Monday, April 7, 2008

The Vatican and Social Communication

Please post here one thing you AGREE with and one thing you DISAGREE with regarding the reading from the Vatican assigned for discussion this Friday.

Have you comments posted TO THIS POST by 5 PM on Thursday, April 10th.


Jeremiah Tyler said...

Although I despise being addressed in the condescending tone that the Vatican feels it necessary to speak to its "minions," I had to agree with its assertations that "if these media are properly used they can be of considerable benefit to mankind...the Church also knows that man can use them in ways that are contrary to the Creator's design and damaging to himself" this statement is so simplistic it is hard to argue against it. The term automaticity that has pervaded our discussion this semester would seem to be part of the "damaging to himself" concept.
I laughed when I read this line "Special measures should be taken to protect adolescents from publications and entertainments harmful to them" not because I disagree with the statement itself but with the way the Catholic church has conducted itself in this regard, I don't think I need to elaborate.

BeckysCommBlog said...

I thought the overall theme of this document held a lot of truth: the media itself is simply a tool for communication. There is not good or evil unless the people who control the media create it. Along with this, I agreed with the Vatican’s economic stance on the media. Too often people who communicate the news claim that they are simply “reporting things as they are.” However, they often times fail to report stories that are truly important. The stories that are most often heard are ones that benefit the people who are communicating them. In Ethics In Communication, the Vatican used the term ‘indefensible selectiveness’ to describe how some occurrences of human suffering are simply ignored. The reason for this is that they are unprofitable stories. This is one way that demonstrates how the media contributes to injustices. The stories that get more media coverage are the ones in which the people who are suffering will be the best off. Those whose suffering is ignored by the media are cut off from resources that could aid them.

In the conclusion of this document it read, “In the best of circumstances, human communication has serious limitations, it is more or less imperfect and is in danger of failing.” I see no inaccuracies in the first two claims, however, I strongly disagree that the human communication is in any danger of failing. The reason that was given to support this claim was that the honest communication can do more harm than good to the majority of media viewers. While honest communication might upset people and cause trouble, it is better to be honest in communication than to present people with a story that is untrue or inaccurate. As stated earlier in the document, honesty is essential in communication.

Rachel B. said...


I agree with the statement in the Vatican document concerning the overall idea that people need to take responsibility for the way they use the media. Under the fourth clause in the introduction, it states, "The media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them." This is certainly true, and I think it is necessary to remind people that we cannot simply blame "the media" for corrupting a generation; rather, we must look to the root of the problem and seek to change the way that PEOPLE are using the media.


I disagree with the point made in clause 22 in section 4, that "the good of persons cannot be realized apart from the common good of the communities to which they belong." I think this statement fails to consider individuality; instead, the Church seems to assume that human beings are entirely dependent on a larger group, which is not true. While considerations for groups should definitely come into play with the media, considerations for the individual should not be ignored in exchange.

Melissa said...


I agree with the Vatican's Ethics in Communications article when he stated in section two clause nine that "The means of social communication offer people access to literature, drama, music, and art otherwise unavailable to them, and so promote human development in respect to knowledge and wisdom and beauty." Unless we lived during another time period or century without the means of social communication we would not have the means to read or know about classic works, like Shakespeare, or be able to have watch a television show that we can relate to that may help solve some of our everyday problems.


In section three clause seventeen dealing with education, I disagree with the statement "Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time." I don't fully agree with this. A lot of school are still promoting learning, but may be teaching a certain lesson, or subject based on an educational video, documentary, etc. Although there is a lot of videos and shows out there that can waste people's time, there are also a lot of videos and shows that can help us learn.

Megan said...

I agree with the statement, “In the interests of public participation, communicators ‘must seek to communicate with people, and not just speak to them. This involves learning about people’s needs, being aware of their struggles and presenting all forms of communication with the sensitivity that human dignity requires.’”

I agree with this statement because communicators do need to learn people’s needs, struggles, interests, attitudes, etc. to effectively communicate.
In order to get people interested in what someone is communicating the communicator needs to adapt their message and ways to the people they are communicating with.

I disagree with the statement, “Jesus is the model and the standard of our communicating.”

