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Taking Sides

Taking Sides is WACC Global's take on the rapidly changing world of communications and social media. The aim is to highlight topics that are of more passing interest and likely to have a positive or negative impact on people's lives, in Canada and around the world.

Blog - Taking Sides April 21
Solidarity rally at the the State Capitol, St. Paul, Wisconsin. Image credit: Chuck Olsen/Flickr
Lorenzo Vargas | Are we seeing a shift in economic thinking towards a model in which high unemployment, massive wealth concentration, or inequitable access to services are seen as the real crises to be tackled?
Blog - Taking Sides April 14
Candian flag. Image credit: Hermes Rivera/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Understanding the behind-the-scenes of how the internet and digital technologies function, including issues of privacy, security, and surveillance, has to be a part of public education.
Blog - Taking Sides March 26
People attend a Women's March. Image: Josh Howard/Unsplash
Sarah Macharia | If there's anything that a quarter-century of media monitoring has revealed, it is that the road to gender equality is long and treacherous.
Blog - Taking Sides December 9
Image: Chris Yang/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Canada should not introduce so-called "immunity passports," because they would create "a novel kind of biological divide between the haves and have-nots."
Blog - Taking Sides October 20
Sarah Shepherd, Global Media Monitoring Project volunteer from Canada, monitors the days news during monitoring day, September 29, 2020. Image: contributed photo
Philip Lee | Stories reveal gender bias and extensive stereotyping that perpetuate marginalization, discrimination, and violence against women and girls. Men also have a role to play in addressing this inequality.
Blog - Taking Sides August 21
A protest against violence against women in Montreal in July, 2020 (Image: Mélodie Descoubes/Unsplash)
Sarah Macharia | A Statistics Canada survey found 10 per cent of Canadian women were "very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home," during the pandemic.
Blog - Taking Sides July 23
Image: Chris Yang/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Intrusive monitoring tools adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may further normalize the surveillance of individuals by governments and private entities.
Blog - Taking Sides July 3
The fallen Christopher Columbus statue outside the Minnesota State Capitol after a group led by American Indian Movement members tore it down in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 10, 2020. Image: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons
Lorenzo Vargas | In Canada, there are renewed calls to rename monuments, buildings and streets across the country that honour colonial figures, not just as a symbolic act.
Blog - Taking Sides June 29
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte giving a speech in 2016 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Philip Lee | The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom has urged Ottawa to "use its leadership role" to champion the need for international sanctions to protect media rights in the Philippines.
Blog - Taking Sides June 12
Image: Oleg Magni/Unsplash
Philip Lee | The right to communicate is never more urgent than when lives and livelihoods are at stake because access to trustworthy information and news is blocked.
Blog - Taking Sides May 14
Image: engin akyurt/Unsplash
Philip Lee | A recent Angus Reid poll showed that 48 per cent of Canadians do not trust the news media to provide accurate information about COVID-19.
Blog - Taking Sides April 7
Image: madartzgraphics/Pixabay
Philip Lee | In Canada, privacy advocates are urging vigilance, noting that the feds and some provincial governments have not ruled out digital tracking of citizens to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blog - Taking Sides March 20
Image: Marcus Spiske/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Trustworthy public service media are always needed, but never more so than in times of strife, disaster and emergency.
Blog - Taking Sides February 22
A man ice skating in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. Image: Brendan Church/Unsplash
Sara Speicher | The clamour for racial diversity in the newsroom is growing, not just in the United States, but in other migrant destination countries like Canada.
Blog - Taking Sides January 24
Journalist documenting events at Independence Square, Ukraine. Image: Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons
Lorenzo Vargas | At this time of global anxiety, it is important for journalists everywhere to remember the lessons of the poor and often biased coverage of the Iraq War 16 years ago.
Blog - Taking Sides December 14
Image: Pascal Bernardon/Unsplash
Lorenzo Vargas, Amanda Soares | The UN has warned that Indigenous communities in Canada's north are among those most at risk from a changing climate, which threatens their safety and food security.
Blog - Taking Sides December 6
Image: Global Media Monitoring Project/WACC Global
Sarah Macharia | For decades now, "very few" stories in Canadian news media have challenged gender stereotypes, according to a global monitoring project conducted every five years since 1995.
Blog - Taking Sides November 29
Image: Ai.Comput'In/Flickr
Philip Lee | About 96 per cent of Canadians are now connected to the internet, but a digital divide still exists.
Blog - Taking Sides November 22
Image: Kon Karampelas/Unsplash
Jim McDonnell | Democracies are experiencing a crisis of trust, fuelled not only by the actions of those who seek to manipulate us but also by those who manage the networks that claim to enhance our lives.
Blog - Taking Sides November 15
Child using tablet computer. Image: Kelly Sikkama/Unsplash
Tess Sison | People under the age of 18 are the fastest-growing online demographic in a world that is in the midst of the fourth Industrial Revolution, which offers greater opportunities and risks.
Blog - Taking Sides November 8
View of dock in Cape Broyle, NL. Image: Terrilynn Lushman/Unsplash
Lorenzo Vargas | Developed countries like Canada are in the midst of transition from 4G to 5G networks. And yet Canada still suffers from a digital divide.
Blog - Taking Sides November 1
Two people lookign at laptop computer. Image: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Nearly seven out of 10 Canadian millennials get their news from social media. Should we be worried?
Blog - Taking Sides October 25
Person holding a cell phone. Image: Humphrey Muleba/Unsplash
Sara Speicher | News agencies, civil society organizations, and concerned individuals in Canada and overseas have taken on the fight for "truth." But is what someone says "right" or "wrong," or somewhere in between?
Blog - Taking Sides October 18
Image: Marcus Spiske/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Encryption is supposed to ensure that information stays private by scrambling data. In practice, security forces and corporate interests are keen to be able to crack any code.
Blog - Taking Sides October 11
People on the streets of Tokyo. Image: Jason Ortego/Unsplash
Philip Lee | As facial recognition becomes more and more common, there are also growing concerns about the gender and racial bias embedded in many systems.
Blog - Taking Sides October 4
Person with cell phone. Image: Angelo Moleele/Unsplash
Philip Lee | Who will protect us from a collective vulnerability to misinformation, manipulation and cyber violence?
Blog - Taking Sides September 27
Image: Sean Hawkey/ACT Alliance. Used with permission.
Philip Lee | While climate change is already affecting Canada, its mainstream media are failing to provide citizens with adequate information about the issue and how it affects them at a global and local level.
Blog - Taking Sides September 21
Image: Petter Lagson/Unsplash
Philip Lee | The vast majority of Canadians have expressed concern about the protection of privacy, particularly around how online personal information is used.
Blog - Taking Sides September 13
Image: Tayrona Estereo/WACC
Philip Lee | Democracy fails when heads of state, populist politicians and unregulated corporate interests are allowed to ride roughshod over freedom of the press.
Blog - Taking Sides September 6
Image: Peter Hershey/Unsplash
Lorenzo Vargas | Linguistic issues do not make headlines every day, but the struggles of communities working together to bring greater attention to the concerns of ethno-cultural minorities are very real.