The 51st World Communication day message of Pope Francis reminds the media that, they are called to create hope among the people. Through the message, titled ‘Communicating Hope and Trust in our time’, the Pope exhorts us to be positive in our day to day conversations and communications and not to focus only on the negative aspects. He reminds us of the Good News that is Jesus himself and that in Christ even death and darkness become a point of encounter with light and life. He asks us to read reality through the right interpretative lens of positivity, responsibility, optimism and hope and to be witnesses and communicators of a new and redeemed humanity. The Pope encourages us to renew our confidence in the seed of God’s Kingdom and the mystery of Easter and says that this confidence enables us to carry out our work with the conviction that it is possible to recognise the good news present in every story and in the face of each person.
This message of positive communication and recognising the goodness and hope in every story is very important to the World and India at large in today’s world. The world over print and social media is increasingly portraying and spreading stories of misery and despair. While it is important to cover all aspects of news and present a true picture, excessive pessimism affects the morale and spirit of the recipients. The constant coverage of pessimism sidetracks the stories of hope and light which exist even in this time and era. Small deeds of kindness and stories of happiness and joy should be brought forth and should find its way towards mainstream media and communication as a beacon of light among the darkness.
In the Indian media circles, both print and social media; this message of the Pope holds a lot of relevance. The Indian media has been often criticised for sensationalism and excessive negative publicity and pessimism. The relative peacefulness and happy co-existence of a multi-cultural society is often ignored. Stories of kindness and warmth do not make it to mainstream media. While constructive criticism and pointing out of reality is the job of the media, it also should balance the good news in the society.