13 May 2018

Indonesian Bishops’ National Social Communication Week 2018 to Discuss Journalism for Peace

The Indonesian Bishops’ Commission for Social Communication will kick off the National Social Communication Week (Indonesian acronym: PKSN) on May 7 with various activities, including audio-visual training, creative writing training, media literacy, debate, drawing and coloring contests, and recollections. The whole activities, to be hosted by the Commission for Social Communication of the Diocese of Palangka Raya in Central Kalimantan, would be closed with an Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday, May 13.

The peak event, in form of a national seminar themed “Catholic Church to Reject Hoaxes, Fake News and Hate Speech,” would present some speakers including Rudiantara, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Eusebius Binsasi, Director of the Directorate General for Catholic Community Guidance at the Religious Affairs Ministry, Trias Kuncahyono, Deputy Chief Editor of Kompas Daily, and Franciscan Father Professor Antonius Eddy Kristiyanto, a lecturer on the History of the Church at the Jesuit's Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta.

Besides involving the leaders of all diocesan commissions for social communication, the hosting diocese of each PKSN always invites the whole community and involves non-Catholics. It always presents as well representatives from the central government and the national media as resource persons. 

In the same time, the Indonesian Bishops’ Commission for Social Communication hopes that such activities will not stop at the national level but to be celebrated as well by all dioceses in Indonesia. There is a need to jointly introduce and improve the pastoral social communication in dioceses and parishes. And we are grateful to note that some dioceses are implementing also diocesan social communications week.

During the days in Palangka Raya, all participants will try to understand the message of Pope Francis for World Communication Day, which this year themed “The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace.”

Through this theme, we understand that Pope invites us to have total commitment to the truth by countering fake news, hoaxes and hate speech. The truth the Pope meant is biblical truth, where humans feel safe and lean so as not fall into temptation.

The context of this year papal message is related to social media used by more than 1.76 billion people worldwide. Unfortunately, the use of social media deviates from the original goal that should raise respect for human dignity. Now, fake news, hoaxes and hate speech are rampant. As a result, apostasy, panic, and division between individuals and among people arise everywhere.

Through the massage, Pope invites everyone to put forward journalism for peace. Although the main task is on the shoulders of journalists, but the whole people must share the task. Journalism for peace, Pope said, is not intended to be a "flavor-sweetening" journalism that refuses to acknowledge serious problems or sentimentalism journalism.

On the contrary, journalism for peace is an honest evangelization which is against falsehood, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines. It is a journalism created by society for society, which serves all people, especially the voiceless.

To prepare PKSN 2018, the Indonesian Bishops’ Commission for Social Communication assisted by ‘Audio Visual Studio Puskat Yogyakarta’ has produced a short film titled "Truth Will Free You." We hope the film could be a reflection material for anyone, and help the dioceses nationwide echo the papal message. One can watch the movie by going to youtube Komsos Commission KWI on https://youtu.be/-N7Z4yzjbHw link.

In order to support of the interest of film writers and producers, the Indonesian Bishops’ Commission for Social Communication has staged Short Film Festival and Writing Contest, which are currently under jury review. Besides communication day posters, our commission has also produced and spread to 37 dioceses nationwide a manual of communication day celebrations and in-depth catechesis on the Pope's Message for Communication Day.  and the poster of Communication Day. 


Father Kamilus Pantus
Executive Secretary of the Indonesian Bishops’ Commission for Social Communication