The Catholic Church in India began its involvement in the field of mass media in the mid-sixties. Before that, there have been prominent Catholics like Beschi, De Nobili, Amalorpavadas, Bulke, Guru Gyan Prakash and many others who took active interest in the various folk, cultural and literary forms of the country. The Church’s association with the international media bodies like UNDA and OCIC (SIGNIS) has helped it make some headway in the area of media skills and training. Several prominent Catholics have done research and obtained degrees in the cultural as well as in the electronic media. Today there are over 150 communication or mass media centres run by the Catholic Church and these are deeply involved in the cultural as well as the electronic media.
The Rationale for A National Institute
In spite of these varied activities and programmes, there is much to be done in the following areas:
1. Media Education, particularly the training of trainers;
2. Training and higher education facilities in the various fields of the media;
3. Media Research and Documentation;
4. Public Relations;
5. Linkage with the secular bodies on the media and related social issues;
6. Training in effective communication to those who are involved in special interest groups: development, youth, health, dialogue, labour, the marginalized and women;
7. Influencing the media policies of the country and promoting and protecting the cherished values.