The truth sets us free. Countering false information. Journalism of peace. The ingredients of World Communications Day. Yesterday. What about today? How can we be free and true? How can we identify, defend ourselves, counter and prevent falsehood? How can we write and transmit stories of peace?
That’s always the most difficult part: how. Seeking a balance between theory and practice, word and action. A dynamic thrust from practice to reflection and back. I was taught that journalism means writing the stories of men and women every day. My proposal is to start anew from mutually educating each other to:
Restore meaning to the words we write and say in every wake of life and communication domain. Ours is communicative action that futhers communion, participation and dialogue
The meaningful relationship triggered by language conveys emotions and knowledge. It reflects world visions and understandings.
It thus implies a strong relationship between thought and reality, while never consuming its potentialities, as the scope of both is boundless. In the act of communication we are active subjects, we create meaning. The communication process is dynamic, interactive, and it entails constant reference to context. An agreement on signs that express significance.
Learning the art of narrating. At a time of disintermediation where narrations are juxtaposed, multiplying viewpoints and stories; at a time of practiced media consumption that is publically shared there is an urgent need to recover authorship and stature, the grammar and the syntax of narration. The mission of true words is to embark readers and listeners on a journey.
Words lead to encounter, presence and dialogue.
Restoring a central role to dialogue, never losing sight of the human element, practising a positive outlook so that the truthful elements may overwhelm falsehood and slander.
Serving and communicating with responsibility and truth. Recovering values as old as journalism itself, namely its distinctive features and the service to readers. Communication is fruitful inasmuch as it consists in a creative, critical approach to the production of content; because it is involving, raises questions, identifies the answers and the sources, denounces homologation, rejects platitude and mediocrity, becomes the polis, common good. To write, to speak and to post online should be the result of responsible, earnest and consequential action.
Ryszard Kapuściński when asked to describe the requisites of a good journalist, indicated, inter alia, to be curious about the world, to speak many languages, to travel, to have an open approach to other cultures and peoples, passion, and, most of all, the ability to reason.
Becoming citizens. It’s everyone’s “homework.” It’s not confined to the professionals of communication, to journalists. As Pope Francis emphasized several times in his Message: “None of us can feel exempted from the duty of countering these falsehoods.” There is room for everyone: for children and adults who play videogames, create profiles on social networks, post and share, tag and make photos, videos and documents go viral … To be responsible for online and offline activity means accepting the consequences of our living environment and becoming part of it, becoming its citizens. Putting oneself to the test is a challenge, but recovering the evocative power of words enables us to rediscover relations between faces along with the meaning of experiences and actions. This applies to adults, youths and children. See it for yourself, day after day. Pole pole, as goes an African saying … little by little, a step at a time.
Mettersi in gioco impegna, ma ritrovare la potenza evocativa della parola ci fa riscoprire la relazione dei volti e il significato dei vissuti e delle azioni. Sia che siamo adulti, sia che siamo ragazzi, bambini. Provare per credere, giorno dopo giorno. Pole pole, come dice un detto africano… piano piano, a piccoli passi.