Latest Media Development looks under the hood of the term “communication rights”

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What do we mean by “communication rights”? In the most recent Media Development, contributors unpack their understanding of the term and in doing so underline the necessity of a rights-based approach to communication, regardless of the language used.

“‘Communication rights’ … expands freedom of opinion and expression to claim spaces and resources in the public sphere that enable everyone to engage in transparent, informed and democratic debate. In short … a matter of communicative justice,” says Editor Philip Lee in “Weaving Communication in Solidarity,” the 2/2024 issue of WACC’s quarterly journal.

However, it is often argued that the term and related concepts of the rights to communicate and to communication are vague, difficult to translate into law, and already covered by freedom of opinion and expression, he notes.

To dig deeper, WACC asked fourteen communication rights advocates to give insight into what the terms mean for them — without using the specific words.

The resulting articles show that, regardless of the terms used, “we must resist by every means possible the steady erosion of democratic values, press freedom, and people’s capacity to see, hear, and express their needs and concerns in public without obstruction.”

“Only in this way can we retain a peaceful and sustainable future as a shared vision for all,” Lee concludes.

Media Development 02/2024 is available to subscribers and WACC members. Articles in the issue include:

  • Compassionate communication as human solidarity by Cees J. Hamelink
  • Power, participation, discourse and communication by Nico Carpentier
  • Communication rights and autonomy in the era of data by Pradip Ninan Thomas
  • Sobre cómo romper el silencio por María Elena Hermosilla
  • Communiquer comme un droit par Mathilde Kpalla
  • Radios et réseaux sociaux, des réponses aux besoins d’interactions sociales des jeunes par Sébastien Nègre
  • A “brand-new” world communication order: BNWCO? by Aliaa Dakroury
  • Creating public communication spaces that are open, accessible, comfortable, and sociable Working Group
  • Silenced voices: Communication blackout in Palestine Women, Media & Development (TAM)
  • Unleashing the power of expression in the Palestinian struggle by Jack Nassar
  • Repensar el derecho a la comunicación desde el pensamiento latinoamericano y desde las epistemologías del sur por Camilo Pérez y Jair Vega
  • Rethinking “communication rights” from Latin American social thought and from the epistemologies of the South by Camilo Pérez and Jair Vega
  • Alternative media: Alternative to what? by Lorenzo Vargas
  • Medios y democracia en México por Lenin Martell