Report by  Sumit Dhanraj, SIGNIS M.P. & C.G. Region, India.

The Annual SIGNIS Asia Assembly 2018 was held at St. Gabriel Foundation of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme of the assembly was “Fake News versus Media for Peace”. The assembly came to an end with discussions and planning for the promulgation of truth and peace in the field of Journalism and Media. Fourteen delegates from Signis India took active part in the assembly.

Focussing on Pope Francis’s Communication Day message about Fake News and Journalism for Peace the assembly participants studied and reflected on various topics. Catholic Social Communication of Thailand (CSCT) under the able leadership of Fr. Joseph Anucha Chaiyadej, SIGNIS Asia President hosted the event.

The Assembly also highlighted the vision of SIGNIS i.e. “Media for a Culture of Peace”. It also commemorated 90 years of SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication) from the very roots of mother organizations UNDA and OCIC. The five days assembly began on 13th August and concluded on 17th August, 2018. It offered to the Asian SIGNIS members an opportunity to study, discuss, plan, collaborate and network on different aspects of Media for Peace and to eradicate Fake News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The study days gave superb opportunity to listen to eminent speakers. The Key note presentation and address on “Fake News versus Media for Peace” was given by Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai (Chancellor, St. John’s University Bangkok; Former World President of UNDA and Consultor, Pontifical Council of Social Communication) and Dr. Peter Ratchada Monthienvichienchai (Executive Director of UCANews, the independent Catholic news agency in Asia).

The next session was on “Fake News in Digital Media” by Fr. Anthony Le Duc SVD (Assistant Director, Asian Research Centre for Religion and Social Communication), “Media Education” by Dr. Magimai Pragasam (Vice-President SIGNIS Asia) and “Journalism” by Thai VJ Alumni.

Another important session with an excellent in-depth research on Fake News, its definition, its effects on communicators in Asia and the directions to drive the prevention of fake news was dealt by Dr. Theethavat Janevatchararuk from Assumption University of Thailand (Lecturer, Public Relations Department, Albert Laurence School of Communication Arts).

A very vibrant youth Ms. Apinya Hiranyawech shared her experiences from being part of the preparation of the Pre-Synodal Meeting of the Synod of Bishops XV Ordinary General Assembly, “Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment”.

There were group activities, action plans and desk project discussions of Radio, Journalism, TV, Media Education and Cinema desks. The new Digital or Social Media Desk was introduced by Fr. Joseph Anucha Chaiyadej and Fr. Anthony Le Duc. There was also exposure and tour to the Thailand’s very famous Channel 3 and TRUE Corporation. SIGNIS Asia members became part of the centenary celebrations of the Assumption Church starting with Eucharistic celebrations, cultural night and dinner.

The next host for the SIGNIS Asia Assembly 2019 is India and SIGNIS World Congress 2021 is Korea. Both the countries warmly welcome all the SIGNIS members to the respective events to share, collaborate and network with their expertise in Media.

 

 

 

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