RMG – “Shaping Tomorrow”: Salesian Mobile Journalism

23 May 2024

(ANS – Rome) – "Mobile Journalism" (or "MoJo"), understood as digital information created using mobile devices such as smartphones, is a communication area in which the Salesians of Don Bosco are heavily investing. This approach serves as a resource for agile and effective communication, especially in settings with limited structural resources. In preparation for the Communication 2024 Conference "SHAPING TOMORROW," which will take place from August 1 to 7, 2024, at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome, the Sector for Social Communication is presenting a reflection on this theme.

The prospect of a new era in communication often evokes a mix of fear and fascination within the ecclesial community. It signifies a shift in perspectives, actions, strategies, and methods of evangelization. Each new era introduces unique processes and innovative tools that reshape communication dynamics and influence cultural transformation. While some structures evolve, others become more defined, reflecting broader social changes, even within the Church.

Media message recipients are developing unprecedented skills and expressing increasingly sophisticated expectations. In this complex cultural and communicative landscape, media platforms are constantly at the forefront, especially in the digital sphere. Considering the need to evangelize the entire world, including the vast digital continent, the Church must navigate this evolving reality and find its rightful place.

We are witnessing a shift of epochs, accompanied by a redefinition of paradigms. The evolution of communication calls for a reassessment of how we disseminate the timeless message of the Gospel. The digital landscape has become an integral part of most people's daily lives, transforming the cultural fabric of society. This requires constant adaptation, even within the Church, as we navigate the nuances of digital communication and immerse ourselves in a visually centered culture (Francis, Christus vivit). The internet is emerging as a distinctive arena for evangelization in this new era characterized by image-based communication.

Mobile journalism (MoJo) involves the use of compact devices like smartphones, tablets, digital cameras in journalistic activities. Numerous reporters use these gadgets as integral tools for professional journalism, allowing them to capture photos and videos, edit, and distribute content. MoJo is gaining popularity as a means of digital storytelling, and practitioners are often referred to as MoJos.

At the heart of this journalistic approach is the smartphone, a portable electronic device with networking capabilities. With this single tool, journalists can gather, edit, and distribute content, providing the audience with immediate access to news and information. Furthermore, digital technologies have permeated our daily lives, constantly reshaping our methods of news gathering.

Smartphones are often the primary tools for distributing content that requires quick turnaround for websites, especially in situations where traditional crews equipped with bulky devices like cameras, microphones, lights, and tripods are not available. The versatility and accessibility of smartphones make MoJo an increasingly common option in various scenarios, contributing to its growing popularity.

SalMoJo - Salesian Mobile Journalism - represents a unique form of mobile journalism deeply rooted in the Salesian charism. Guided by the spirit and principles inherited from Don Bosco, SalMoJo embodies a distinct approach to identifying topics, creating content, and disseminating it across various media platforms.

The SalMoJo project was conceived to provide training in line with Christian and Salesian values such as faith, the Church, God, the Gospel, justice, life, health, respect, dignity, trust, effective communication, truth, brotherhood, ecology, love, kindness, assistance, Salesian missions, cooperation, education, and teaching. These training sessions aim to equip participants with knowledge and skills ranging from basic to advanced levels. Besides promoting professionalism in content creation, the project aims to instil those values that can then shape the attitudes of the audience exposed to appropriately selected content.

In our rapidly evolving digital landscape, it is imperative to engage young people through the internet and social media platforms, which are expanding at an unprecedented rate. The use of modern technologies and our skills enable us to reach millions of individuals, bringing the message of Jesus and the legacy of Don Bosco to diverse communities worldwide, transcending geographical boundaries and working in Africa and Madagascar, North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Oceania and Europe.

In line with the Salesian vision, the SalMoJo project promotes humanistic, cultural, and professional initiatives centred on peace, justice, ecology, and solidarity, rooted in the Catholic faith and Salesian charism. The process of digital evangelization places a strong emphasis on the inculturation of faith in the communicative landscape and the digital sphere, prioritizing the dignity and centrality of the person. The most skilled SalMoJo journalists are likely to emerge from the past pupils who have grown up in our homes, schools, and parishes and have a true passion for journalism.

It is undeniable that the digital environment represents the primary missionary frontier of our time. Pope Benedict XVI rightly encouraged the evangelization of this 'digital continent' (Benedict XVI, Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, 2009). Salesians from all continents desire to be present wherever young people gather. Sociological insights and statistical data underscore that social media have become the natural environment of today's youth, where they invest a significant portion of their time.

The proliferation of new technologies and the expanding reach of the internet have prompted a paradigm shift in the Church's approach to evangelization. With the advent of devices unimaginable only a few decades ago, the Church has gained access to virtual pulpits resonating with billions of individuals worldwide. While this new era of evangelization may be challenging on one hand, it presents unlimited opportunities, considered by many as signs of the times.

"We invite you to attend the conference on communication to be held from 1 to 7 August 2024 in Rome," is the exhortation coming from the Sector for Social Communication.

In view of the conference, the Facebook page and Instagram profile of 'Shaping Tomorrow' are already active.



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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