Many of us live in societies where there seems to be more “communication” than ever – emails, social media, messaging, smartphones, and ever increasing digital information capabilities. But real “communication”, which is essential to people’s dignity and community, is constantly under threat.
All people require unfettered access to the information and knowledge essential to democracy, empowerment, responsible citizenship and mutual accountability. Everyone must be able to engage in transparent, informed and democratic debate.
But in all societies, communication is stifled by:
• vulnerable and marginalized communities denied access to information and communication
• media monopolies that prevent a diversity of perspective and opinion
• censorship or deliberate misinformation
• misrepresentation, or lack of representation, of groups or communities in news
• imposition of language and restrictions on use of indigenous languages.
The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) is an international non-governmental organization that believes communication is key to social justice and sustainable development.
WACC recognizes communication as an essential part of our human rights. Communication embodies respect for the dignity, integrity, equality and freedom of all human beings and their communities.
WACC works with all those denied the right to communicate because of status, identity, or gender. It advocates full access to information and communication, and promotes open and diverse media. WACC strengthens networks of communicators to advance peace, understanding and justice.
WACC is at the forefront of promoting gender equality in media. Since 1995, it has coordinated the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), the longest and largest research and advocacy project on women in the news media. The GMMP uses participatory media monitoring to uncover and analyze the portrayal and representation of women in the news. The latest GMMP in 2015 covered 114 countries. See whomakesthenews.org
WACC’s media monitoring methodology has also been applied to coverage of poverty, migrants and refugees, peace and conflict, and more.
Based on the monitoring evidence, WACC and its partners work with media, government and non-governmental organizations on journalism ethics, policies and practices.
WACC partners with faith-based and civil society organizations that promote the informed and democratic participation of their communities in local and national contexts through citizen media initiatives.
WACC has supported projects ranging from community radio to media literacy, digital platforms to education and advocacy on communication rights. We aim to build capacity so communities themselves drive social change.
WACC also works with national and international organizations engaged in development to integrate participatory communication in their approach. WACC offers training in communication rights and sustainable development.
WACC produces Media Development, an international quarterly journal dedicated to the theory and practice of communication around the world. Many contributors write from the perspective of the South, highlighting social and cultural values, and articulating common concerns in the search for equality, justice and human dignity in communication.
WACC convenes one-week Communication Rights Schools to facilitate knowledge exchange among researchers, practitioners and students. Schools are held in different regions each year.
WACC is developing a global Communication Rights Index that broadly measures communication freedoms and deficits. The index will also contribute to a Communication Rights Charter that can provide a widely accepted reference point, framework, and advocacy tool for the promotion and implementation of communication rights.
WACC has institutional and individual members in 120 countries, organized in eight regional associations.
WACC facilitates a global network on gender and media – including academic, faith-based and civil society organizations – for advocacy and research on gender justice in the media.
As a rights-based organization, WACC works with both faith-based and secular organizations to promote dialogue and initiatives that advance the cause of communication rights.
Join us! Support our research, capacity building and advocacy that enables everyone to communicate fully. Become a member and get involved!
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