I believe that Jesus was a great communicator and definitely had a large impact on our civilization, but I do not believe that he should be given credit as the sole model of communication. Yes, he supported speaking the truth and using stories as examples, but I do not think that is what makes someone the model and standard of our communicating. I think it is in human nature to communicate in such ways and Jesus just adapted his personal style to human communication.

Christina said...

Agree: “Social communication has immense power to promote human happiness and fulfillment.”

I agree with this statement because social people always have people to talk to. They do not have a problem being around other people and starting conversations with them. This could lead to new friendships and social gatherings which naturally make people feel happy. On the other hand, quiet, more reserved people do not seem as happy because they have trouble being around others and starting conversations with them. They may feel as though they do not “fit it” because they have a hard time socializing with others.

Disagree: “Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time.”

The media should not be distracting if people are watching, reading, or listening to educational programs. The only way the media would be distracting is if they are not watching, reading, or listening to educational programs in the first place.

Brittany Donegan said...

"Social communication benefits society by facilitating informed citizen participation in the political process. The media draw people together for the pursuit of shared purposes and goals, thus helping to form and sustain authentic political communities." I agree with this statement, because media has always been a political forum almost since the day broadcast radio was introduced to the public. How else would we, or any political candidate, express their views without the use of the media? Political groups are formed by people who share the same beliefs and ideas, therefore making the media a key asset to political communities.

"We take it for granted that the vast majority of people involved in social communication in any capacity are conscientious individuals who want to do the right thing." I disagree with this statement, simply because many people that are involved with media communications are looking to make a profit. Many unethical decisions are made in the media world.

Ashley said...

“…communication structures and policies and the allocation of technology are factors helping to make some people "information rich" and others "information poor" at a time when prosperity, and even survival, depend on information.”

I agree with this statement because I do believe that technology and the media play a major role in people’s lives. Taking things such as natural disasters, things such as safe houses and food and water locations are found out mostly through the media and people who are “information poor” may not have the opportunity to find out about that important information.

"Instead of explaining complex matters carefully and truthfully, news media avoid or oversimplify them."

I disagree with this statement because I believe that news media reports things that they know and if they are not reporting it then it is because they don’t know the information or do not know the complete information. I have seen news media when complex matters have been reported truthfully.

Garrett said...


I agree with how the text explains that the media is a tool and how the media should portray the positives and instill the good in mankind, essentially showing the ways we should be living. They express this with the term “most essential,” they say this because they want the media used to help man and although it is a tool that could go either good or evil, it should express the good things and better mankind with its technological advances.


I disagree with how they think TV denies them access to information the authorities do not want them to have. TV is a source of entertainment. They want individuals, groups and families to strictly use the TV as a learning device (if I interpreted it right) to further their knowledge about events talking place in the world and communities around them. They are trying to say the TV is part of a conspiracy in the way it shows or holds information.

ShaunaO said...

I agree with the statement "Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time." This does not mean that media never promotes learning because there are definitely educational programs in media. It just that sometimes it distracts from it. This is definitely true for me. It happened to me just now as I was trying to just sit down and read the Vatican document in order to post. The TV was on, and I kept wanting to check other websites.

I disagree with the statement, "media are used as tools of indoctrination, with the aim of controlling what people know and denying them access to info the authorities do not want them to have." There are so many different forms of media out there, that I don't understand how anyone could be denied most information if they took advantage of all the media tools that were available to them.

Leah's Blog said...

“Depending on how they use media, people can grow in sympathy and compassion or become isolated in a narcissistic, self-referential world of stimuli with near-narcotic effects. Not even those who shun the media can avoid contact with others who are deeply influenced by them.”
I definitely agree with statement because it describes how people interact with media, and states that media is everywhere and it can’t be avoided. I definitely believe that some people isolate themselves from others through media sources. People may consume themselves with the internet, television or radio so much that they begin to interact within a society less and less. The idea that media has a “near-narcotic effect” is also evident in today’s society. I know a lot of people who would not be able to go a day without being on the internet or send a text message through their phone. Lastly, it is impossible to not encounter media influences or messages on a daily basis.

“Most professional communicators desire to use their talents to serve the human family, and are troubled by the growing economic and ideological pressures to lower ethical standards present in many sectors of the media.”
I don’t believe that every professional communicator desires to use their talents to serve the human family. There are some people who choose to “host” or be a part of unethical shows such as Murray, Jerry Springer or Howard Stern. I also think that if people are truly ethical they will not lower their standards just because of economic and ideological pressures.

