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Dr Mar Yulios says role of media vital in solving issues like Kolencherry

# Media wing to hold its maiden meeting in July before Holy Synod meets
# Aims at media coordination rather than control, says Metropolitan
# Media men to be recognised and honoured for their contributions

MUSCAT: Metropolitan Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, is the new Vice Chairman of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church’s media wing for the Outside Kerala region.

In his comments to Indian Orthodox Herald (IOH) and Malankara Orthodox TV (M.TV) during his recent visit to Muscat, the Metropolitan emphasized that the new media wing both print and the visual, besides playing meaningful roles will also help in disseminating information about church ministry to the various news channels.

The Metropolitan’s assurance has come as a boost to the media fraternity with its promises to do more.

Excerpts from the interview:

The holy Episcopal Synod has appointed you as Vice Chairman of Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church’s media wing. What role do you visualize…

This will be a new role which has been bestowed on me by the Holy Episcopal Synod. After this new set up, Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church has hence decided to vest total charge of the foreign media section towards a metropolitan.

My role will be to disseminate various Church news and doctrines to Malankara Sabha community all over the world.

The wing will look after both print and the visual media. It will work under the Presidentship of Chengannur Diocese Metropolitan HG Thomas Mar Athanasius and Niranam Diocese Metropolitan Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos. HG Mar Athanasius will look after activities in Kerala while myself will head the media for all Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church activities in the Outside Kerala region. We will meet soon to chalk out our future programmes.

What will be the main aims and programmes of the wing..

Let me make few things very clear. The media wing has not been formed with the intention to control the media but to help the freelancers in their work.

We will go to any extent to provide information to freelance journalists with providing latest information about the church activities and the ministry. Let me make it clear that the church will not control the media with a tight leash. But we will disseminate whatever information we have and also accept and honour Christian media workers.

The Holy Episcopal Synod is also very clear on this. The media cell will also act as a platform for media watch and alert.

When is the committee you likely to meet

The new committee has not met so far after its formation. We have planned to meet by July before the Holy Episcopal Synod meets in August for its customary sitting. We plan to discuss few matters in our meeting and will come up with proposals to be presented at the Holy Synod meeting.

Can you explain on the type of media watch and how it will act on..

As I said earlier, the wing has no plans to impose total control on the media but instead will help the freelancers towards discharging their duties in a free and fair manner possible. It will also serve as a proper platform for media watch on many of the church issues.

The Kolencherry church issue is one such. Media can really play a major part in solving the vexed issue. Many other issues which the church faces can be highlighted by the media and a solution can be found. They have to be vigilant and help solve the matter and not aggravate the issue. The church schism which presently exists can be solved and cooperation of the media is very much sought.

We will be able to help the media get accurate information and facts for all their news. HH the Catholicos will act as the spokesperson of the Sabha matters.

We feel the recent Kolencherry issue was not highlighted by the media with regard to the views of the Indian Orthodox Church. At the height of the crisis in September last year, we conducted a press conference on the issue to express our stand on the matter. Sadly it never came out the way we had expected it to be, both in print and visual media. The news media failed to project our views to the world and instead were partial. Rather than espousing our stand, the media was more eager to report on which of the political parties we would align with or support during the Piravom by elections.

The main purpose of the cell will be to strive towards unifying all media groups in the outside Kerala region and for its effective working with a common goal.

The Holy Episcopal Synod also discussed the role played by various Orthodox print and e-media channels like Indian Orthodox Herald, (IOH), Malankara Orthodox TV (M.TV), Orthodox TV, ICON and others.

Any other issues which will be taken up…

The Indian Orthodox will also try and highlight topical issues. Something like the recent Earth Day, Heritage Day, Autism Day and various other events of global significance.

If any incidents occur, say in North India, we must be able to explain to our community about our stand on such issues. We like to have some kind of coordination with the media folk but never to control them or twist them. I can give my assurance in this regard.

We will honour our media men for their contributions and encourage them. We will provide them with all official information and help towards their work. The committee will hold its first meeting in July and come up with suggestions.