• The fortress of the city of Troy was quite safe. It was impossible for the enemy troop,
    however they may try to break through the fortress and enter the city. Realizing this, the enemy
    troop, cunningly withdrew leaving a wooden horse. The people in the city opened the gates of
    the fortress and brought the horse into the fortress with all pomp and show. Everybody liked
    this beautiful wooden horse. The Greek soldiers, hidden in the wooden horse, got out at night
    and opened the gates of the fortress. The enemy troop entered the city immediately and
    conquered the sleeping city. This is the story of the famous Trojan horse. Modern Media is also
    like that and hence they are termed as Trojan horses. How securely we may close the doors
    and windows of our houses, the Media comes to our houses unawares.

    The Fascinating Power of Media


    Media is a co-traveler of modern man. They are the open windows before human
    thoughts and feelings without any difference of night and day. The speciality of today’s media
    world is a competition to present the events and scenes in any corner of the world quickly,
    easily, clearly and attractively. Media includes a conversation around a tea table to computer
    device that enabled a person to talk from Moon to Earth. The world of media is very broad. It
    included books using all the possibilities of the printing press, newspapers, posters, audio
    devices like radio, phone, the audio-visual devices of language like television, cinema,
    computer, internet, web-com-phone, e-mail, video conference etc. Internet device is an
    explosion in the field of technology. Internet was unknown to the world a few years back. It has
    reduced today’s world into the circumference of a drawing room. Internet enables us to read
    newspapers, to go through the library books of foreign countries and to book air tickets etc.

    The Goal of Media


    Media has three main goals: give knowledge, teach and entertain.


    1. Give knowledge


    Today media can impart knowledge about what happens around the world at the
    same moment. News has no ‘past’ now. What happens in the present reaches people without
    delay. Media forms the vision of life. When media opens before man, a big world of knowledge,
    it is his duty to use them creatively. IInd Vatican Council teaches about the use of media thus:
    “Those who use these media, especially the youth, should be self-controlled and selfdisciplined.
    Let them try to reach the depth of wisdom about what they see and hear. They
    must consult teachers and experts, discern and come to the right decisions” (Mass Media-10).

    2. Teach

    The second goal of media is to teach. Though media cannot substitute teacher, it can
    develop and nourish the knowledge gained from schools. Media cannot be a true guru,
    recognizing the possibilities and drawbacks of the students and the specialities of his
    character. But media can open a wide and large collection of knowledge before him. Media
    helps to conscientize people about the changes in the fields of science and technology.

    3. Entertain


    Entertaining is also an important duty of media. Intervals of ease are necessary for a
    busy life. The means of entertainment of a particular country- cinema, drama, dance etc
    proclaim its culture too. In that sense, media is an ambassador of culture to other countries.
    Especially in a globalised age, where world becomes a small village, media has a duty to
    display the original culture of each country in all its purity.

    Negative Influence of Media


    Visual media can lead human mind to noble thoughts and vision of life. Art, literature
    and speech or elocution can lead the struggling disappointed lives to hope and make their life
    new and fresh. What system other than media can inform the community of people the new
    objects and things in the market at the proper time? But media deviates from its real goal in this
    field itself.
    When business interest of media goes beyond limits, a community of immorality and
    insecurity is born. Media has played a very important role in the social disintegration of western
    countries. If media becomes the deciding and controlling force in food, clothes, language, faith
    etc. that reveals the culture.
    Immorality, relativity in the field of values, sexual chaos, undue influence of
    advertisements etc.- factors that destroy man’s sense of morality- are related to media.
    Today’s media culture helps more to cater the savage in man rather than to awaken
    the divine in him.

    How to Evaluate Media?


