Asian Media Conference Held in Thailand
Written by Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Director of Education, UPF-Asia, and photojournalist
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Bangkok, Thailand - There were 47 delegates (including staff) from 12 nations of South and Southeast Asia representing 32 major media houses attending the first Asian Media Conference, Oct. 22-26, 2013. They gathered in Thailand for five days under the theme “The Role of the Media in Building Nations of Peace."
The Asian Media Conference had two agendas: 1) to build relationships with media professionals allowing them to network among themselves, and 2) to educate the media about UPF’s principles of peace, especially the dangers of so-called free sex and the breakdown of the family.
Four sessions centered on media-related topics. Three sessions were held in the hotel. They were designed to be interactive and were followed by questions and answers. These topics included:
- Human Rights and Social Inclusion
- Press Freedom and Social Responsibility
- The Social Media: Transparency and Credibility
A fourth media session was an on-site visit to one of the leading media houses in Thailand, The Nation Group. Four women from The Nation Group welcomed delegates to the conference room in their downtown office adjacent to the campus of The Nation University. After an informative video introduction, the interaction seemed to focus on ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and particularly how the free-trade and travel between these Southeast Asian nations is being perceived in the media of other ASEAN nations.
Focusing on the second agenda of the conference, to educate the media about UPF's peace principles and work for peace, five sessions dealt with the following topics:
- The attributes of true love, in which Dr. Chung Sik Yong, chair of UPF-Asia, shared insights on why we should live for the sake of others (and not be selfish). It was a highlight for most participants.
- The central role of marriage and family in creating healthy societies.
- The development of Communism and democracy over the last 400 years and how UPF’s peace principles can build consensus between these enemies.
- The life and legacy of UPF Founder Dr. Sun Myung Moon
In addition, one session reported about UPF-Asia’s substantial grassroots peace initiatives in Thailand (the Interreligious Peace Council and Ideal Family Blessings), in the Philippines (the Interreligious Peace Blessing Festivals and the International Peace Leadership College), and in Nepal (the South Asia Peace Initiatives spanning nine years with 14 consultations held in three nations).
Father Moon used the power of the media to help end the cold war two decades ago. Through the media he reached out to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, launched media fact-finding tours between the East and West, and organized student exchange programs between enemy nations that fostered the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
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