Have you ever heard of World Day of Social Communications? I hadn’t but recently signed up to trial Fanpage Karma and they send you a “morning report” with a summary of your social media posts, but also useful information about upcoming international days which may be of interest. This can help you plan social media posts that are topical – and therefore more likely to be shared and gain greater reach. So here’s what I received this morning:
So I followed this with a Google Search to discover more and here’s where it got really interesting:
I was expecting that perhaps the United Nations instigated this day (as they have many international days throughout the year – you may like to check out this handy UN International Days Calendar).
But no…the World Day of Social Communications is actually also known as Inter Mirifica and began via a Vatican decree in 1963! Click the link to read the full Wikipedia article, which leads to a whole treasure trove on information. Each year, the current Pope delivers a message from the Vatican which focusses on the responsibilities of the church, individuals and the media to monitor media and ensure spiritual well-being.
Doesn’t this open a HUGE potential discussion on freedom of speech, personal beliefs and so much more?! I’m sure every reader will have an opinion on this and I’m interested in your comments below.
I’ve long been alert to the huge power the media holds and have often felt that though I believe strongly in the right to freedom of speech, without some kind of attention and regulation, media can really get out of control. So regardless of your personal spiritual beliefs, I think it’s wonderful that any strong organisation in the world dedicates time and attention to addressing and examining the responsibilities that the media and individuals hold, particularly with rapid technological advances in this area. I’d love to hear about other movements in relation to this, do you know of any?
You can see the annual themes and read a transcript of every speech since 1967 here on the Pontifical Council for Social Communications website. These are published in six different languages and I think give a really fascinating overview of the development of the media through the last few decades.
As I write this post, there is actually a Live Press Conference on YouTube in 14 minutes …I’m a little confused if it’s actually with Pope Francis or about the message he’ll be delivering tomorrow:
(screen shot here:)
I imagine a summary will be online in the next few days I’ll come back and add the link here. Meanwhile, would love your thoughts!