18 May 2012
Day of prayer called for media
At a time when the national press is under intense scrutiny and the Leveson Inquiry continues to shed light on the extent of immoral activity at NewsCorp, the Church and Media Network have called for a Day of Prayer for the Media on Sunday, 20 May.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has written a special prayer and the Network are asking others who work in the media to submit their own prayers online.
The Archbishop's prayer gives thanks "for those who risk their security and even their lives to expose injustice and bring news of hope", asking that they may "be the bearers of good news".
Julie Etchingham, ITV News at Ten presenter, Rev Richard Coles of Radio Four's Saturday Live and Christians in Journalism, have already submitted prayers.
Peter Crumpler, former director of the Communications Office of the Archbishops' Council, has written a prayer which the Network is inviting churches to pray together on 20 May. The Network has also published guidelines and resources on how best to pray for the local media.
Andrew Graystone, director of the Church and Media Network, explained: "This call to prayer is part of our response to the intense discussion of media standards over the past 12 months. The media is under pressure as never before with financial constraints and many illegal and dubious practices being rightly brought under the spotlight.
"We don't condone any of these practices. But we know that at its best the media performs a vital role in our society, giving a voice to the voiceless, holding the powerful to account, keeping people informed and highlighting wrongdoing. As Christians, we want to affirm the vast majority of journalists and others who work in the media who are doing their best to work to high ethical and professional standards, and to pray for them."
The Network supports those who work in the profession, helping them to maintain high moral values and encouraging churches to engage with their local media in a positive way. As part of the Day of Prayer for the Media, it is asking churches to engage with their local press by keeping them informed of what activities they are doing, feeding back on stories that are produced and asking for their prayer requests.
The Church and Media Network are hosting a single issue forum for the Christian community on understanding and responding to the Leveson Inquiry. The event being held at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster at 4pm on Wednesday, 23 May, will discuss the facts and issues arising out of the inquiry as well as discuss how Christians can respond to the revelations that have emerged.