Participants engaged in discussion during the 8th ASEF Journalists' Colloquium in Madrid, Spain

Regular dialogues between media and religious communities, training in media literacy for religious leaders and religious knowledge for journalists, and the utilisation of the internet and social media— these and other ideas to improve media coverage of religious affairs were identified by participants of the 8th ASEF Journalists’ Colloquium held on 5-6 April 2010 in Madrid, Spain.

The Colloquium brought together 15 young media professionals and religious leaders to discuss key topics related to reporting on religion, with a special focus on youth and education. Facilitated by Dr Assoc Prof Cherian George of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the participants provided fresh insights, including a call for the use of new technology.

Dr Anies Baswedan, President of Paramadina University of Indonesia also highlighted the value of a sustainable dialogue among journalists and religious practitioners, noting that the “exchange of ideas and experience is the foundation to promote positive change”.

Recommendations from the Colloquium were presented at the 6th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue (7-9 April 2010). These were incorporated in the Madrid Statement on ASEM Interfaith Dialogue.