Allison said...


“…today's complex national and international economic systems could not function without the media.”

It is impossible to consider that the media have played no part in the development of economic systems throughout the world. Look at third-world countries where broadcast media is considered an extreme luxury and compare them with the economic structures of “well”-developed nations in which all forms of media are expected. The media make our economies possible; nothing would be as quick, things would slow, and development would recess.


“The media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them.”

While I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, I believe something more should be added to it: It is also important how people choose to perceive the media. Yes, television would not exist in today’s form without the input of people, but no matter what someone decided to air on television, if no one chose to watch it, it wouldn’t survive. The same principle can be applied to all types of media: newspapers, magazines, radio, books, music, etc. Everything needs viewers to truly endure, so it is not just a question of what we choose to portray, it is who choose to observe.

Jamie Rae said...

I agree with one of the first statements in the document. "For even though acts of communicating often do oohave unintended consequences, nevertheless people choose whether to use the media for good or evil ends, in a good or evil way."

I agree with this part because it regardless what the media produces, it is ultimately up to a viewer to make the effects of media good or bad. Blaming the media for poor decisions is lazy and unfair.

I disagree with the document when it reads, "Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time".

Again, the media is not to blame for people's poor life decisions. It is a person's own fault for becoming distracted. If a someone is distracted by a medium and ends up in a bind because of the distraction, he or she should remove the medium. The media does not make a person less disciplined; only a person can do that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with document when it state, in section 16, it talks about how it would be irresponsible to dismiss the fact that sexuality and violence on television do have some type of influence on our culture as a whole, especially when it comes to sexuality. This is something that when it is portrayed on television it is portrayed as something positive, especially when compared to violence. I think the portrayal of all this sexuality, primarily on MTV, helps foster the idea among our culture, as a whole, that the sanctity of marriage is not important and that it is okay to have as many partners as you want.

Gary D. said...

There was a little mix up on my part. The anonymous comment is my agreement statement.

Gary D. said...

I disagree with the documents' concept in section IV, point 22. It talks a great deal about how media policy makers must serve the real needs and interests of both individuals and groups. It also talks about how the policy makers have a moral duty to recognize the needs and interests of those who are particularly vulnerable like the poor, elderly, and children. It is not the job of the media policy makers to look out for or serve the needs of groups, let alone individuals. Why should media policy makers worry about serving peoples' needs? Possibly because if they don't it would be their fault when something bad happens in society? This is not the case since the media could not, and should not, be blamed for something that an individual or group does of its own free will.

Media policy makers simply look out for their own needs. As selfish as that sounds, if someone does not like what a media group has done, they don't have to watch or pay attention to the message. This is why media literacy is so important. Because sometimes media policy makers are going to look out for their own interests, and it will be up to the people to decide if that message is worth it to them.

Anonymous said...


I agree with the statement "The impact of social communication can hardly be exaggerated" and the following several paragraphs. If the Vatican notices that media has an effect on people, that's saying something. The Vatican notices "The range and diversity of media accessible to peoople in well-to-do countries are already astonishing" which is very true. Although America is very technologically advanced, China takes the cake on technology. I met with an exchange student last year and he said one of the major differences in our countries were that the technology here is decades old compared to what he has in his country.


I disagree with the statement "today's complex national and international economic systems could not function without the media." While I agree to some extent with what they are saying, I don't believe that the media controls our economic systems as much as they are saying that it does. If the media suddenly stopped being a huge factor in our lives, the economy would still be around. Take a third world country, for example. Although it isn't a good economic system, it's still an economy working without the media

Aimee Gerber said...

"The media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them."
I think that this has a whole amount of truth to it. I have always seen an individual as an individual and for someone to point and say that the media makes all the problems and influences people. well you as a person show know how to use media for good if yo want to watch bad things and use it for mean and bad things then is it the inventor of the cemera who is to blame? i think not .. i think it is the indivivdual who used it that way. THe only way to change ourselves through the media is if we do it ourselves and expossed oursleves to programming the is appropriate.

'Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time. Children and young people are especially harmed in this way...."
I siagree with this statemenet because while the adult programming leaves something to be desired the children's programmming is quite nice and most of the programs do have some sort of educational background with it. Just think about it Little Einsteins and Sesame Street. Bill Nye there are tons of programs for them to watch. If anthing it is the parents fault for not monitoring what their children are doing.

