Organization of The Thonon Group (info-ethics)
The impetus for the creation of this info-ethics society comes from the insight of Pope Benedict XVI. In his Message for World Communications Day in 2008 he wrote:
"The role that the means of social communication have acquired in society must now be considered an integral part of the 'anthropological' question that is emerging as the key challenge of the third millennium. Just as we see happening in areas such as human life, marriage and the family, and in the great contemporary issues of peace, justice and protection of creation, so too in the sector of social communications there are essentation dimensions of the human person and the truth concerning the human person coming into play. When communication loses its ethical underpinning and eludes society's control, it ends up no longer taking into account the centrality and inviolable dignity of the human person. As a result it risks exercising a negative influence on people's consciences and choices and definitively conditioning their freedom and their very lives. For this reason it is essential that social communications should assiduously defend the person and fully respect human dignity. Many people now think there is a need, in this sphere, for 'info-ethics', just as we have bioethics in the field of medicine and in scientific research linked to life." (no. 4)
From this came the concept for a professional society of scholars and practitioners who would promote ethical action in the use of modern means of social communications through the investigation of, and public dialogue about, contemporary issues in the field of info-ethics. The new planning group will consist of journalists from print, television, radio and Internet sources, along with university faculty in the areas of journalism, media, and communications.
Follow these links for reports about initial meetings of the group: