© Ninja Midia. Used under a CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 licence.

News and Entertainment Media as Missiological Challenges

As part of the “Media Messages Matter” multiplex session during the Cape Town Congress in 2010, Tony Watkins and Margunn Serigstad Dahle explored news and entertainment media as missiological challenges.

Wherever information and media technologies go, local and global media messages follow, presenting the church with significant missiological challenges. Tony first gave an overview of how media technologies have spread from the wealthy west to the majority world.

People in almost every culture therefore encounter media messages through news (and current affairs) and entertainment media. Margunn talked about people encountering media messages through the news media at three geographical levels, each of which may have a distinctive angle on the news:

  • local news outlets – newspapers, local radio and television, as well as community-oriented blogs
  • national news services, such as Doordarshan in India, NRK in Norway, and South African Broadcasting Corporation
  • global news services, such as CNN, BBC World Service (which broadcasts in 32 languages), and Aljazeera

Tony then talked about encountering media messages through entertainment media:

  • from global and regional film industries
  • via satellite television, which crosses borders easily
  • through music, which travels globally and may be appropriated into local forms

Margunn argued that media awareness is a forgotten dimension in mission. Very rarely have we provided the tools and resources to help people engage with the beliefs, values and attitudes expressed within media messages. It is vital that the global church learns how to respond to these missiological challenges.

The slides for Tony and Margunn’s presentation are below:


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About the Author

Margunn Dahle

Margunn Serigstad Dahle is Associate Professor at Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, NLA University College, Norway, where she is Programme Director for the Communication and Worldviews Bachelor Program. She is a regular lecturer, speaker, and writer in various contexts in Norway and beyond.

About the Author

Tony Watkins

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Tony is the Network Co-ordinator for the Lausanne Media Engagement Network. He is a speaker and writer on faith and media. Tony works partly in association with Damaris Norway, but lives in the UK. See all Tony’s articles on EngagingMedia.info. 


Photo credit: © Ninja Midia. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0) licence.