17 Feb 2021 ‘Truthful Voices Matter,’ WACC emphasizes in 2020 Annual Report
In its 2020 Annual Report, WACC Global underscores the urgency of its efforts to promote and strengthen communication rights, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic “has made far more apparent the best and worst aspects of our communication landscape.”
On the one hand, the pandemic showed the critical role of trusted public service and community media, the importance of communication and community in times of isolation, and how digital access has offered opportunities for connection, the report states. However, the pandemic also magnified “the dangers of a digital divide, and the destabilizing influence disinformation can have on accountability and democratic participation.
In his message, WACC General Secretary Philip Lee highlights the importance of public interest media as “the unbiased voices of truth,” and as sources of information “that sustains open debate and builds trust in democratic processes.”
With the world reeling from what the UN has described as the worst global crisis since World War II, “Truthful Voices Matter,” WACC asserts in its report.
“That is why WACC supports community media, as a counterweight to media ownership and control by government and corporate interests,” says Lee. “That is why issues such as gender justice in the news media, promoting the voices of migrants, refugees, and indigenous peoples, and equitable access to alternative communication platforms are vital to an open society.”
Looking forward to 2021, the report states that together with its partners worldwide, WACC will review how human rights frameworks and conventions should guide “our common digital future and its technologies, especially in matters of inclusion and exclusion.” It cites security and privacy issues related to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and bio-surveillance, among others.
WACC will also build on the findings of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) 2020 to support gender awareness, training, advocacy and engagement with media professionals in regard to media policies and practices, states the report. Strengthening the role of public interest media will also remain a WACC priority.
The report also includes the following:
- Stories from WACC project partners
- Update on the GMMP
- Financial Overview
- Media Development and other publications