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4th ASEF Journalists' Colloquium: Advancing Interfaith Understanding And Co-operation Through The Media

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
01 Jul 06 - 01 Jul 06 Asia-Europe Foundation Communications Department ASEF Journalists' Seminar Intercommunal Dialogue

Larnaca (Cyprus)


Thirteen journalists from twelve ASEM member countries attended the colloquium, which aimed to:

- Focus on the media's role in promoting interfaith understanding and co-operation within and among societies

- Examine interpretations of key concepts, such as interfaith engagement, press freedom, controversy in reporting sensitive issues, the impact of globalisation, changes to what constitutes a primary audience, and the changing dimensions of public space

This colloquium took place several weeks after two highly controversial events: The cartoon of Muslim Prophet Muhammad and the release of the movie "The Da Vinci Code." Hence, the gathering could not have been more relevant and timely.

All participants contributed actively and candidly to the discussions. Despite their different political orientations, the journalists argued their viewpoints with professionalism and intellectual fairness, and produced a cogent and useful final output. Another distinction was the group's strong sense of a shared ethic and their ability to form bonds of mutual respect and friendship within a short time. As one participant summed up: "Whatever their faith, politics, or nationality, good people make good journalists."

The outcomes of this colloquium were later translated into interventions during the Media Working Group of the 2nd ASEM Interfaith Dialogue; participants of this colloquium were invited to observe and participate actively in all meeting sessions.


Mr. Asad Latif, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Dr. Andrew Taussig, International Institute of Communication, UK