KATHMANDU, Nepal — The SIGNIS Asia Assembly 2011 was held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 16-22 October with the theme “Media for a Culture of Peace: CREATING IMAGES WITH THE NEW GENERATION”.
SIGNIS, a Vatican approved world catholic association for communications chose the theme to guide the work of the association for the next three years. It was inspired by Pope Benedict’s 2011 Message for the 45th World Communication Day celebrated on 5 June.
The head of Catholic Social Communications in Nepal Chirendra Satyal hosted and coordinated the event which includes the SIGNIS Asia Assembly, study days on topics such as ‘New Generation and social networking’, “The New Media –Opportunties and risks” and “Creating images with young people” to name but a few. Stella Chin, assistant treasurer of Signis Malaysia and Chairperson of the Kuching Archdiocesan Social Communications Committee gave a sharing on the efforts of the youths of the Empowered Ministry St Joseph’s and Holy Trinity Parishes in evangelising in and through the digital media.
Nepal became the latest member of SIGNIS Asia during the SIGNIS Asia Assembly.
The assembly unanimously endorsed Nepal’s membership following a meeting that saw representatives from 19 Asian countries and six delegates from Nepal gathered in the country’s capital.
Chirendra Satyal, an organizer for the event, said membership for the country was an important step in the evolution of the country’s media and communications sectors.
“This means Nepal can directly network with members of other countries and our young people can get better access to Catholic institutions in other countries, which offer training in social communications.”
Satyal, also a journalist and secretary of the country’s Catholic media commission, said Christian media faces significant challenges in the country.
“When we talk of Christian media on a nationwide scale, it is usually understood as non-Catholic media.”
Though Protestants operate FM radio stations and produce films and video, and even run small communications centres, it remains difficult for them to enter the largely secular mainstream with professional productions, Satyal said.
He added that the Catholic Church “is still struggling even in the field of print media and is challenged to start a national communication centre and train committed Catholics in the field.”
About four percent of Nepal’s majority Hindu population is Christian, and only about 9,000 are Catholic.
The SIGNIS Asia assembly has passed resolutions to introduce a film festival and media awards, along with a branding plan to introduce SIGNIS in delegates’ respective countries. Delegates have also agreed to start a social media education workshop to help young people learn about media usage.
The SIGNIS Asia Media Awards this year saw Hong Kong winning the 15 minute video slot with a story entitled “Youth Outreach-Power to Grow”. For more details about SIGNIS visit the website at http://www.signisasia.net
Compiled by Stella Chin
Published on 20 December 2011 @ 3:00 pm