by Mr. Sumit Dhanraj,Signis India Member

Guwahati Feb 21, 2018: Signis India National Assembly 2018 focusing on the theme “Media: Current Trends and Emerging Challenges” marked a fantabulous opening ceremony at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, Assam on 21st February 2018. The grand gala event kicked off with the inaugural Eucharistic celebration, officiated by Bishop of Miao, Rt. Rev. George Pallparampil and Bishop of Aizawl, Rt. Rev. Stephen Ratluanga. The holy Mass set the right mood of the assembly, and serene spiritual atmosphere filled the participants and delegates with God’s abundant blessings.

Bishop George Pallparampil, Chairman – Signis North East, in his message said, “Communication is the core value of evangelization. Effective communication is required to reach out to people.” Thus, highlighting the importance of the current trends and emerging challenges in Media, he added that dialogue, debate and right communication is essential to reach out to people. It should also be a healthy and productive one, he emphasized. Goodnews should be shared and lived he asked everyone. It’s part and parcel of our daily life. “We are sharing personality of Jesus and intend to transform the world by sharing Jesus and good news as communicators”, he said.

The colourful inauguration session began with a prayer song leading all to cheerfully experience the feel of North East India; especially Guwahati. The lighting of the lamp was done by the eminent guests. Fr. Johnson Parackal SDB, Executive Director, DBI wholeheartedly welcomed guests, speakers and delegates to the National Assembly.  The cultural performances and dances enthralled everyone gathered. Lovely songs and melodious singing filled all with jolly-good feelings.

Mr. Sunil Lucas, President, Signis India declared the National Assembly 2018 open in the midst of participants, delegates and many students of Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati. He also introduced the SIGNIS organization to the general audience. Signis stands for the World Catholic Association for Communication, he said.

Fr. V. M.  Thomas, Salesian Provincial & CRI President, India shared some astonishing things about fake news. He presented and discussed some cases to show how fake news is increasing day by day. He said, “We don’t check facts while passing news stories or while preparing news. Nowadays, Media and media persons serve no more news but opinions.” He asked the august gathering to make discernment as Media persons and communicators.

The Chief Guest of the day Shri Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, Former Governor, Meghalaya in his key note address spoke about the current trends and emerging challenges in Media. He said that in the field of Media the news is twisted according to one’s own whims and fancy by the Media persons working for the particular print or electronic media. Story like a man biting a dog becomes a news story easily rather than a dog biting a man, he added. But at times Media cannot be free from biases. Citing the example of Social Media, he said, “Most of the things on Social Media are anti-social.”

Speaking positively about Media he said that Media is full of activity. It is no longer the fourth pillar or state of our country but the first. Communication is important to solve the conflicts of all sorts. Proper communication is essential to remove miscommunication. Usually, miscommunication is the cause of the destruction of the world.

Fr. Alfons Elengikal, Secretary Signis North East proposed the vote of thanks. The first session had a remarkable ending wherein everyone greeted one another a happy beginning of the annual assembly.

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