Conseil Ressources

COMMUNICATOR for a CYBER AGE in Africa. Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services Kenya Session 3

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COMMUNICATOR for a CYBER AGE in Africa.

Edited by Fr. K D Tom Kunnel sdb Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services (B.E.A.M.S) Salesians of Don Bosco Karen, 00502 Kenya

COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER-AGE IN AFRICA TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION III CONTENT FOCUS Media, Meaning, Context Truth, Reality, Bias Speaking and Listening Skills SYLLABUS GUIDEPOST Lay - Secondary School– Form 5 and 6 - University Year 1 - Catechist Training Year 1 - Marriage Preparation Religious - Post-Novitiate Priestly Formation - Philosophy Year 1118 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa SECTION III 3.1 Human Person as Communicator 119 3.2 Media and Meaning 123 3.3 The Levels of Meaning in Communication 127 3.4 People, Context and Communication 131 3.5 Perception, Bias and Stereotypes 136 3.6 What is Truth? 144 3.7 Tolerance and the Communication of Truth 150 3.8 Reconstructing Reality 157 3.9 Dialogue – A Way of Being Fully Human 161 3.10 Enunciation Skills 167 3.11 Public Speaking Skills 173 3.12 The Power of Mass Media 180 3.13 Listening, the Biblical Perspective 184 3.14 Feelings and Relationship 190119 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure • Ask each participant to imagine he/she was marooned on an island. All he/ she had was a comb, a photograph of a loved one, a handkerchief and a few coins. How would he/she spend the week? Ask them to share their fantasies and pick out the communication elements. Next, emphasize the intrinsic nature of the human being to communicate with the help of the input given below.

Or • Ask the participants to pick up a pen/pencil, place them on a blank sheet of paper, close their eyes and then doodle away for 30 seconds. On opening their eyes they must look closely at their doodles to discover at least three recognisable shapes and figures. After this exercise they may share their findings. (Later you will have to draw their attention to the eagerness they displayed while discovering various shapes and while sharing them.) Input 1. Much like life itself, communication is a process. That means it is dynamic, ever-changing and unending.

2. Men and women are different from the rest of other living things in that they possess self-consciousness or ‘presence-to-self’. Two fundamental operations constitute self-consciousness – knowing (cognition) and willing (volition) originating from the faculties of intellect and will.

3. Human consciousness is dynamic and not static. Knowing and willing are drives that impel a person forward to know and will more and more. This irresistible dynamism pushes us out of ourselves to the world around us. We thus yearn for the joy of knowledge, free choice, discovery and exploration.

4. Culture is also dynamic. It changes and is not static. No group or society has a completely static culture. Everything is subject to, and is in the process of change. Life never remains the same for successive generations.

6. ‘Making Sense of Reality’ occurs in every human person through a cyclic process of experience-understanding-judging-acting. This process is not only cyclic, it also moves forward: every judging/doing gives rise to a newer experience and every experience proceeds from a previous judgement/act.

7. But this drive to know and will which is in reality a cycle of experience- understanding-judging is not merely an introverted process (self-possession). It is a dynamic drive for self-expression. This is the urge to communicate, to share meaning with our fellow-beings. It is also usually quite slow and subtle. Otherwise you might be in a constant state of confusion and frustration about many things. The human being - a presence-to-self – is by nature a presence – to-another. By virtue of the dynamism within the person, personhood implies self-possession as well as self-expression. Thus every person is a knowing/willing subject and a communicating subject as well. To be human is to be communicative.

Communication and Culture: The Link • Without communication, there can be no culture, for there would be no predictable behaviour among members of a society and, therefore, no human relations. Groups, principles of descent, social and political organisations, authority, religion etc. would be non existent. This is because for them to exist, there is need for meanings to be agreed upon by the group sharing all these elements of culture.

Aim Materials Required [ To understand communication as an essential and existential dimension of the human person. [ To help the student understand the nature of culture and his inter-relation with communication. [ Pen and Paper.

3.1 Human Person as a Communicator120 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa John Paul ii’s Theology of Communication John Paul II spoke in terms that were explicitly theological in nature regarding the topic of human-social communications and the media of communications, offering us through his almost 27-year-long pontificate a great wealth of commentary and texts addressing the topic. The foundational structure of this theology of communication begins with the gift of the presence of Jesus Christ, and “The Encounter with the Incarnate Word.” This encounter is most personally fulfilled in the Eucharistic Presence.

It is not strictly an academic study; but rather according to the method in theology evidenced, we may experience it as an organic theological instrument to better understand both interpersonal and social communications specifically in relationship to the communication of Christ both inside and outside the Christian community.

This important development allows for the technological use of the media to be enhanced as well as provide for a key link/bridge to be strengthened between the moral and ethical perspectives of social communications from both the theological and secular sciences; thus granting the Church the opportunity to meaningfully communicate her message in her mission.

The simple key of “The Encounter with the Living Jesus Christ” that John Paul developed in his communicative strategy for the Church’s mission is a gift that is easily comprehended and applied to personal and social, secular and ecclesial communication experiences, thus transforming the members of the Church personally and corporately.

Understanding this theology gives both those involved with social media and those involved in the Church’s mission the opportunity to experience personal, ongoing conversion wherein Christ becomes the living presence who reveals a model par excellence for all human communication activities.

