- Puskat Marks 40th Anniversary with Media Education Seminar
- "Media Education Is a Must" for Santhome Communications Centre
- FMM Sisters in Chennai Call Parents to Protect their Children from the Effects of the Media
- Media Education Short Course for Solomons’ Youth
- Media Education Workshop in the Solomons
- Media Education Seminar: Analyzing and Learning in a Media-rich Environment
- 4th Media Seminar in Honiara: "You Can Change your Lives"
- ‘Media Education’ for All Parents of a School Run by FMM Sisters in India
- Santhome Communications Centre Produces Fifteen Media Education Trainers
- Media Education Seminar in the Solomons Focuses on Newsletter
- Media Education Seminar in Papua New Guinea
- Children our First Concern and Hope for the Future
- ReFOCUS: Malaysian Media Education Initiative on YouTube
- Media students Complete Church Training in the Solomons
- Johannesburg 2007: The Goals of the 5th World Summit
- Johannesburg 2007: A Voice for Children in the Media
- Johannesburg 2007: SIGNIS Workshops at the 5th World Summit
- US National Media Education Conference 2007
- Lola Kenya Screen Wins Grand Prize at Fifth World Summit on Media and Children
- Women’s Interfaith Media Literacy Initiative Launched
- Johannesburg 2007: SIGNIS Delegation to the 5th World Summit
- International Children’s Day of Broadcasting 2006
- UNESCO Handbook on Media Awareness
- Media Education in Malta - Historical Perspectives and Current Developments
- Solomon Students Present Short Films in Media Education Project
- Paper of Prof. David Buckingham about Media Education
- Media Education Seminar: "Media is for Everybody"
- Fr. Joe Borg elected head of IAMCR section
- CREC to provide formation courses in pastoral communication to seminarians
- New Russian Books Devoted to Media Education
Johannesburg 2007: SIGNIS Workshops at the 5th World Summit
Johannesburg, May 27, 2007 (Sr. Rose Pacatte) - Father Chris Townsend, Communication/Information Officer of the South African Bishops’ Conference and pastor of a local parish in Johannesburg, and I co-presented a workshop with complimentary themes at the 5th World Summit on Media & Children which took place from March 24 to 28 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Fr. Townsend’s talk was entitled, “Children, Religion, and Media - Paradigms, opportunities, and Constraints.” He addressed the role and challenges of children producing their own media within the limited possibilities of the South African church, although opportunities for radio production certainly exist. He described the local situation and the challenges to dialogue between faith leaders of various churches and communities and key media makers about the quality of television content for children and families as well as the possibility to develop and broadcast specifically religious programming.
He said that “We need to explore how we approach children’s experience of God and the media. All too often the media use a top-down approach with a child, which, in itself, raises the question of whose perspective is being showcased.” He spoke of the inner life of the child and how they make meaning from the media they experience and that understanding this is key to involving children in church-sponsored productions.
My presentation focused on “Helping Kids Mind the Media”. I began by highlighting some points on faith formation (catechesis) in the popular culture environment that the 2005 National Directory for Catechesis (NDC) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Essentially, the NDC acknowledges the mediated and artificially created pop culture in the United States that is both a challenge and an opportunity for faith formation. The document asks that we recall that the Church first of all defines the media as gifts of God and therefore we are to:
Use the media for faith formation, that is, to instrumentalize existing religious and mainstream media for catechesis;
Catechize the media, i.e. help children, parents, catechists, and clergy to develop critical thinking skills through media education to engage with media and to find seeds of the Gospel in media stories today and for tomorrow - because the media makers of tomorrow are in our pews, living rooms, and classrooms today;
Produce media for faith formation in each diocese; this is the biggest challenge because of all because of the cost of producing quality media that children are used to and will respond to.
I then presented a four-part strategy for media mindfulness based on theological reflection, developed by Sr. Gretchen Hailer, RSHM, that anyone can use when engaged with any form of media.
After our presentations, a rich dialogue followed among the international group of workshop participants. Issues of advocacy for quality programming in mainstream media as well as the creation of and applied processes for ratings systems and censorship were also talked about.
In a general session, the President of SIGNIS, Augustine Loorthusamy of Malaysia, told the assembly that SIGNIS wants “to offer an alternative parallel curricula to that of consumer-driven media to help the young recognize their spirituality and contribute to a sustainable world where we can live and grow in freedom, peace and friendship”. He then went on to describe the work of Radio Pacis in Uganda, where children co-produce radio shows, and the work of TeleLumiere in Lebanon that assisted families during the 2006 war and the media production workshops for youth of SIGNIS-Romania.