Follow Up to the Australian Catholic Media Congress

The Australian Catholic Media Congress, held last week in Sydney, brought together bloggers, academics, journalists and activists who, as Christians, engaged with New Media. Delegates relayed much of the promise to the Church brought by New Media, highlighted the necessity for Christians to engage this new communicative form, as well as flagged the very serious challenges posed by the medium itself to the Church.
One of the highlights of the congress that demonstrated the promise of New Media is that of anti-sexploitation activist Melinda Tankard-Reist (pictured left) who, using Twitter, was able to bring down within 4 hours a Harvey Norman advertising campaign which used lap dancing with Santa as a prelude to advertise family photo portraits for Christmas. Australian readers might note that, following her splendid presentation, Tankard-Reist will be the keynote speaker at Campion College’s Faith Formation and Virtue young adults seminar (click on the link for further details and registration).
Another highlight was hearing Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the Vatican, who provided a highly sophisticated and nuanced coverage on the elements to be aware of concerning new media.
Matthew Tan, Lecturer in Theology and Philosophy at Campion College and blogger at large for the Divine Wedgie also gave a paper that vied with Scott Stephens from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Religion and Ethics Portal for the award of “most pessimistic presentation on New Media”, but nonetheless received positive feedback. A post-interview video was created by the Australian Catholic Bishops Media Centre, which could be found below.




2 thoughts on “Follow Up to the Australian Catholic Media Congress

  1. The ACBC is sponsoring not only the NEW MEDIA bash but also a New Evangelisation effort “PROCLAIM ” both are aimed at those who can affored to pay $100 – $150 per day. This elitist approach is fine for those sponsored by Church bodies, but few private individual can afford it. When the official invitations set Student and Pensioner Rates at $100 per day it is all too obvious how out of touch with reality the organisers are.
    If the Church is to communicate the Word more effectively to the wider community, these corporate style jamborees are not going to do the job. They are very satisfying to the promoters, but not effective. Why were the low cost very modern Halls of our major Catholic Colleges not employed to cut costs? Where was all the money going?Poured into the coffers of Public facilities.
    The ACBC Secretariat has a heavy Corporate mindset which flows from a strong income stream, similar problems are seen in Cath Ed. Offices around the country.
    If there is to be an effective New Evangelisation, it will not come from the “Hireling” mentality, but only from the “Good Shepherd” mentality.
    Some folk willhave to get off there generous rear ends and take the message to the people, preach the Gospel, in deason and out of season. Why is it that a mere handful of Bishops carry the load, and the only Priests we here about are dissidents. It takes work folks and not cocktail parties alone!


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