Bishop George Yod Phimphisan, (1933-2017): A man who knew to value communication and media
Brussels, April, 6th, 2018 (SIGNIS). SIGNIS experienced another year of transition and progress in 2017. The World Congress, held in Quebec City in June, highlighted at least three elements of transition and progress: a new international board of directors was seated; we welcomed new members from around the world; and we met in tandem with one of those new members, the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada.
The CPA is representative of an expansion of SIGNIS’ mandate to serve Catholic media professionals. As we respond to the Holy See’s invitation to reach out to Catholic journalists, we are seeing more activity globally focusing on journalism. This includes a first-ever meeting of Catholic journalists in Asia – and not just those who work for Catholic media outlets, but also Catholic journalists working in the secular media. Although it occurred in January 2018, I would be amiss not to mention the French Catholic media organization (another new SIGNIS member) coordination of the first International St. Francis de Sales Days with the Holy See’s Communication Office and SIGNIS. You’ll be hearing more about that meeting later this year.
Of course, our members’ efforts in promoting quality films, television and radio programming, as well as our work in media education, were also robust in 2017. The international board is focusing on how we can strengthen our network by standardizing the guidelines for our international desks, which will include a chair who is a member of the international board, a secretary who is a staff member in Brussels, and a core team of SIGNIS members who bring their expertise from every region of SIGNIS. We are always open to new members of our core teams; please contact your regional board if you would like to join us!
We also are seeing slow but steady improvement in our internal structures and processes, especially our financial systems, so we can confidently move forward in seeking more partners and collaborators. The executive officers have prioritized meeting with our longtime partners in dicasteries and offices in Rome, as well as seeking institutions and foundations outside of the formal Church structures who would share our vision in promoting stories of hope and building bridges of peace.
Thank you for carrying that vision of hope and peace forward in your own work. While this annual report is just a snapshot of our common efforts, I hope it shows how we are all part of a much larger community of communicators!
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