IAWRT International Votes in New Board, Dr. Michelle Ferrier Elected President

Ferrier says her two-year term as president of IAWRT will focus on advancing press freedoms for women journalists around the globe who are under attack in their own communities, to ensure that journalists can do the work they are trained to do.

About Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Ph.D., is executive director of the Media Innovation Collaboratory of Florida and an internationally recognized, award-winning technologist, journalist, scholar, author and speaker around journalism, technology, media innovation and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of TrollBusters and Toxic Avenger magazine. Her pioneering work has won international, national and professional acclaim including three silver 2022 Anthem Awards, the 2019 AEJMC Professional Freedom and Responsibility Award and the SXSW Dewey Community Service Award. Named a 2018 ‘Top 10 Educators to Watch’ by MediaShift, Dr. Ferrier has collaborated with international organizations like the United Nations, OSCE, Article 19, and others to train the next generation journalists.

For Immediate Release: 3 October 2022

In electronic voting which closed Sunday, October 2, TrollBusters Founder Dr. Michelle Ferrier was elected president of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television International for a two-year term. She ran unopposed on the ballot alongside vice president Jola Dionnes-Mamangum of the Phillipines, secretary Mandira Raut of Nepal and contested seats for treasurer and board positions.

IAWRT International is a nongovernmental organization of women in the media with chapters and more than 400 members around the globe. Ferrier was nominated for the president position by current president Violet Gonda of U.K. and Zimbabwe and president of the IAWRT-USA chapter Sheila Dallas-Katzman. Ferrier has been collaborating with IAWRT at domestic and international forums like the United Nations, the Commission on the Status of Women and other nonprofit organizations around journalists’ safety.

IAWRT Board Election Results

In her candidate statement, Ferrier spoke of the collaborations with IAWRT over the past five years, where she and her team have advanced policies and practices to support journalists online and off. Over the past six years, Ferrier’s advocacy has taken her to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations, and other international partners and think tank organizations examining technology’s role in a free press.

Ferrier is an editorial board member of the Journal for Online Trust & Safety at Stanford University and a judge and collaborator with the Social Science Research Council on Just Tech grants and digital technologies research.

Ferrier recently collaborated around climate change narratives and worked with IAWRT-USA to train journalists on geomapping and community climate change stories. Based on her media deserts research mapping media ecosystems, Ferrier will be training IAWRT members at the upcoming biannual member conference in Tanzania. Ferrier also teamed up with IAWRT members in Ethiopia to create a media innovation accelerator program for Ethiopian journalists. The 12-week program combines a face-to-face innovation bootcamp with 12-weeks of virtual design and development coaching with media and technology entrepreneurs.

Ferrier says her two-year term will focus on advancing press freedoms for women journalists who are under attack in their own communities, to ensure that journalists can do the work they are trained to do.

“I’m honored to serve IAWRT as president and lead during these critical times to help women journalists tell the stories that only we can tell of the pandemic or climate change or economic choices of our politicians and leaders that affect us as journalists and as women,” Ferrier said.

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President’s Message from Dr. Michelle Ferrier

I’m Dr. Michelle Ferrier, the founder of TrollBusters, executive director of the Media Innovation Collaboratory and former president of Journalism that Matters, an organization here in the United States that has been looking at reimagining the local news and information systems here in the United States and abroad to help ensure a free press here in the U.S. and around the globe. Many of you know me from my work and collaborations with IAWRT over the past several years where we have worked at the international level to advance policy and practices that will help support journalists in being safe both online as well as offline.

Over the past six years, my work with TrollBusters has taken me into professional organizations here in the United States as well as around the globe and working at the highest levels of government in the United Nations, with UNESCO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as with technical organizations and social media platforms that are crucial to the work that we do now as journalists online in a digital world.

Because of this work, I have worked closely with IAWRT members and journalists around the globe to advance press freedoms, to sound the alarm, to amplify the voices and stories of journalists who are under attack in their own communities. I met Sheila Dallas-Katzman at the United Nations several years ago and became a member of IAWRT. Since that time, I’ve been working with IAWRT at an international and local level to strengthen the skills of our members across platforms, to provide safety tools, and to help ensure that we can do the work that we’ve been trained to do and advance the stories of our communities. I’m honored that Dr. Sheila Katzman has asked that I serve as president of IAWRT and that I bring the network, skills, knowledge, training and financial resources to bear to strengthen IAWRT now and into the future.

Why IAWRT at this particular time? I believe that we are at the critical tipping point as I look at press freedoms around the globe and the role of women in being able to advance these stories of our communities whether it is regarding the pandemic and health issues that affect our families and our community, or climate change and its effects on our crops and communities in agriculture, or the effects of economic choices of our politicians and leaders, and the decisions of our governments that may have effects on us both as journalists as well as gendered women moving throughout our spaces trying to tell these stories. I think I have a unique perspective because of the work that I’ve been doing over the past several years and the research that I’ve done to be able to help advance press freedom and democratic thought and safe journalistic practices. 

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