From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
van den Heuvel tells RCC 2000 technologies may divide world
George Conklin <email@example.com>
01 Apr 2000 14:11:18
Religious Communication Congress 2000
Dan Gangler, coordinator of news and information
Newsroom telephone during Congress 312-595-3151
Communicator says uniting technologies could divide
By Terri Lackey
CHICAGO In an ironic twist of fate, new communication technologies that
could unite the world usually fracture it because poorer nations don't have
access to sophisticated media tools, a leader in Christian communications said.
Moreover, new media technologies, such as e-mail and the Internet, foster
conversations between like-minded individuals and do nothing to create
community among individuals with differing worldviews, said Albert H. van
den Heuvel, president of the World Association for Christian Communication.
"We have the most advanced and informed society in the history of
mankind, yet we are incapable of using the powerful technology, we have to
create a community in which all people participate," said van den Heuvel.
He led a workshop on The Role of Communication in the 21st century during
the Religious Communication Congress in Chicago, March 30.
Van den Heuvel said he believes the role of communication in this century
"is simply to survive."
"Christian communicators," he said, "are well placed to understand the
depth of the challenge and to become a part of the solution."
In trying to foster global communications, where communities across the
world participate with each other, communicators "face the biggest
challenge of the human race."
Professional communicators understand that communication is an essential
dimension of life and that "man exists for interrelationships," van den
Heuvel said. "Communication is the prerequisite of what we are."
However, he said, even with modern communications technology that allows
much of the world to consider itself a part of the "informational age,"
many underprivileged societies have never even used a telephone or seen a
"Those connected live in an informational age, but some parts of the world
are gruesomely excluded from these benefits."
Communication means "making a sustaining community," van den Heuvel said,
and if communicators are not reaching some areas of the world, they aren't
creating new communities.
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