SIGNIS ASIA, a regional member of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, discussed the Role of Media in Building Communities in a meeting that was held recently. The meeting that took place from 4th to 8th August, 2019, at New Delhi saw around 120 participants who shared their views and perceptions on the topic.
The gathering focused to bring out the significance of media in building communities but also while accepting and respecting the role of effective media communication, the meeting also discussed the toxic effects of media. SIGNIS ASIA highlighted that media has the power to divide communities through toxic messages by vested interests and business centered owners. This message inspired the members to initiate a series of reflections among them and people through training programmes, video and radio productions, publications, film discussions and digital media in order to create awareness about fake news. The members in the meeting resolved to be the voice of the voiceless in the struggle for independence and freedom placing people at the centre in their actions and to restore dignity to all and power to the powerless.
The members insisted each other to work for solution oriented journalism and to enable people to come out of echo chambers where they keep listening only to their voices and not of the others. SIGNIS ASIA expressed their concern about the younger generation and called upon the younger ones to know about the positive uses of social media in building communities. The meeting asked the members to move beyond the conventional paradigm of tolerance and begin to celebrate diversity. The members also resolved and reaffirmed their faith in social communication and accepted it as their mission to engage in building communities of peace, equality, inclusiveness, positivity and dignity.