Cheridan and Sebastian practice line-dancing on the set of The Church Alive.
As we’re in the media business, we’re very much aware of how pictures shape perception. Especially when it comes to telling the story of the Church. A large part of the New Evangelization is about rethinking how our story is told. Whether we like it or not, much of what we think about ourselves has been conditioned by popular portrayals in the mass media.
That’s not to say that the media has it all wrong, but there are limitations. To illustrate, I share with you the following:
Now if you only saw this image, you might be tempted to think, “look at them laughing all the way having a great time working together”. This would be partly true, but not the whole story. As we all know, any worthwhile endeavor is filled with challenges, frustrations, and moments where you just don’t see eye-to-eye. With that in mind, cynics might zero in on a picture like this…
Cheridan wonders when Sebastian is going to quit goofing around and get some work done.
Here you might be tempted to think, “This guy obviously doesn’t take stuff seriously”. But that wouldn’t be accurate because we all know that he is entirely serious (some would say fanatical), when it comes to G.K. Chesterton.
Sebastian persuades Salt + Light CEO, Fr. Tom Rosica and Cheridan (once again) why its critical to quote G.K. Chesterton at least three times per segment.
All this to say, that it’s important not to rely on just one source’s interpretation of a story, no matter how reliable they seem to be. Sometimes an image or a soundbite is taken out of context, or is just plain wrong. It’s an idea that we explore at length in our episode on: The Media. When it comes to portrayals of the Church in the media, the soundbite, caption or snapshot often bear faint resemblance to what’s actually going on. Clearly, we’re called to engage and find avenues of dialogue, and to utilize the mediums available to us. But we’re also called to offer a critique of the status quo. All this and more, on in Episode 2 of the The Church Alive.