Fundamentalism and the Media

Last night the keynote address of the International Conference on Fundamentalism and the Media by Scott Appleby was long (over 70 minutes) engagingly dense and, at the conclusion stirring. Held at the beautiful Old Main Chapel auditorium on the campus of the University of Colorado, the standing room only keynote address received a loud and sustained applause.
In studying Fudamentalism, said Appleby, we are also holding up a miror to ourselves. Fundamentalism can be understood as a mode into which we and religions go in and out at various times and for various reasons. Going through five characteristics of Fundamentalism, with funny personal anecdotes, he concluded with a brief analysis of why media are at the core of fundamentalism and the centrality of peacemaking today.
He proceeded to very briefly talk about five Media practices that peacemakers, churches, should undertake asap:
1. Frame the myth
2. Legitimate the action plan (” sharpen the propaganda” )
3. Shape the headlines (“spin, frame, interpret” )
4. Use media as a form of transformative socialization
5. Recruit and retain via the media demonstration effect
What a terrific conclusion to the day which also included topics like the use of new media in Iran by women and the marketing of the Kosher phone by Motorola in Israel. . This is a terrific, edgy conference.

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