Celebrating World Communications Day

June 4th 2007

T he universal Church observed the 41st World Communications Day on May 20, alongside its celebration of Ascension Sunday. Pope Benedict XVI captured the significance of this year’s world media day in a message entitled “Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education.” In his message the Pope said, “The relationship of children, media and education can be considered from two perspectives: the formation of children by the media, and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media.”

Pontifical Council for Social Communications President Archbishop John Foley affirmed the need of media practitioners to take a hard look at how they influence children, and examine the content and method by which they reach the public. In the end, the purpose of media must be the empowerment of the public to be intelligent and discerning media consumers.

In the Philippines, the National Office of Mass Media boosts its ministry by continuing to support diocesan media offices and their media programs. Last Sunday, parishes were exhorted to take up a collection intended for the upgrade and operations of the Catholic Church’s media arm, both national and local. With the twin forces of radio (totaling 49 Catholic stations nationwide) and television (as TV Maria expands broadcast coverage and content), church media are no longer just “alternative media”. Media offices are now evolving into spaces of skills, ideas and innovative media forms to enrich people’s faith and inspire social change.

CFA, as a church-related media organization, has been helping build a stronger foundation for the communication ministry through media training and production. This year, CFA embarks on a second series of Diocesan Media Directors Training (DMDT) for participants nationwide. The series, conducted in partnership with the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media under the leadership of Bishop Bernardino Cortez, is aimed at upgrading communication skills of media directors and workers to better serve the parishes. CFA also relates strongly to the theme “Children and Media”. Since 1980, it has published Gospel Komiks in both English and Filipino versions, which have become CFA’s biggest selling magazines and the forerunner of three other faith-based children’s magazines titled Gospel Komiks Magazine, Jesus and Baby Jesus Magazine.

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