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Press Union Urges Media to Serve Humanity

Stresses Journalist’s Role in Just Economy

GENEVA, Switzerland, DEC. 22, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The International Catholic Union of the Press is underlining the media’s role in building economic justice, and is calling on journalists to serve humanity and creation, rather than individual agendas.

The union affirmed this in a document titled “Media for Social and Economic Justice,” published this week in order to “emphasize the importance and role of journalism in finding lasting solutions to problems we all face worldwide.”

“Social and economic justice forms the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous world,” the document stated.

It underlined the “special responsibility” of journalists and media experts “to ensure that social and economic justice worldwide prevail with the purpose of eliminating conflicts, wars and other disasters.”

It this light, the press union affirmed that the document they published, which they adopted at their Oct. 31 general assembly, aims at “inspiring journalists and media experts, so that they can work towards establishing exemplary levels of justice and peace worldwide by bringing up this issue at world forums and at decision- and policy-making levels.”

The document was prepared by writers, journalists, professors and specialists from Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Oceania.

It emphasized the “noble history of journalism,” noting that “when crises occurred in the past journalists were able to speak out and show the way to people as well as their leaders.”

Now, it stated, the world is dealing with several issues such as “consumerism, standardization, destruction of the environment, globalization, widespread underpaying of workers, and permanent dependence of the poor on the rich.”

The press union expressed the hope that this document will aid journalists and media experts in the “noble act” of exploring these issues and making them a priority on the world agenda.

Global welfare

It explained: “Media experts and journalists have probably the most important role to play with regard to social and economic issues. Journalism is the profession where critical thinking and in-depth analysis in favor of global welfare must precede any word or action.”

“In this sense,” the document affirmed, “no one can be a journalist if he or she discriminates or devalues the other in the name of national, ethnical or religious pride.”

It added, “A journalist is at the service of humanity and nature and not at the service of the vested interests of a few.”

The union stated that “the media have to rise above differences — which at the same time need to be distinguished and appreciated in order to serve the greater aims and welfare of all.”

Thus, it continued, “the media can bring to light constantly, every day and every minute, the policies and actions that go against the common good and welfare together with their devastating consequences.”

“If the media are not able to do this, there is no one else to expose these injustices,” the union asserted.

The document underlined the need “to create supra-national, supra-interest and supra-cultural media that can really serve humanity at large and taking into consideration diverse viewpoints and life experiences.”

It affirmed: “All journalists, editors and experts, irrespective of their working conditions and salary scales must consider their supreme call to serve humanity at large.

“Probably this is the only way to progress and gradually establish social and economic justice.”

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Full text: http://www.ucip.ch/do/mje.htm

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