Pray for the media

Christians are uniting next month to pray the media.

The initiative is being spearheaded by MediaNet, an organisation supporting Christians in the media.

They are trying to get as many churches as possible to pray for the media in May, leading up to a day of prayer on 12 May.

The British media has been under public and government scrutiny over phonehacking, bullying and unethical practices.

In addition to the scandals investigated by the recent Leveson Inquiry, local and regional newspapers are suffering in the tough economic climate and changing patterns of media consumption, with many facing closure or large-scale redundancies.

Local radio stations are also struggling for funding as the internet is now the main provider of news.

Andrew Graystone, head of MediaNet, explained the inspiration behind the day of prayer.

"Sunday 12 May - the Sunday before Pentecost - has long been marked by Roman Catholics as World Communications Day.

"When we were looking for a suitable day it seemed sensible to choose a day when lots of churches were already focussing on media and communications."

He continued: "Also, it's a good theme to think about in the time before Pentecost. At that stage in the gospel stories the disciples had their message and their commission to preach, but they hadn't found the power to go out and do it. That feels a little like where the church is in relation to the media today.

"Medianet would like to present and affirm the Media's positive side and the vital role it plays in our society."

The organisation has produced resources for churches and is asking them to pray that the media fulfils a positive role in society as it:

• gives a voice to the voiceless
• holds the powerful to account
• highlights unjust practices
• calls for justice
• keeps people informed
• brings us strong opinions to challenge our own
• tells stories to entertain us

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