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Asian Communicators study media role in building communities

By Father C.M. Paul SDB
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Mumbai, Aug. 7. New Delhi - Some 120 Catholic communicators from 19 countries held their annual assembly at Diocesan Community Centre, New Delhi, from August 4th to 7th August 2019.

The members of SIGNIS, worldwide group of Catholic Communicators are engaged in radio, television, cinema and other forms of media.

Besides some 80 participants from India and 28 delegates from Asia included participants from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, East Timor, Macau, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea. International Office Bearers included participants from USA, Italy, Argentina and Zambia.

The theme of the 3-day study ''The Role of Media in Building Human Communities,'' was inspired by the message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day 2019: ''We are members of one another'' (Eph 4,25) from social network communities to the human community.''

While Editor in Chief at The Citizen Ms. Seema Mustafa delivered the keynote on the the theme: Role of Media in Building Communities, Senior Fellow with the Indian Council of Social Science Research Ms. Pamela Philipose; Film maker at Veritas Productions Dr Shaison P Ouseph; Editor Asian News International Ms. Smita Prakash, and Assistant Professor at Manav Rachana International Institute of Research Ms Pratici Majumdar spoke on 'Church Media in Community Building.'

Sessions on second day included Communities Growing Hostile Communities Through Media influence by Editorial Director of The Sunday Guardian Shri Madhav Das Nalapatt and Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication Shri K,G. Suresh.

The panelists for the Role of Media in Building Communities in the Multi Religious and Political Context of Asia included Editor of Caravan Mr. Vinod K. Jose, Director India Habitat Center Sunit Tandon and CRIS Board Member Shri Vinit Goenka.

The Assembly started with a concelebrated Eucharist at Sacred Heart Cathedral New Delhi presided over by Archbishop Anil Couto of New Delhi along with some 70 priests.

Among the dignitaries participating at the study days were Signis World Office Bearers: President Ms. Helen Osman, Vice Presidents Father Paul Samsumo and Mr Lawrence John Sinniah, Secretary General Mr Ricardo Yanez, and Signis Rome General Manager Ms. Maria Chiara De Lorenzo.

Signis Asia Office Bearers present included: President Father Joseph Anucha, Secretary
Ms Bernadetta Widiandajani and Board Member Dr Magimai Pragasam.

The hosts, Signis India Office bearers included President Father Stanley Kozhichira, Vice President Father Norbert Hermen and Secretary Father Vijay Victor.

SIGNIS World President Ms Osman had a session on Crisis Communication Management.

India Office of Social Communications Bishop Salvador of Baruipur and Archbishop Philip Neri of Goa presided over Eucharistic celebrations on 5th and 6th August respectively.

The participants at the assembly besides visiting the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat New Delhi on the occasion of his 150th year of birth also had opportunity to visit Taj Mahal in Agra.

SIGNIS Asia has 20 member countries and the Assembly was held at Bangkok, Thailand in August 2018.
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