Role of media in society

The Australia Baha’i Community appreciates that the media, in all its forms, is a powerful force which shapes public perception, social discourse and how society comes to understand itself.

Inspired by a vision for a more peaceful, just and harmonious society, we seek to advance thought about the media’s role in strengthening our social ties and its capacity to help overcome prejudice, inform and educate, and contribute to social progress.

In His Writings, Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, refers to the media as an “amazing and potent phenomenon” describing it as a “mirror endowed with hearing, sight and speech.” He urged journalists to “inquire into situations as much as possible and ascertain the facts, then set them down in writing.”

We consider the conversation on the role of the media as a shared undertaking which benefits from the input of individuals, communities and social institutions, working cooperatively and with reciprocity for the common good.

It is hoped that over time, a body of knowledge can be developed together with those interested in this area of enquiry for the collective benefit of everyone.

Among the concepts we are interested to explore are:

  • The role of the media in strengthening social cohesion and inclusion
  • The ethics and values that guide quality journalism
  • How journalists, editors and publishers perceive the role and responsibility of the media as a social institution
  • The impact of media narratives, images and language on social discourse
  • The role of hopeful and positive narratives in advancing social progress
  • The ways in which the media can help to foster a deeper appreciation of our shared humanity
  • How the media can help to empower individuals to participate in the life of society