01 Jun 2023 General Secretary: WACC must steer course toward a global dialogue platform on communicative freedom
The WACC ship has set a course for the future and that is to focus on building a transformative movement that helps shape government policies and actions “founded on human dignity, human rights, and democratic principles,” General Secretary Philip Lee told the organization’s Board of Directors at its meeting in London, UK, on May 10–12.
Reflecting on WACC’s direction and relevance in the post-pandemic era, Lee noted that “support for grassroots communication initiatives — for real people facing existential problems — has been and remains WACC’s core enterprise.”
At the same time, he stressed, WACC, with its mission of promoting communication rights for social justice, has a crucial role to play in working for structural change — to address the causes of injustice as well as tackling its effects.
“WACC’s voice and influence must be heard at the global level as well as at regional forums where structures and policies are discussed and approved,” Lee underlined.
He cited communications expert Cees Hamelink, a long-time WACC supporter, who recently pointed to the world’s urgent need for spaces in which to wrestle with critical communication issues such as freedom of expression and of the press, disinformation, censorship, and democracy.
Lee proposed that WACC take a multi-faceted approach to fulfilling the role of what Hamelink called “the global platform for dialogue on the moral issue of ‘communicative freedom’.”
“In place of a single ship, we might envisage WACC as a flotilla moving in several directions simultaneously, promoting ‘communicative freedom’ from different perspectives and in different contexts,” the General Secretary suggested.
He concluded by saying this could be the task of WACC’s regional associations, “while the task of WACC Global might be to navigate international waters, to be a floating platform for dialogue uniting disparate voices in a concerted front against injustice and discrimination.”
WACC General Secretary Philip Lee presents his report to the Board of Directors at its May 10–12 meeting in London.
Photo: Gregg Brekke