From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org


van den Heuvel tells RCC 2000 technologies may divide world


From George Conklin <gconklin@wfn.org>
Date 01 Apr 2000 14:11:18

Religious Communication Congress 2000
http://www.rcc2000.org
Dan Gangler, coordinator of news and information
DRG1946@aol.com
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 
television.
"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.
END


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