oa Global Media Journal - African Edition - Making space in the public media functional for inter-cultural dialogue and social cohesion
The paper focuses on the mass media as a forum for inter-cultural dialogue and social cohesion with a view to teasing out some critical lessons/episodes which demonstrate the feasibility of the application of some models of cultural programming for journalists engaged and interested in promoting national development efforts. Through a review of relevant literature, the paper sets the scene for exploring how space in the media could be made more functionally relevant to discourses on inter-cultural dialogue and social cohesion. It is within the thinking of this paper that the dynamics of the way of life of Ghanaians, in particular, and Africans, in general, is such that any discourse on culture, rites and rituals, social norms and values would be incomplete without elements of religion being infused into in one way or the other. Melkote & Steves (2001) point out that religion has a crucial role in fostering peace, universal brotherhood and the promotion of a culture of human solidarity. The essence of religion for believers is experienced in the form of discourse. We talk about our beliefs, listen to sermons, interpret symbols, read the discourse of sacred tradition as we interact with one another. In this connection, religion can provide journalists with vital resources to promote understanding, cooperation and respect among cultures. In this paper, I argue that the world benefits from a rich variety of cultural identities through responsible 'meaning making' in the public media.
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