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5th ASEF Journalists' Colloquium: Deepening Interfaith Dialogue For Peace And Development Through The Media

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
17 Jun 07 - 18 Jun 07 Asia-Europe Foundation Communications Department ASEF Journalists' Seminar Intercommunal Dialogue

Nanjing (China)


The 5th ASEF Journalists' Colloquium brought together 13 senior editors, columnists, and correspondents from Asia and Europe to discuss their perspectives on the complexities surrounding inter-religious differences and commonalities, and their socio-political implications.

One of ASEF's 10th Anniversary signature events, the colloquium was organised to precede the 3rd ASEM Interfaith Dialogue in Nanjing. For the first time, three representatives (one from a faith-based group and two from ASEF's 1st Youth Interfaith Dialogue) also joined the discussion to give religious and youth perspectives on the issues being discussed.

The colloquium members divided their discussion into two sessions. In the morning session, they analysed and defined the context of the challenge of deepening inter-faith dialogue through the media. Participants found a gratifying measure of consensus in their appreciation of how faith and religion are interwoven with ethnic, cultural, and other factors in establishing the identity of particular groups. Despite some divergence in perspective on the relationship between media and government, participants also found an encouraging degree of consensus on the ethical basis of journalism and its potential contribution to the strengthening and deepening of inter-faith dialogue.

The background of shared values along with appreciation of the complexity of inter-group relationships provided a natural transition to the afternoon session on media practice. All agreed on the need for a responsible and disciplined journalistic methodology as a prerequisite of media credibility. In the context of the developing interfaith dialogue process, participants also agreed to use their best efforts to broaden their network in ways which would increase the impetus, leverage, and influence of the dialogue process.

The Colloquium's main conclusions were subsequently brought up to one of the ASEM Interfaith Dialogue's Working Groups on “Interfaith Dialogue And Social Cohesion And Development,” to which the Colloquium's participants were granted special access.


Liu Lina, Editor, Xinhua News Agency, China.Dr. Andrew Taussig, Trustee, International Institute of Communication, UK.

ASEF's contribution is with the financial support of the European Commission.