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Pope stresses 'conscience' role for new media organisation

In describing the challenges faced by the Catholic media group Signis, Pope John Paul II on Tuesday outlined a wider education role for its member broadcasters, who have traditionally focused on audio visual resources.

He said Signis must become a conscience in the media.

The recent formation of Signis resulted from the merger of the well established OCIC (film, video, audiovisual) and Unda (radio and television) Catholic media organisations.

"People spend enormous amounts of time absorbed in media consumption, particularly children and adolescents," the Holy Father said. "An important part of your work, therefore, is to teach wise and responsible media use."

"This means setting high standards not for the general public alone but also for the leaders of the communications industry," he added. "It means bringing people to a keen awareness of the great influence that the media has in their lives. It means monitoring the quality of content and promoting constructive dialogue between media producers and consumers."