VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the description of the World Catholic Association for Communication, or SIGNIS, which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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Official name: World Catholic Association for Communication
Also known as: SIGNIS
History: SIGNIS was founded by merging two organizations that had existed since 1928: OCIC, the International Catholic Organization for Cinema, and UNDA, the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television.
It is recognized by the Holy See as an international Catholic organization, and is a member of the Conference of ICOs, and as a nongovernmental organization it has consultative status with UNESCO, the U.N. Economic and Social Council, and the Council of Europe.
Identity: SIGNIS is a worldwide network of associations, institutions and individuals working in the mass media, with the aim of alerting Christians to the importance of human communication in every culture, and encouraging them to speak out in this sector.
The association, which represents Catholic media in all the governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions, is committed to lobbying for policies to encourage communications that respect Christian values, justice and human rights; to involving media professionals in the dialogue on questions of professional ethics, and to fostering ecumenical and interfaith cooperation in the media sector.
The projects implemented by SIGNIS are extremely varied, ranging from the promotion of television programs and films by setting up juries to take part in film and television festivals (such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Monte Carlo, Prix Italia), setting up radio broadcasting studios, producing and distributing videos, and supporting the development of communication infrastructure (satellite telephony, Internet, Intranet).
One of the priorities of SIGNIS is to guarantee everyone quality access to the media by providing them with information including learning how to interpret and view critically, and to acquire new communication techniques and technologies.
Organization: SIGNIS is governed by the General Assembly, the Assembly of Delegates, the Board of Management, which comprises the president, vice president, general secretary and ecclesiastical assistant, the treasurer, a representative of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (of which the president and the general secretary of the association are a member and a consultor, respectively), representatives of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania, and one representative of the international organizations in contact with the association.
National Catholic associations of institutions and individuals working in the audiovisual media or Catholic international media organizations pursuing the same goals, may become members of SIGNIS. And institutions or individuals working locally in the media, but in contact with their national associations, may become associates.
Membership: SIGNIS has 150 member associations and 76 associate associations in 122 countries worldwide.
Works: SIGNIS is a founder member of CIFEJ (International Center of Films for Children and Young People).
Publications: Signis Media, a two-monthly magazine
Signis Info, a bimonthly newsletter
Signis Web News, a fortnightly online newsletter
Web site: http://www.signis.net
15, rue du Saphir
1030 Brussels – Belgium
Telephone (32) 2-734-9708 — Fax 2-734-3207 / 734-7018
Servizio Missionario SIGNIS
Palazzo San Calisto
00120 Città del Vaticano
Telephone (39) 06-6988-7255 — Fax (39) 06-6988-7335
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]