Amy's Blog said...

"Educational The media are important tools of education in many contexts, from school to workplace, and at many stages in life."

I agree that what we see in the media helps through the stages in our life. I think that it is true that they enhance the intelligence through out the years. It teaches childeren good and bad values what to take along with you whether they realize that it is teaching them something or not. Also with the elderly it keeps their minds fresh. For expamle, the news or even game shows that are on all the time it keeps your mind active answering those questions. So I agree when they say that the media is an important tool through all stages of life.

It is hard for people consistently to communicate honestly with one another, in a way that does no harm and serves the best interests of all.

If i had to pick one statement to disagree with it would be this one. I do not think that it is "consistently" hard for people to communicate honestly. Yes, people try not to hurt people when they say things and may watch what
they say but I feel that people are still honest on the things that they say.

Shayna said...

Agree: In short, today's complex national and international economic systems could not function without the media. Remove them, and crucial economic structures would collapse, with great harm to countless people and to society.

I agree with this statement because I feel that our society has become so dependent on media. It has become a necessity for communication and without it I feel that our economis systems would greatly struggle.

Disagree: Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time.

I do not agree with this statement because I feel that the media is a very powerful learning tool, especially the internet. The internet contains countless information and has become a very important source for many people.

Roxanne said...

I agree with the statement, "The media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them."

I agree with this statement because ultimately the impact the media has on someone is their choice. The media just provides information (instruments, tools) and it is up to each individual to decide how to use them. And, when people believe everything they see on news, for example, they sometimes are afraid to experience things. The subways in New York City for example.

I disagree with "Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time".

I do believe that media can be distracting; however, if you are using media for the right reason (to become informed) it should not be a distraction. When speaking of media as a form of entertainment then it could be distracting, but media should not be considered as only a source of entertainment because it is meant to be a source of information. Therefore, I do not feel that media is to blame for people being distracted. People are responsible for themselves, media is not to blame for irresponsibility. Media, in this case, is being abused.

Cody, B said...

I agree with the statement," Social communication supports business and commerce, helps spur economic growth, employment, and prosperity, encourages improvements in the quality of existing goods and services and the development of new ones, fosters responsible competition that serves the public interest, and enables people to make informed choices by telling them about the availability and features of products."

I agree witht this statement because without googd communication, our society would not have evolved into what it is today. The public receives information through various channels that spur markets and businesses competition and products for that market. Without communication, out society would still be in the industrial revolution.

I disagree with the statement,"Political, They misrepresent opponents and systematically distort and suppress the truth by propaganda and "spin". Rather than drawing people together, media then serve to drive them apart, creating tensions and suspicions that set the stage for conflict."

I disagree with this notion, without political debate and searching for the truth in a candidate, we might choose the wrong person for office. The media in fact is a useful tool to get down to the truth, because businesses will not come out and tell all the story!

Nicky Piszczor said...

Ethics in Communications


"In short, the media can be used for good or for evil - it is a matter of choice."

I agree with this statement because the media is not inherently good or inherently's all about the intentions behind media messages that affect how people view the world. Those that control the media have agendas, which may be good for them, but bad for the audience or vice versa. However, it is up to the audience to determine whether to accept what the media is saying. We, as a people, are not controlled by the media...we are able to make our own decisions.


"Social communication...fosters responsible competition that serves the public interest, and enables people to make informed choices by telling them about the availability and features of products."

Although social communication does help people learn about products and gain valuable information, the media does not always inform the public honestly, which makes it hard for people to make truly informed choices. The media picks and chooses what information it provides to its consumers. With the consolidation of businesses under huge corporate companies, competition is slowly slipping away, allowing companies more power to control the market and make a bigger profit.

Katie said...

Agree: "We take it for granted that the vast majority of people involved in social communication in any capacity are conscientious individuals who want to do the right thing."
I would like to believe that most people who enter into the broadcasting field, whether it be radio or television,have the intention of delivering valid news to the public. I do not think many people in the communications field want to harm anyone or cause them distress with false reports.

"Instead of promoting learning, media can distract people and cause them to waste time."
I do not agree that the media distracts people from learning in any way. Reading the newspaper, and going to online news sites help peole learn about everyday happenings around the world. Television channels such as the Discovery Channel and History Channel also promote educational values within the public.

