Kuala Lumpur (Agenzia Fides) - To announce the tidings of Good news, to stay away from sensationalism and fake news: is the commitment made by journalists, editors, and Catholic communicators from Asia gathered in Kuala Lumpur, in a meeting organized by "SIGNIS" Asia. SIGNIS is a world forum of Catholic communicators and deals with radio, television, cinema and other forms of media communication.
In the final declaration of the assembly, sent to Agenzia Fides, we read: "We will announce the tidings of Good news, for we are baptised and sent by the Lord. We stay away from sensationalism and fake news and we commit to abiding by the Gospel values of truth, honesty and transparency in our service".
The declaration echoes the theme of the extraordinary missionary Month "Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on a mission in the world", which the Church celebrates in October 2019.
In past days, the assembly gathered 18 Catholic editors and journalists representing 12 countries, with 4 presenters, making it a total gathering of 15 countries to reflect on the theme "Peace journalism in a viral culture".
The participants shared the religio-cultural, socio-political situations of their respective missions. This was an eye opener to the ground realities of different Asian countries, and challenges faced by the Catholic editors and publishers in their ministry. The conference raised a few common concerns in terms of declining readership in the context of viral social media, hostile political authority, financial crunch, lack of required skills and training for those involved in Catholic journalism. Participants unanimously agreed the print media of the Church must stay on even in the midst of adverse climates in the Asian region.
In this framework, SIGNIS ASIA will organize training sessions for young journalists, and will work to promote unity and peace among members and among the citizens of their respective countries, encouraging ecumenical and interreligious collaboration.
The conference proposed to establish a "Catholic Press Association-ASIA" under the aegis of SIGNIS ASIA in collaboration with the Communication Department within the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 20/8/2019)