    No one can deny the place and importance of media in human life. But it is not
    necessary that the ideas presented by media be acceptable. It imparts ideas, which develop
    human mind and enrich human imagination. At the same time it spreads dirty wicked ideas that
    make human mind impure. Cinemas, dramas and other visual arts produced only for financial
    gain. Literary products like novels, stories etc, cable T.V that presents audio-visual
    possibilities with all its fascinations, mobile phones with all its perfection of modern technology,
    and internet lead astray not only youth and children but also elders. Media also becomes a
    means to develop certain trends like practice of violence, craze for liquor, immorality, gloom,
    tendency for suicide sexual anarchy etc.
    In this context, we must approach media critically. People living in audio-video media
    culture should know how to discern, which is good, which is bad. For a Christian, the
    measuring rod to discern evil and good is very clear. We must reject media presentations,
    which do not go along with Christian values. And we should persuade other people who have
    values to reject such things. Parents, Pastors, teachers and social reformers have the duty to
    give a clear idea and awareness of what they must see, hear and read.
    Another danger we face in the audio-video culture is the slavery to media. Television,
    Internet etc. steal a lot of our valuable time. However useful the programmes in the television
    be, spending much time before T.V setting aside study, work, prayer etc. will lead to failure in
    Even when we keep away from evil media, we cannot ignore the emotional influence
    of media. Hence the community must take care to develop suitable literature and art based on
    the principle of conquering evil with good, helpful to man’s soul and integral development. It
    can support and sustain morality. Its goal must be the glory of God and the good of man. Hence
    it is the duty of the church to encourage noble workers of art and literature and to spread them.


    Media and Social Commitment


    Since human mind is mostly influenced by media today, its social commitment is
    something very important. Hence those who work in the field of media should be careful in the
    following things:
    1. Media should be ready to withdraw from programmes and explanations unsuited to the
    morality of that community. If it cannot be evaded, keep modesty and control.
    2. Persuade people and awaken their consciousness and organize them against
    superstitions, evil practices, communal violence and cruelty.
    3. Arouse the consciousness of man against widespread corruptions of all kinds.
    4. Regain morality lost by the excessive influence of consumerism.
    5. Media should stand for the conscience of the society rather than being the defenders of
    certain vested interests.
    6. Media should give emphasis to create a counter-culture leading to proper sense of values.
    7. Media must be capable to present truth factually and lead the country to goodness and


    How to Use Media?


    The right and noble vision is not to avoid media as a problem but consider and make
    use of it as a great source of infinite possibilities. The Decree on ‘Social Communications and
    Media’ of IInd Vatican Council term the discoveries and inventions in the technical fields as
    God’s blessings. “Proper use of media will be a precious wealth for humanity. They provide
    man entertainment and knowledge. They will be very useful in the proclamation of God’s
    Kingdom.” (Inter Mirifica-2). Hence our creative approach should be not that of keeping away
    but entering and using it. We need education and discretion to discern and imbibe or absorb
    what is good and useful. Running away from media will make one narrow-minded and keep
    one away from the indices of the times. “All the children of the church, with unity and
    enthusiasm, should strive to use mass media effectively in all fields of missionary activities as
    time and circumstances demands” (Inter-Mirifica-2). Pope Benedict XVI teaches through the
    Mass Media message in 2008 that all possible means to teach the voice of the word of the Lord
    and His face everywhere should be encouraged.
    It is worth thinking how to use media that influence man’s emotional core in ways,
    which are based on values. Mass Media contributes very positively in enlightening religious
    beliefs, developing noble thoughts and views and facilitating evangelization. The first
    proclamation of faith and its deepening is impossible without media. If media is not used
    effectively as a power to make human effort more perfect, Church will have to admit her fault
    before the Lord. Church has to preach the message from the top of the house through them,
    which she ought to have.” (EN .45).
    We can make use of newspaper, magazines, radio, television, cinema, internet,
    mobile phone etc as a means for proclamation of the Gospel and for the consolation of human
    beings. It is the need of the day, need of the church to encourage media, which contains values
    that develop man culturally and spiritually. Then media will become a means to nourish
    Christian life.

    II. Let us Discuss


    1. Media opens before man a wide world of knowledge. What can you do to use it creatively?
    2. It is a naked truth that attractive fascinating media arts make us their slaves. As a
    Christian how can you face this challenge?


    III. Activity

    I will see only television programmes of good standard.


    IV. Let us Enlighten our Hearts

    “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” (Mk. 16:15).

    Find out Answers

    Let us Enlighten our Hearts