SAA2019 Statement ‘Fight fear, build communities’

We, the members of SIGNIS ASIA, a regional member of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, about 120 participants from 19 countries, gathered in New Delhi, India from 4th to 8th August, 2019, discussed and deliberated on the theme ‘The Role of Media in Building Communities.’

While acknowledging the fact that media has the power to inform, empower and build communities, it can also divide communities through ‘toxic messages’ by vested interests and business centred media owners.

Hence, we resolve to initiate a series of reflections among members and people through training programmes, video and radio productions, publications, film discussions and digital media to identify the negative messages that divide people and to replace them with positive and futuristic messages with a focus on building communities.

We resolve to be the voice of the voiceless in the struggle for independence and freedom placing people at the centre in all our actions, to restore dignity to all and power to the powerless.

Let us work for solution oriented journalism and enable people to come out of echo chambers where they keep listening only to their voices and not of the others.

We call upon younger generation to know about the positive use of social media in building communities. Let us move beyond the conventional paradigm of tolerance and begin to celebrate diversity. Let us be wise and brave to counter fear with facts and truth.

We resolve and reaffirm our faith in social communication and accept it as our mission and engage in building communities of peace, equality, inclusiveness, positivity and dignity.

(Statement adopted by SIGNIS ASIA ASSEMBLY held in New Delhi, India in August 2019)