The family exposed by the media, and the family exposed to the old and new media influence was the theme for the Congress promoted by the Forum of Family Associations. The Congress took place in the Italian Senate and a wide range of politicians and professionals in the field of communications and the family participated.
The individual family is not enough to face this challenge: a collaborative effort is needed. Family associations, legislators, and schools must unite efforts to create an educational alliance that can invigorate the family and as a consequence regenerate society, which is strongly influenced by the “soap opera culture”. Belletti, president of the Forum, launched the challenge John Paul II made in Familiaris consortio: the family should be the protagonist to transform society.
Testimonies were given about the actual experiences of family associations in various fields (from adoption to girls recovering from sex trafficking, to family movie festivals, etc.). Moreover, results were presented from a recent study on exposing children and adolescents (11-18 years old) to the media. Pietro Boffi from FUOCO conducted the study through a sample of 1,300 school children from the Italian peninsula. The data confirms the pervasivity of the new and old media for youth and children, and these young people’s awareness of this influence, which is mostly perceived as negative (70%).
One of the members of the research group familyandmedia, Norberto González Gaitano, gave the key note speech at the conference entitled “Family Relationships, their media representations, and virtual relationships.”