Thursday, January 24, 2008

World Communications Day--calling for media change

The theme for this year's World Communications Day is, The Media: At the Crossroads between Self-Promotion and Service.Searching for the Truth in order to Share it with Others. Pope Benedict has released remarks for the event, which is on May 4th.

"We must ask," the Holy Father insists, "whether it is wise to allow the instruments of social communication to be exploited for indiscriminate 'self-promotion' or to end up in the hands of those who use them to manipulate consciences.

"Today," he points out, "communication seems increasingly to claim not simply to represent reality, but to determine it. certain situations the media are used not for the proper purpose of disseminating information, but to 'create' events." (underlined emphasis mine)

Pope Benedict calls this a "dangerous change" that has been "noted with concern by many Church leaders" and calls for a complete change in the present focus of the media, away from promoting materialism and moral relativism and towards a "media ethic" that promotes the dignity of all humanity.

How can this be done? First, by not supporting the existing media. Within the next year or two, televisions using old technology will no longer work without technical adaptations. This is a good time to consider your television diet. Do you need a tv at all? Do you need as many as you currently have? Perhaps this Lent is a good time to go on a "media diet".

Second, support alternate media. There are many good Catholic media organizations out there as well as good internet blogs of all kinds that don't pander to the materialistic culture of death.

Find them. Support them. Start one.

Some to consider: EWTN, Ave Maria Radio, The Catholic Channel, and Saint Michael's Media.


Marilena said...

the pope is correct.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dymphna,

Your suggestion to boycot the media appears attractive, but - if you don't mind me saying - it misses the point.
Suppose the church did not run centres to help drug addicts. Suppose it did not operate centres for women contemplating abortion. Drug addicts and pregnant women might believe Christians were excluding them.
Any church working with drug addicts or unmarried, angry young mums, will know it is not an easy task. But the church must be there.

My background is in the secular media. I now write for Christian publications. I delight in writing articles for the converted in Christian papers.
But I know that people who do not go to church, read the trashy tabloids. That is where they source their opinions and understanding of the church.

Now, we know the newspapers tend to concentrate on scandal and salicious stories about the church. So, that is why Christians need to ensure good, positive Christian stories are placed there. This is not as difficult as you might imagine.

I have many arguments with the secular media. But I know that as a Christian, I cannot ignore it. I delight in planting good positive stories in the tabloids. It confuses the devil - and wins souls for Jesus.

There are no no go areas for Jesus - and that includes the media.



Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

That's true, James. The Christians in the media are truly a light in the darkness. I think it takes a very strong faith in Jesus to do that. For my sanity, I can't watch 95% of what's on television these days, but I really do appreciate those lights who work right on the front lines like you do.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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