COMMENT is WACC’s take on the rapidly changing world of communications and social media. The aim is to highlight topics that are of more than passing interest and likely to have a positive or negative impact on people’s lives. Topics may be political, social, economic or cultural in scope. Readers are invited to comment on COMMENT and to express their own views – which will be monitored only to prevent derogatory or offensive remarks. Topics include communication rights and wrongs, shrinking communication spaces, traditional and social media, the Internet of Things, and anything else that grabs our attention!

Latest posts


Time for a communication revolution from below!

03/12/18 | (0) Comments |

Sobering words for those who still believe that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are the panacea for the world’s ills. In “Developing Countries Losing Out To Digital Giants” (IPS News, 17 October 2018), Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury write:

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Digital distractions

03/12/18 | (0) Comments |

Communication used to be singular. A letter, a newspaper, a radio or television program. It was a largely one-way, edited version of certain parts of reality. Today, communications are plural: a non-stop barrage of texts, sounds, and images from all directions and at all times. Public space has been whittled away by iPads and iPhones, privacy is at a premium, and digital disturbance (what used to be called static) is everywhere.

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New Mexican government should prioritize the protection of journalists

26/11/18 | (0) Comments |

Mexico is among the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist. Over 70 journalists were killed during the past decade; 8 have been killed in 2018 alone. Many more have been threatened or assaulted in different forms. Worst of all, impunity is rampant.

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WhatsApp calls time on WhatsApp

19/11/18 | (0) Comments |

Social media are accused of bringing about the demise of traditional journalism. They are used to tar news stories with the brush of “fake news” as loud-mouthed politicians eagerly point the finger at what they deem to be critical or unfavourable coverage.

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Integrity in news coverage

12/11/18 | (0) Comments |

The world’s leading newspapers are struggling to maintain their place as voices of conscience in society when via social media everyone is free to express alternative views and opinions.

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When media, politics and sexual violence collide

05/11/18 | (0) Comments |

How media report on sexual violence when political interests are at play is a litmus test for how serious they are about professional ethics.

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‘Fake news’ is undermining Brazilian rights

29/10/18 | (0) Comments |

During Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-85), the people’s ability to exercise some of their most fundamental human rights was severely curtailed. In addition to engaging in torture, extrajudicial killings, and repression against opposition groups, the successive military governments that governed Brazil during this period relentlessly restricted freedom of expression, access to public information, and controlled the majority of media outlets.

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Beware propaganda from the wireless industry

22/10/18 | (0) Comments |

There has always been a suspicion that radio waves do more harm than good. With the arrival of the Internet of Things – wireless computing devices embedded in such everyday objects as fridges, washing machines and coffee makers – the scenario easily slips into one of doomsday. 

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Media bread and circuses

15/10/18 | (0) Comments |

On 7 September 2018, former President Obama delivered a pointed critique of the Trump presidency. Speaking to students at the University of Illinois, he urged political awareness and action, saying:

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What price freedom of information?

12/10/18 | (0) Comments |
Freedom of information, including the right to access information held by public bodies, is crucial to democracy, good governance, and good citizenship.
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Genocide in the news: On media elitism and racism

08/10/18 | (0) Comments |

Why do some genocides make the news and others hardly? Let me rephrase: Why do international news media give grossly disproportionate attention to different yet similarly grave ‘deliberate and systematic destructions of a racial, political, or cultural group’ (Miriam-Webster definition)? 

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When did you last take a break from social media?

01/10/18 | (0) Comments |

According to a 2018 research report from the Pew Research Centre on trends in social media use in the United States, 74% of Facebook users in that country visited the platform at least once a day, and 51% did so several times a day. 

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Protecting privacy in a world of digital communications

24/09/18 | (0) Comments |

“New technologies will enable high levels of social control at a reasonable cost. Governments will be able to selectively censor topics and behaviors to allow information for economically productive activities to flow freely, while curbing political discussions that might damage the regime.China’s so-called Great Firewall provides an early demonstration of this kind of selective censorship.”

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