The many messages around the coronavirus easily confuse us. How do we engage well with media amidst this crisis? As Christians we have a purpose for interacting with people, especially using the media. We engage with media first to listen carefully to the meaning of the messages. Then we think about how the message relates to us. What we learn from the media can shape how we live. Finally, we can speak into the media with a message of value to people. Then we can communicate well to help each other through the coronavirus crisis.
Media is widely used in every kind of outreach ministry. The Church has decades of history in using a traditional broadcast approach to media – pushing content out to large audiences. This is not effective in our new media world and we need new strategies. It is no longer enough to push out the story you want to tell using traditional media or even social media channels, and hope that you will connect with an audience.
Oxford Dictionaries chose ‘post-truth’ as its Word of the Year for 2016. Western media seems to be full of examples of how we live in a post-truth world, as well as frequent discussions about it. What is the state of the media in a post-truth society? Why does fake news circulate so fast in social media? How should we respond as Christians?
We’re living through a time of incredible change. The media landscape is radically different from what is was just a decade or two ago. It is vital that the church pays close attention to the trends, and makes good use of the new tools. Media ministry has become an essential part of the Church’s mission.
Chris Singh talks about one way in which we can share stories online through social media – by being a citizen journalist. While we may not have been trained as a journalist, the essential tools are in our hands already. Mobile phones enable us to photograph, film, and record stories, and to share them with others through social media channels.
Citizen journalists see themselves as responsible to share stories – their own and other people’s – in order to communicate their message. What makes a good citizen journalist?
Media has a vital role in making the gospel message available, attractive, and plausible. In this presentation from the Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in Bangalore, India, in June 2013, Andy Crouch considers the use of mass media (forms of media – primarily visual – which entirely transcend embodiment), elite media (primarily word-based media, which powerfully influence the creators of mass media), and social media (rooted in embodied relationships in a way which mass media and elite media can never be).
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