group of ‘changemakers’ (as they called it), they offer content that are up for discussion – ranging from political and social issues, to entertaining short films. I would likened Jubilee to BuzzFeed, even though they produce different types of content, albeit due to their similarities in disseminating engaging topics that would directly resonate with viewers.
Middle Ground is one of many series that Jubilee Media creates and posts on YouTube. It currently has two seasons out, with the latest season having a few more episodes than the first. Essentially, the series is about a face-to-face discussion between two opposing thought groups as they voice their differing opinions in response to a statement that is given on the spot. Each episode explores different issues, such as education (dropouts vs graduates), immigration (Trump supporters vs immigrants), diets (vegans vs meat eaters), and many more. The idea is to see if these opposing groups could reach an understanding by exploring points of similarities and differences.
The ideas and intentions behind this series are unique and, quite frankly, admirable because it offers a transparent discussion regarding what most people may find to be sensitive issues and yet is done so in a friendly and mature ambiance. As a viewer, listening to arguments made by each opposing groups allowed myself to reflect on my perspective towards the issue, and in turn I found some arguments to resonate with my own stance. Resonating with participant’s arguments seemed to be the engaging factor that clung me to the end of most Middle Ground videos.
Jubilee is yet another media channel that successfully represents how film making is not just limited to the interests of superficial entertainment
Video viewer communities
The central goal behind this series is also to encourage more meaningful discussions among people, and those discussions can be directed to the community of Jubilee video viewers. As with other YouTube videos and channels, communities extend to commenters that voice out their own thoughts and opinions in an effort to build on discussions of an even larger and grander scale. This may be where the ‘changemaker’ in us as daily YouTube consumers lays, or as any other consumer of thought-provoking video content for that matter. In the wake of controversies and emotional-laden topics of discussion that today’s political scene is charged with, it is becoming more and more important to acknowledge these dialogues in a manner that is neutral, respective and embracing.
Jubilee is yet another media channel that successfully represents how film making is not just limited to the interests of superficial entertainment. Nowadays, YouTube content creators are constantly developing novel ways to tell their own stories through innovative means of filmmaking. In the age of the millennials, this might just be one of the effective ways in mobilising the target group about certain issues and lessen their ignorance towards it when awareness is so much more meaningful and widely cherished.
Cover: starmanseries/Flickr / Final editing: Iris Ausems