Diversity Forum to focus on Media Questions

New Zealand Diversity Forum

The 2013 NZ Diversity Forum will be held on Sunday and Monday 25-26 August in Wellington.

Every year at the Diversity Forum there is a religious diversity forum on an issue addressed in the Statement on Religious Diversity. This year’s forum will be on Monday 26 August and will focus on religion and media.

The Statement on Religious Diversity says: “The right of freedom of expression and freedom of the media are vital for democracy but should be exercised with responsibility.”

The balance between media responsibility and the freedoms of expression and media is a difficult and shifting line provoking ongoing debate and discussion. Democracy demands a free press and the media plays an essential role in ensuring public accountability. However, religious communities complain that they are misrepresented in the media and that prejudice and negative attitudes are fostered by irresponsible reporting. The increased religious diversity of New Zealand society means that people will continue to discuss such issues as:

  • Does the mainstream NZ press report religion responsibly?
  • Does the religious press extend the rights they insist on to others?
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  • re editors, both mainstream and religious, informed about religion and religious rights?
  • Is media religious stereotyping a concern in NZ?
  • Do digital and social media impact on these issues? And, if so, how?
  • Do we need press guidelines covering the reporting of religion in NZ?

The forum will be hosted by Victoria University of Wellington Religious Studies Programme.

Source: Te Korowai Whakapono