Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We, the participants at an international conference in Caux (Switzerland), dealing with the role of the media in creating an inclusive multicultural community, urge the media to restore the credibility and dignity of their profession.

We are living in a time of fundamental change. Trust, solidarity, values and ethics are being replaced by suspicion, selfishness, materialism and consumerism. We are convinced that the media should play a crucial role in helping mankind find the way towards a renewed, more human, civilization. There is very little chance that without honesty, open-mindedness and dedication to this cause in the media, we can emerge safely from the current global crisis.

The media can, and indeed must be a big part of the solution. By treating people, no longer as passive consumers but as active citizens, the media will enable all persons to exercise their rights and assume their responsibilities. That is the essence of authentic democracy. Embracing diversity rather than just tolerating difference, learning from others rather than simply promoting dialogue between cultures, religions and communities, is a fundamental mission of the media.

We therefore call on the media to restore their own dignity, and to help us move from a world of hatred and violence to a civilization of love and mutual understanding.

Caux, 31 July 2011