The Family in the Social Media

The Family in the Social Media

On March 12-13, 2014, the Canon Law Department of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome launched theMarriage and Family Conference. The theme was “ The Anthropological Question and Evangelization of the Family”.

The initiative represented a proactive contribution to the Church’s reflection on the reality of marriage and the family, after the first Synod on the Family and in preparation of the one. Among the various talks given, we would like to draw our readers’ attention to “ The Family in the Media: Evangelizers and Evangelization” by Prof. Norberto González Gaitano.

The discourse starts from the assumption that mass media, in theirfunction to inform and entertain, are nowadays simultaneously agents of education, or corruption, with a greater influence even than the family, school, Church and State. The paper examines the representation of the family in news reporting.

The studies, mostly qualitative, that dealt directly with the family as such, and were therefore examined in depth, are the following: the large family in the German press, the family in the mainstream newspapers in Chile, the figure of the father in the press, coverage of the elderly in Italian news, and finally, the Synod on the Family in the international commercial press, as well as in Catholic-inspired media.

The analyses of the majority of studies try to highlight the frames and commonplaces of the public discourse in the media regarding the family. The goal was to come to an understanding of which social virtues, or anthropological roots of sociability, were absent or present in those particular media. The approach allowed the results of the empirical analysis to be evidenced. These could then be used to promote a positive vision of natural anthropology of the family; a vision that guides the long-term communication strategy of organizations dedicated to the promotion of the family. A list of websites dedicated to the family from this perspective is additionally offered.