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Christian communicators support Argentina study of non-sexist communication

September 17, 2012

ENTRE RIOS, Argentina

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) said it welcomes a plan by Argentina’s National University of Entre Rios to oversee a seminar on “subjective construction of gender in the media.”

The university’s School of Communication has asked the country’s Network of Journalists for a Non Sexist Communication to organize the six-month seminar. It will carry academic credit and will include topics such as communication, gender and subjectivity, the importance of non-sexist language in the media, and gender violence and the media. No dates have yet been announced.

“The fact that students of communication will have the possibility of discussing themes such as the importance of non-sexist language in the media is an important step since it opens new horizons and ways of understanding journalism,” said WACC General Secretary the Rev. Karin Achtelstetter.

The journalists’ network was created some six years ago and brings together 188 Argentinean professional journalists who work with a gender perspective. Toronto-based WACC played a role in the formation of the network and Dafne Sabanes Plou and Claudia Florentin, two WACC members and leaders of the WACC-Latin American Regional Association, were key figures in its creation.

WACC Global president Dennis Smith ― a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission worker here ― was also among those who supported its creation. The network organizes national annual encounters with the next one taking place in the city of Mar del Plata from Sept. 14-16.

Interest in and commitment to non-sexist language in the media has continued to gain allies in Argentina and WACC partners have played a role in these efforts. As such, a recent project sought to provide training and resources for future journalists with support from WACC's former program, Media Gender Justice.

The group Asociacion Civil de la Azotea, in Mar del Plata, implemented a project to increase awareness of the impact of stereotypical and biased reporting on women. The project produced a manual of good practices which is being distributed to journalists' unions, local media and schools of journalism.

De la Azotea is a non-profit association established in 2003 by a group of women and men committed to creating alternative media for people and groups marginalized from mainstream media.

A project implemented by the Asociacion Civil Artemisa Noticias and funded by WACC in 2011 produced a documentary, “Politicas en los medios,” analyzing the portrayal of female politicians in press, audio-visual, radio and digital media.

The documentary was screened at public debates with communicators from national media across Argentina. Proposals emerging from the debates included the imperative for journalists to also seek the opinion of women experts for stories related to politics and economic issues, to address sexist language and to professionalize in-house codes of practice from a gender perspective.

At the global level, in October 2012 WACC is planning to launch a Learning Resource Kit for Gender-Ethical Journalism and Media House Policy prepared in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists.

Maria Teresa Aveggio is WACC’s program manager.

  1. Bravo, WACC! The ecumenical movement needs such prophetic wise praxis so as to maintain its authenticity as the embodiment of God's reign of life, justice, peace and dignity!

    by Fulata Moyo

    September 26, 2012

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