Media and Creative Industries alumna wins accolade for cultural communication

Loughborough University London Alumna, Sofia Gonzalez-Barboza, is a co-winner of the prestigious Joaquín García Monge Award for Cultural Communication.

Alumna, Sofia Gonzalez-Barboza, was recently announced as the co-winner of the Joaquín García Monge Award for Cultural Communication, awarded by the Ministry of Culture and Youth in Costa Rica.

Sofia first joined Orgullo Gay as a copy editor in 2017, but soon became a member of the Editorial Team and is now an editorial council member of Orgullo Gay (Pride Magazine). Orgullo Gay (Pride Magazine) won the award for it's work in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in Costa Rica.

Sofia says that her MA in Media and Creative Industries played a role in her success on this project:

“I feel my work for Orgullo and the lessons learned studying within the Institute for Media and Creative Industries (IMCI) are intimately related, as both represent a perfect combination of innovation and the desire for social change. Although I had already joined Orgullo before my year at Loughborough University London, I truly feel my experience in London helped me to hone a series of skills necessary when co-editing such a complicated and interdisciplinary project.”

When discussing her experience of working on this project, Sofia said:

"In my work I have focused on incorporating more queer female and non-binary stories on our pages, and as a queer woman this opportunity has helped strengthen my own voice.

I'm proud to form part of a project invested in collecting LGBTQ+ voices from different parts of the country. Over the years, the project has been able to document many important events, stories and perspectives within the Costa Rican queer community. This magazine is both a diary and a witness and receiving an award that acknowledges such efforts is heart-warming.”

In awarding the prize, the jury commended Orgullo Gay as:

“A platform that promotes Costa Rican values such as respect, tolerance and diversity from an innovative space and with keenly executed design and transdisciplinary content.”

Orgullo Gay started out nine years ago as an activity guide produced for Costa Rica's Pride Parade. Since then, it has developed into an influential magazine in its own right. It now publishes both digital and print editions which are distributed across Costa Rica.

To find out more about Sofia's experience studying at Loughborough University London, please visit our alumni web page.

To read Sofia's published article entitled 'Ethical considerations of machine learning based tools in media research: A case study on BBC Media Action's Klahan-9 project in Cambodia and El Kul in Libya', please visit our IMCI Graduate Papers web page.