COLONIALISM OR UNIVERSALISM
Due to the conference in Łódź on 20 October this year, from the cycle ‘A journalist between the truth and a lie’, Henryk Tomczyk talks with an editor Zygmunt Chabowski, a chairman of the Łódź Catholic Department of the Association of Journalists
HENRYK TOMCZYK: - It has been the sixth time when Łódź journalists gathered in the Catholic Department of the Association of Journalists are organizing the nationwide conference whose main question is: where is globalization going to? This kind of conclusion closing the cycle entitled ‘A journalist between the truth and a lie’. Why is this idea?
EDITOR ZYGMUNT CHABOWSKI: - There were many problems. We had to choose a problem in which journalists are lively interested and the recipients of their work, that is we all. Moreover, the problem should be included in the general motto of the cycle: ‘A journalist between the truth and a lie’. The previous meetings were concentrated on a duty of telling the truth, the defence of the dignity of a journalist’s job and the dignity of readers, listeners, viewers on the borders of compromise and manipulation. Last year we started working on not only the reduction of identity but also a possibility of repairing the worrying state of things. A dozen of papers and polemical voices proved that the reflections of the previous conferences fell onto the fertile ground. The most prominent Polish media experts suggested many methods of effective defence against the unilateral effects of the so-called mainstream: from arduous restoring real meanings of words, not manipulated meanings (Fr. Marek Dziewiecki), through a wide reactivity of ‘the second circulation’(editor Joanna Lichocka), to overcoming particularisms and institutionalizing independent initiatives (prof. Andrzej Zybertowicz). In the last two decades, fascinated with a possibility of ‘social control of elites by media’, we gave too many prerogatives to the fourth authority. Today we see that it is going hand to hand with the first, second and the third authorities, becoming a caricature for itself. A solution is diversification of press, differentiation of financial sources and programs.
– All previous issues of symposia had a common but not completely articulated denominator – globalisation. Does any evil come from it?
– Pope John Paul II said that globalisation a priori is neither good nor bad. It will only be what people make out of it. No system is a purpose itself. We should support the opinion that globalisation, like any other system, must serve to the human being, solidarity and the common welfare. For one of the worries of the Church is globalisation and its quick becoming a cultural phenomenon. The market as a mechanism of exchange became a media of new culture, imposes its way of thinking and acting as well as its scale of values in proceeding. However, the Church must remember and remind about inalienable dignity and value of the human being – the sources of all human rights and any social law and order. The derivative of this truth is a thesis that globalisation must respect the variety of cultures.
– Today’s world is going towards uniformity, a derivative of globalism. Does one think at all about creating such conditions of life thanks to which every man can achieve his own perfection? What is the role of the Church in it?
– The Church is supporting the thesis that ethical understanding globalisation must be based on two inseparable principles: on inalienable value of the human being and values of human cultures which no outer power has right to depreciate or humiliate. It cannot be a new version of colonialism. As far as globalisation of religion is concerned, migration of systems and religious beliefs is taking place. Moreover, believers are starting to create surprising synthesis of various religions more and more frequently, an attitude to clergy is also changing in a basic way. In addition to the aforementioned phenomenon one should add a progressing virtualisation of religious practises. Will the outlined processes be deepened? There is no clear answer but, undoubtedly, the globalisation of religions also brings a big chance for the Christians besides many dangers. I mean the activity of the laymen, including Catholic journalists. We are hardly visible, we give in to sophisticated customs and opinions by saloons. Clergy can be helpful in it, like by prompting of stimulating desired behaviours. An example is the action of the Catholic Association of Journalists of depositing paper for the sake of water wells in the Southern Sudan – to the Christian and poor and underdeveloped country. The collection comprises more and more parishes in Poland, and other organisations and companies are joining. Two wells are being built, for 12.5 thousand dollars each. It means - everybody can be active…
– Christianity has universal character, so it is somehow global. That is…
– The base of globalisation is the Christian commandment of love. Everywhere where people are uniting with one another in the name of love, there is their real uniting. The Christians should acknowledge not only this kind of globalisation, but participate in it. For, it is strictly connected with the mission and ministry of the Church. Believers in Christ belong to the oldest globalizator and do not have any reason to be afraid of the new world which is being born. On the contrary – in the spirit of their tradition they should support such understood Union. During the conference the former vice-president of the European Parliament, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski will be speaking about it.
– What is this conference about?
– The program of the conference is various. It comprises papers discussing the aspects of globalisation in the sphere of awareness, society, culture, economy and even the influence on arming and conflicts. The papers should give to the listeners – who gather to 300 people in the auditorium of the Higher Seminary in Łódź, and through the Television Trwam and Radio Maryja their number is increasing to thousands – the picture what globalisation is, what dangers it brings and what is a chance. We would not be journalists if there was no look at mass media. Also in this sphere, through free flow of capital and an easy access to information, there is a quick internationalization of widely understood press. Globalisation of media – both in the financial, organisational and program aspect – is a fact. Only some editorial offices are trying to avoid this acceptable ‘correctness’ which concerns not only politics, but also customs, morality and ethics. Differentiation of broadcasting information is so important that within the so-called globalisation dangerous concepts of euthanasia, abortion, partners’ couples are being promoted. This aspect requires a definite resistance. Our meeting is going to start with the holy mass celebrate in the seminary chapel. Opening of the substantive discussions takes place on Saturday 20 October at 9 o’clock. Everybody interested is welcome.