Amy said...

I agree, “Social Communication has an immense power to promote human happiness and fulfillment” but only if used in the correct fashion as talked about earlier in the reading. If used properly I agree there are benefits to social communication.

Economic- it supports business especially due to the advent of advertising and employs many.

Political- we have access to much more information than ever before, which allows us to make informed choices when it comes to selecting political candidates or supporting legislature.

Educational- The Internet gives access to a world of up-to-date information that was never possible before.

Religious- People can now worship from the comfort of their own homes by televised church services.

I disagree with the statement that "Instead of explaining complex matters carefully and truthfully, news media avoid or oversimplify them." I believe it depends on what outlet your relying on getting your information from. It’s understood that when speaking of a one-hour newscast most of the issues will be shortened and can seem oversimplified. You can’t fit every single detail into the story. That is why nowadays in newscasts your are directed to the Internet for more in-depth information.

Chris Norris said...

AGREE-“Sometimes, too, media contribute to people's spiritual enrichment in extraordinary ways.” I definitely agree with this because despite what some people think about televised church services, I feel they are great ways to spread the news of the gospel. Whether you are a Christian or not, when browsing through stations on Sundays you are bound to stumble upon Joel Osteen or another minister leading a church service. Perhaps you will watch even just five minutes of that service. Perhaps you will see the thousands of people that are in attendance and realize that this guy must be a powerful speaker. Perhaps you will feel touched by something that minister says and choose to tune into the service more often. Perhaps you will be lead to Christ through the power of the television medium. That’s why I am all about the church using the power of communication to reach out to more people. The Vatican article talks about how the television has brought the words of the father to millions of people world wide. That’s what religion is all about…spreading the GOOD NEWS.

DISAGREE-“For the Church to speak credibly to people today, those who speak for her have to give credible, truthful answers to these seemingly awkward questions.” I feel this is ironic because the Catholic Church in particular has been in the media a lot over the past few years for all the wrong reasons. Sex scandals have shaken the church and this is much to the contribution of the media. The reason this statement is ironic to me is because it seems every so often, someone from the church comes forward with another confession of sexual abuse. So I ask, how truthful has everything they’ve said been thus far? Can we truly trust what they say amidst all the controversy?


K C said...


The first paragraph of section one relates well to media literacy because the claim that great good and great evil come from the use people make of the media of social communication is true relating to the process by which one uses to work towards becoming media literate. Understanding that although the media fill messages with persuasive tactics, the media’s tactics are not blind forces out of reach of human control is a key point to understand when attempting to become media literate.


The fourth paragraph of section one claims that the media does nothing by themselves; and are instruments or tools, used as people choose to use them. This statement seems to contradict what is learned about deciphering messages in becoming media literate. Because becoming media literate involves developing a set of perspectives to use to interpret the messages and meanings within the messages, it is a falsity to declare the media does nothing by themselves. People would not need to develop an ability to decode messages if they were not encoded by the media.

Kristin said...

I agree with the main idea of the article, which is "media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them." The media cannot function without the support of it's people, and their intentions influence the outcome of the media, for right or wrong. For this reason, it is important that the people who are in power within the media practice the proper ethics.

"The good of persons cannot be realized apart from the common good of the communities to which they belong." - I disagree with this sentence, because I believe that what is good for mankind is not always good for the individual, and vice versa. There is no one human capable of deciding what is absolutely good for everyone, because of all the different types of situations. This blanket idea of the "common good" is admirable, but not feasable.

Danielle said...

"The media do nothing by themselves; they are instruments, tools, used as people choose to use them." Media isn't a necessity for life, although there are some people that feel it is. People only use the media in ways the deem necessary for their lifestyle. There are some cultures, the Amish for example who don't use media at all and get along just fine.

"Media also make it possible for ethnic groups to cherish and celebrate their cultural traditions, share them with others, and transmit them to new generations." While the media claims they are ethically diverse, not all cultures or represented in the entertainment shows or even the news. And if they are represented, most of the time it is in a poor light or in a stereotypical manner. This is not a message I think people of other cultures would want to relay to the younger generations. so I don't think the media is a good tool to use to share and pass on traditions of other cultures because it isn't accurately represented.