Silicon Valley Cares

hey kids,

So who knew the Silicon Valley cares about human rights? Well it does – and impressively thoughtful ways! Late 2011 saw the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference take place in San Fran, with a range of topics covered from communication rights, encryption, coding for human rights, and more. Take a look at the event page to read up on what you missed!

PS – Too bad we missed it this year, but Ali I’m thinking we need to go on a road trip next year to catch the 2012 iteration.



Entry deadline Feb 6 for 2012 Wilbur Awards

Entries for the 2012 Wilbur Awards are arriving at the Religion Communicators Council office in New York City as the February 6 deadline approaches. Secular communicators are encouraged to submit their best work produced in 2011 for consideration in one of the oldest award programs in religion communication.

Work may be entered in MANY categories including: Web-based communication, books, feature films, photography, newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Juries of media professionals coordinated by RCC members across the country evaluate submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.

The council has presented Wilbur Awards annually since 1949. They honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, values and themes. Winners in 2010 represented The Christian Science Monitor, St. Petersburg Times; Courier-JournalVanity Fair, CBS News, Simon and Schuster Publishing House, motion picture producers; local radio and television stations; bloggers and other electronic media authors; and book authors.

The 2012 awards are to be presented April 14 in Philadelphia, PA, during the council’s national convention. The host for the Wilbur Awards banquet will be David W. Brown, Chairman of the Board of Advisors of WURD Radio, LLC, the only African American-owned independent radio station in the state of Pennsylvania. Winners receive a handcrafted stained-glass trophy.

The award is named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations and longtime council leader.

About the Religion Communicators Council:
The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith association of more than 500 religion communicators working in print and electronic communication, advertising, and public relations. Members represent Baha’i, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faith communities. Founded in 1929, the council is the oldest public relations professional association in the United States.

How much would you pay for a movie ticket?

So it looks like the push toward 3D films is going to end up costing . . . you. At least that’s this blogger’s prediction. There is no way a movie theatre or Hollywood studio will absorb a $5-10 million expense without asking you to chip in your share.  Sony announced it’s not going to pay for 3D glasses any more and the expectation is that other studios will follow suit. (Read more here).

What are movie prices like in your city? Right here in Toronto, movie, snacks, and a babysitter for the night ends up being a $100 night. And they wonder why people watch stuff illegally online.

This one is for my mom.

Sigh. Oh the internet. What a wily beast you are, eh? All those adds and viruses and spyware and mean things and rude things all masked in packaging that makes it look so benign. My mom is constantly in a state of “getting her laptop fixed” because she keeps clicking on things that claim her anti-virus is expired or her computer is at risk and needs to be scanned. I think that kind of deceit is just so mean spirited. Leave her alone, she just wants to look at her kids’ pictures on Facebook and read the news on Yahoo!

This kind of blending between real and not-as-real seeps through all our media. I got this neat link – Ads disguised as TV news promt FCC to propose rule – from Jean (thanks!), about advertisement on TV that looks and sounds and feels like news. I totally get that anyone who wants to advertise anything these days is going to have to be clever (seriously, does anyone sit through commercials any more?), but I think you kinda have to be a bit of a jerk to say “Hey! I know what we can do! We can make it look like TV news so that people may not realize their watching a paid spot. Instant credibility!”

Have you ever been caught thinking something was legit and it ended up being not so much?

Will you be in Chicago in March? WACC NA hopes so!


Noted journalists and media and gender specialists will be part of the panel at the roundtable “Who Makes the News: A Global Review” to take place at Columbia College Chicago on March 6, 2012, at 6:00 p.m.

The event is being co-sponsored by the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC)-North America, and Columbia College Chicago. It’s an opportunity for journalism students to consider issues of women and the media from a global perspective.

The roundtable will help journalists of the future explore the global realities of gender and media, from the journalists and newsmakers and their bosses, to the content and sources in news stories. It will highlight the results of WACC’s 2010 report of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP)–the world’s most extensive research on gender in news media in the U.S. and around the world.

Roundtable panellists include:

Manya Brachear, religion reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Brachear also has written for Time magazine, The Dallas Morning News, and the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

Sarah Macharia, WACC Global staff, coordinator of the GMMP, and editor of Media and Gender Monitor.

June Nicholson, director of graduate studies and associate Professor in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, and lead editor forThe Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press.

The panel will be moderated by Norma Green, who is a professor in the journalism faculty at Columbia College Chicago and director of the graduate program there. A representative from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) will also participate on the panel. The Foundation has published the findings of a major study on the topic in its “Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media.”

Working journalists and members of the public are also welcome to attend the roundtable. It will take place at Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor (building SE).

WACC is an international organization that promotes communication for social change. For more information on the roundtable, please contact WACC North America President Sheila George at