Meet Damiano Raveenthiran
Damiano is a New Media Journalist from Montreal, Canada. Over the years, Damiano has focused his attention on human rights news working with the Concordia University chapter of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR). Damiano quickly climbed the ranks within the organization and in 2012 became the president of JHR Concordia.
During his time at JHR Concordia, Damiano co-hosted a weekly radio show known as the JHR Rights Report, which was featured as the number one show on the Rabble Podcast Network for 6 weeks in a row. With the help of his team of journalists, Damiano created an international network of news corespondents, the first of its kind for a university chapter of any organization.
In 2012, Damiano teamed up with Amnesty International and the UK based film production company CODOC to plan the Canadian premiere of the award-winning documentary ‘The Truth That Wasn’t There‘ successfully beginning a conversation about press freedom and civil conflict on the Island of Sri Lanka. In 2013, Damiano created the first Human Rights Documentary Scholarship at Concordia University by raising funds through film screenings and Human Rights events.
The popularity of Damiano’s passion for Human Rights caught the attention of several experts in the field of international relations. Consequently, in 2013, Damiano was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on Multimedia and Multiculturalism.
After leaving JHR Concordia, Damiano started focusing his attention on the new field of psychedelic journalism and is currently working on de-conditioning the general public thinking regarding the stigma on psychedelic medicine. His goal is to make people aware that psychedelic medicine and native remedies are viable options to treat common mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Damiano is currently finishing a BA degree in Political Science and Human Rights at Concordia University in Montreal.
1. What makes a great social media site?
Personally, I am a junkie for anything that changes my already established frame of mind. To me, a great Social Media website needs to be able to engage its audience with dangerous ideas that shake the status quo and challenge their views by constantly presenting new facts and by investing in the users that do just that.
2. Where do you go for great content online? Why there?
I get my news from several mainstream and alternative news sources but Social Media websites are my number one place to get great content. I like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit because they allow me to start a conversation on topics that aren’t often seen or explored by mainstream news. Because I am a news junkie I also check the mainstream news cycle but I believe that social media allows me to interact with new ideas and new ways of looking at the world that I would not have if I only stuck to mainstream news outlets.
3. What’s your favourite type of content (infographics, interviews, thought pieces, studies, etc) and why?
I really like podcasts. Podcasts offer news that can be consumed anywhere and at any time. In the ever-changing world we live in today, most of us are constantly moving from one place to another. I believe that consumers of podcasts are able to get their news from multiple sources while doing simple everyday things such as taking the bus or cleaning the house. This allows the everyday person, one that does not necessarily work in the news industry, to stay up to date with what is going on around the world in an fast and effective manner.
4. Which of your Newsana pitches are you most proud of?
I am really proud of the first pitch I made for Newsana which was a story by the LA Times called “Exploring therapeutic effects of MDMA on post-traumatic stress“. I like this story because it gets people to reconsider their idea regarding this substance, which is largely seen as a recreational drug and something that is ultimately not that great for society. I believe that nothing is black or white and that everything is a different shade of grey. One needs to be able to critically think about any information he/she is presented with and stories that shake the common conceptions that society has are my favourite.
5. What’s the best part of Newsana?
I joined Newsana as soon as I heard of Ben Peterson’s idea to make a social media network for people that are addicted to news like myself. To me, the best part of Newsana is that it offers a seamless way of sharing news through the in-browser share button and a community based interaction that votes on stories that are deemed important by people that value news. I believe that as Newsana develops, the community and the upcoming features on the site are going to revolutionize how we share news and I am honoured to be part of the first people to be in this community of great storytellers.