Dialogue and inclusion of young people are keys for the future of Communications
Québec, June, 20th 2017 (SIGNIS). « Building Peace and Hope in a world of cultural and religious diversity » was the first plenary of the day. As our world is Hyper-diverse, there is a need for media, and especially faith-based media, to address the issues of racism and to reach a young audience. To launch the discussion, Abdul-Rehman Malik, director of the Insight Film Festival, screened the short film “Inspire”, by Shehroze Khan, which explores how different people, from different faiths, culture and backgrounds, can all be united by positive actions. “Storytelling and quality research are the key to change people’s understanding of reality”, says Patrice Brodeur, from the International Dialogue Center in Vienna. Positive stories need to be shared, as we live in a world filled with bad news. Jaime Carril Rojas, from the Latin American interreligious network on peace education, explained how he utilizes television to create campaign that build bridges amongst people. A bit like the Tv channel Salt & Light does. Their motto is “opening doors and building bridges”. They create programmes that create interreligious dialogue. Tom Rosica, founder and CEO, explains that they are employing young people to keep the content fresh, and that comes from different background and cultures. It is important to have “solid beautiful content”, and “not to focus on the number of hits on social media”. The importance of reaching young people was the center of the next plenary. Since 2009, SIGNIS has been “building the next generation of communicators”. The project is now called CommLab, and gathers young people from different nationalities once a year, to learn and improve their skills as media professionals. Lawrence, from Kenya, reminded how important it is to include young people into the professional world. Less and less young people want to be involved in the Church activities, because “it is not cool”, but also because they feel that the ‘older’ won’t let them in, and don’t trust them enough. Vi Cao says that “young people is not just linked to the age of the person”. She adds that SIGNIS is building the “next generation of communicators”, but that the “next generation is a question of spirit: if you have a young heart, an open mind and you are open to new technologies, then you are part of this next generation”. Two plenaries filled with hope and confidence in the future, that have inspired the SIGNIS World congress participants. Pictures by Samuel Tessier
Meeting with Mgr Lucio Adrian Ruiz
Québec City, June 19th, 2017 (SIGNIS). In 2015, Pope Francis created the new secretariat for communications, headed by Don Dario Vigano, in order to gather the main communications services of the Vatican. Mgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, is the “webmaster of the Pope”, and secretary of the new secretariat. Since 1997, he has been responsible of the internet service of the Vatican, then of the department of internet and telecommunications. In 2013, He already explained that his department was not the only one to guarantee the active presence of the Pope in the media, but that it was also due to the work of the Press center, the CTV, Radio Vatican, and of the Vatican’s journal. Two years later, all these “supports” were united, after the Pope’s request, in order to respond to the cultural change, explained Msgr. Lucio at the editorial team of Le Quotidien, the daily newspaper of the SIGNIS Congress. “It is a normal evolution, to answer to the challenges of media and the new digital world”. He added “we wanted to work in a simple and efficient way”, and new technologies allow that. Msgr. Lucio uses the word “Hyper reality” to describe the world of today: what is important, is the event, the content, not the media. About the relationship between SIGNIS and the new Secretariat, he sees a « continuity, a renewal and a strengthening ». We have to re-think our relationship, to make us better. “Together, we will be even stronger to answer to the challenges of the mission of the Church”.