Profile of a communication rights activist

Profile of a communication rights activist

Date: October 13, 2010
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Lavinia Mohr is the Deputy General Secretary and the Director of Programmes for the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). A Canadian national, Lavinia joined WACC in 2003.

She holds a Masters Degree in Communication and has worked in international cooperation for many years, much of it in the field of communication, including community radio and audiovisual communication for democratic development.

She is responsible for liaison with the Latin America Region, speaks English, French and Spanish and has a background in community radio, mostly as a volunteer and on a professional basis with international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) active in the area of communication for democratic development.

Mohr presented the keynote address to the Fourth Gender and Media Summit and Awards with the theme Gender and Media, Diversity and Change: Taking Stock.

She said women are still significantly underrepresented and misrepresented in news media coverage despite significant change since the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) began 15 years ago.

According to the GMMP, 76% of the people heard or read about in the world’s news are male. The world seen in news media remains largely a male one.

The GMMP monitored 1,365 newspapers, television and radio stations and internet news sites, 17,795 news stories and 38,253 persons in the news in 108 countries with 82% of the world’s people.

Mohr said during the survey it was indicated that 24% of people in the news are female, compared to 17% in 1995, while 44% of persons providing popular opinion in news stories are female compared to 34% in 2005.

She disclosed that 1,281 newspapers, television stations, and radio stations were monitored while 76 national news websites and eight international news websites reviewed.

Mohr began working for WACC seven years ago, an organisation she said is a worldwide network of ecumenical Christian communicators whose global office is based in Toronto.

WACC works with partners around the world, including Gender Links (GL), on building communication rights, media and gender justice, communication and poverty, and communication for peace.

She says WACC’s project support has traditionally been largely of a responsive nature, adding that WACC’s largest single activity is the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), a worldwide longitudinal study on the representation of women in the world’s media communication.

She is a founding member of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), an organisation that brings together a network of more than 4000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 115 countries.

“I am proud to work with GL. WACC is always available to partner with GL whenever there is need,” she said.
Mohr said she was encouraged that today female reporters are responsible for 37% of stories compared to 28% fifteen years ago, and their stories challenge gender stereotypes twice as often as stories by male reporters.

She advised media institutions to develop and adopt gender sensitive policies and guidelines which will encourage full participation of women at both editorial and management levels.



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