The International Communications Forum meeting in Caux: what will it take to inspire editors and owners of mainstream media to do be socially responsible?
For the second time I took part in the meeting of the International Communications Forum here in Caux. It was a thrilling experience. Since members of the ICF are both professional journalists and non-media people who are concerned about the state of the press and its future, it's always extremely helpful to hear the reflections of those who produce media coverage and those who consume it.
In 2000 in Sarajevo, the ICF generated a document entitled Sarajevo Commitment'. It aimed to establish the code of honour for media professionals who are striving to produce the media product to 'inform to the best journalists' ability, with clarity and honesty of what is truly happening in the world at the level of the individual, the family, the community, the nation'.
This commitment appeared seven years ago. Apparently we are still struggling to make words meet with deeds. No one expected it to be an easy process. The fact that we are still striving seems to be a good sign though. This year, members of ICF are discussing new challenges for the media and ways to overcome the rigidities in the process of globalization and commercialization of media companies and corporations.
Simon Cohen, who founded 'Global Tolerance' in London and experienced a personal transformation, swapping his career in advertising for a media NGO, shared his experience in promoting positive social stories. To me this 'new philosophy' sounded quite appealing. The question now is whether personal will and drive of journalists can do it all? And what will it take to inspire editors and owners of mainstream media to do be socially responsible?