Highlight the positive in media » Manila Bulletin News

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By Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

In a class of journalism at a Catholic school, the teacher told his students to write a possible script on the parable of the Prodigal Son for a one-hour TV show.

When the scripts were submitted, he was surprised at the result: 80% of the scripts was devoted to the sexual escapades of the erring son while a meager 20% was alloted to his repentance and return to the father!

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The students considered the depraved life of the prodigal son more interesting than his conversion. The mentor concluded that the young students had already been infected by the media’s penchant to highlight sex and violence in their work.

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Today, the Catholic Church marks World Social Communications Day. The event was designated in response to Jesus’ command right before his Ascension to heaven: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16,15).

Note that the Lord said the “Good News.”

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While there is a lot of negative news around, the media would do well to report and highlight inspiring news of success, compassion, peace, honesty, development.

Negative reporting can be depressing or can make people pessimistic about the institutions and social situations.

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When the witty Mr. Joseph Estrada was still president of the Philippines, tired to getting a lot of brickbats from the media, he said: “On my last birthday, during the Holy Mass I prayed for my family, my administration, my countrymen; but when I saw the media people, I prayed for our country!”

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There are plenty of inspiring stories about how, for instance, struggling families have overcome their poverty through hard work, perseverance, and faith in God, or government officials who, despite an environment of scams and corruption, stick to their moral convictions.

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The recent popes have, time and again, stressed that the communications media are a great blessing from God when used for human development instead of being used as instruments of immorality.

For his part, the amiable Pope John XXIII said: “Look to the good you see about you and encourage it as much as possible. That in itself will lessen the bad.”

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The lighter side. A Filipino died and went to Heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, “What are those clocks?”

St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie Clock. Every time you tell a lie, the hands on your clock will move.”

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“Oh,” said the man, “whose clock is that?” “That’s Mother Teresa’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”

“Incredible,” said the man, “and whose clock is that?” St. Peter replied, “That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice. Lincoln told only two lies in his life.”

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“Where’s our Filipino politician (name) clock?” asked the man.

“It’s in my office. I use it as a ceiling fan.”

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Support Seminarians. It’s enrolment time again. Let me appeal for financial help for deserving seminarians under our Adopt-A-Seminarian educational program.

There’s a shortage of priests and missionaries in the Church today.

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God Bless — the latest donors to our “Adopt-A-Seminarian” scholarship program: Sonny Moreno, Elizabeth Lim, Rita Go, Leni Sto. Domingo, Nini Feliciano.

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Others who are interested to help may e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com

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