Final Statement of the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA)
Mumbai 1 December 2021
We, the members and collaborators of the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA), gathered for its 26th National Convention of Christian Journalists and for the Annual General Body Meeting, on December 1, 2021 at ST PAULS Media Complex at Bandra in Mumbai.
The theme of the convention was ‘Hit the Streets: Listen, Encounter, Engage’, based on Pope Francis’s message for the 55th World Communications Day 2021, which focuses on “Come and See” (Jn 1:46): Communicating By Encountering People Where and as They Are.”
We wish to express our concern over what is happening in the country today with regard to the media and its role. A sizable section of the media has failed miserably to exercise its sacred responsibility of being a watchdog. It is no more free, frank and fearless in its duty. We witness and experience a pliable media which is corrupt and divisive; it is spewing and spreading hate, half-truths and lies.
The call of this convention, therefore, is urgent and important that we as Catholic Communicators should hit the streets by listening to the people, encountering and engaging with them. Like Jesus, our Master, who has taught us what communication is all about, we need to take a visible and a vocal stand for truth and justice. This is a non-negotiable condition if ‘hitting the streets’ has to create the desired impact.
Therefore, today, we pledge to listen, encounter and engage to make our communication more effective and responsive; we also vow to hit the streets until truth, justice, reconciliation and peace prevail.