Director of Advocacy for SIGNIS (the World Catholic Association for Communication)
RCCongress 2010 Moderator:
Dr. Jim McDonnell is an internationally known speaker, writer and adviser on all aspects of communications and media. He has run seminars, training workshops and courses in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. He currently acts as Director of Advocacy for SIGNIS (the World Catholic Association for Communication) as well as running his own business, McDonnell Communications.
Among recent publications is “Cultural Diversity: A European Perspective” in Media Development 2006/1. From 1990 to 2002 he was Director of the Catholic Communications Centre, (CCC), the national communications development and training office for the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Dr. McDonnell was a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1990 to 2006 and is an honorary visiting Fellow of Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (MCIPR).
He is married to Marie, a teacher, and has three adult children.
Cultural Diversity and Communication — A Panel Presentation
In all modern societies, one of the most difficult contemporary debates is about “social cohesion” and “cultural diversity,” the integration of different cultural and religious groups into an increasingly pluralistic society in which it seems harder than ever to find common ground and values. This topic is especially important to religious communicators because religion plays such an important part in shaping the identities of individuals and groups.
These issues are played out day-by-day in the media which both reflects the unfolding situation and at the same time has an important role in framing the debate and shaping perceptions, especially of minorities and other groups deemed to be “outsiders.”
What, then, are the responsibilities of religious communicators within this context? How can religious communicators influence the debates about cultural diversity? To what extent is religious communication itself a problem? How have different societies balanced the demands for diversity and for cohesion? What can religious communicators from different countries learn from each other?
This panel, made up of people from different cultures and countries, will seek to open up these questions and challenge religious communicators as how best they can respond.