First meeting of European Catholic media association

 Thirty communicators from 13 countries met at the Hotel Domus Pacis in Rome from October 31 - November 3 to participate in the first-ever Assembly of the European Region of Signis, the World Catholic Association for Communication. The meeting, organised with the support of the National Office for Social Communications of the Italian Catholic Bishops' Conference, brought together television and radio producers, filmmakers, film critics, webmasters and other communications specialists from Belarus, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Hungary, Italy, France, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, England, Slovenia, Poland and Switzerland. In his keynote speech, Professor Francesco Casetti of the Catholic University in Milan, urged participants to discover a creative "space for the Church" in the fast-changing world of European media.. Catholic media and Catholic inspired programmes should challenge the values and principles of a media culture dominated by the global "marketing" of consumer goods by demonstrating that communication could be a "gift" or "service" that enriched people's lives. The President of Signis Europe, Jim McDonnell, noted that: "Signis Europe should be truly pan-European. The range of countries represented in our Assembly is an encouraging sign... Together we can make Signis a real, active and professional Catholic presence in the world of the media in Europe." The Assembly agreed to establish as a matter of urgency a Signis Europe website in order to better share information and keep members in touch with each other. They also agreed to establish a number of interest groups (Internet, TV and video, cinema, research, media education, Radio) to enable members with similar concerns to meet and share experiences, resources and ideas on a more regular basis. Delegates warmly welcomed the President of the Europe Region of the World Association for Christian Communication, Gianna Urizio and confirmed their willingness to work on an ecumenical basis, especially in organising the next Religious Television Festival in 2004. Participants also heard from the President of Signis World, Fr Peter Malone and the General Secretary, Robert Molhant. For more information visit: the Signis website at htttp://

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