The practical applications of a theology of communication within the Church are numerous and rich; in the formation of priests for their own personal and pastoral growth, for use in all diocesan offices regarding the development of communications planning. In media outlets for ongoing maturing of personnel to obtain a more profound and integrated understanding of their own communicative potential. “Humanity today,” Pope Benedict explained, “is at a crossroads. [...] [S]o too in the sector of social communications there are essential dimensions of the human person and the truth concerning the human person coming into play. [...] For this reason it is essential that social communications should assiduously defend the person and fully respect human dignity. […] The new media […] are changing the very face of communication; perhaps this is a valuable opportunity to reshape it, to make more visible, as my venerable predecessor Pope John Paul II said, the essential and indispensable elements of the truth about the human person.” - World Communications Day message of 2008.

Our discussion about human dignity, should start with the theological understanding that human dignity comes from the fact that humans are made in the image and likeness of God. To reinforce the theological approach with arguments from reason for the dignity of the human person, will touch even the skeptical and lukewarm who find it hard to fully accept the theological explanation. It is important to explain the Church’s teaching on the human person as a unity of body and soul.

With the philosophy of human nature grounded in the unity of the spiritual and material modes of existence, we can now turn to the topic of social communication. Human beings, by their very nature, are social beings that need to live in a society. Part of that society is the communication between the members of the community. Over time, forms of communication in society have evolved. We are currently at a point where the Internet is one of the prominent forms of communication. This medium has proven beneficial in areas such as education, entertainment, business, and evangelization. At the same time, the usage of the Internet is prone to abuse and has the potential to distort society’s understanding of the dignity of the human person. Such distortions can lead to a serious contradiction of the Gospel message. (Excerpts from - ZENIT Interview With Theologian Christine Anne Mugridge – June 2008) Review 1. Communication is a process. It is dynamic, ever-changing, and unending.

2. Human beings are different from other living things in that they possess self consciousness which is a presence to self.

3. Human consciousness is dynamic.

4. Culture is dynamic and no group or society has a completely static culture. Everything is subject to, and is in the process of change.121 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Reflection 1. How much do you know about yourself? Resolve to engage in an exercise that will engage your faculty and will with an aim to discover yourself more.

2. What are some of the things that younger people resent deeply about their culture? Why? As a result, in what way have these aspects of culture evolved to adapt over time? Relevant Skills For the first half hour of the lesson, the instructor asks the class to remain quiet and to refrain from neither communicating with each other nor with the instructor, either verbally or non-verbally while the instructor lectures. It may not be possible to avoid communicating altogether but the students are to try their best not to communicate. The students will then comment on the effect of learning without communication. Were they able to understand the session? What effect did it have on them as individuals? After this exercise, the instructor should ask the participants to comment on the human person and communication.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Barker L. Larry. Communication. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1978.

AMECEA and IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999.122 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand communication as an essential and existential dimension of the human person.

• To understand the nature of culture and his inter-relation with communication.

Procedure • Imagine you are marooned on an island. All you have are a comb, a photograph of a loved one, a handkerchief and a few coins. How would you spend the week? Share your fantasies and pick out the communication elements. Or • Pick up a pen/pencil, place them on a blank sheet of paper, close your eyes and then doodle away for a period of 30 seconds. On opening your eyes look closely at your doodles to discover at least three recognisable shapes and figures. Share their findings. Review 1. Communication is a process. It is dynamic, ever-changing, and unending.

2. Human beings are different from other living things in that they possess self consciousness/ presence to self.

3. Human consciousness is dynamic.

4. Culture is dynamic and no group or society has a completely static culture. Everything is subject to, and is in the process of change.

Reflection 1. How much do you know about yourself? Resolve to engage in an exercise that will engage your faculty and will with an aim to discover yourself more.

2. What are some of the things that younger people resent deeply about their culture? Why? As a result, in what way have these aspects of culture evolved to adapt over time? Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Barker L. Larry. Communication. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1978.

AMECEA and IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999.

CHAPTER 3.1 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Human Person as a Communicator COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke123 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Distribute the following section to the students.

How would you communicate in the following situations? 1. I have had a fight with a friend and I now want to forgive and begin anew… 2. I am the owner of a new company that specialises in manufacturing decorative lighting… 3. I am going for a birthday party of my four-year-old nephew and I want to shower him with affection… 4. I disagree with the views expressed in a popular magazine… 5. I dislike my wife’s constant interruption in our conversation… 6. I have three dogs in my house and I want strangers and robbers to know… 7. I am looking for a wife who is fair, pretty, and hard working… 8. I am in-charge of the school scouts and guides movement and I want to give them a sense of pride and belonging… 9. I want to tell my neighbourhood that we should take greater care of how we dispose our waste… 10. I am angry with myself… Identify the media used in the above 10 instances? or • Invite a volunteer to the front of the class. Ask him/her to show the class directions to a well-known spot in the area (e.g. a bus station, restaurant, cinema, etc.) Before doing this, ask him/her to tie his/her hands behind his/ her back.

• Invariably, they will have to use their eyes or the movement of their heads to communicate the directions or extra words (“turn right, at the sign post turn left, then right again.”) • Ask the class what they thought was the main objective of the exercise. Stress the importance of the body as the primary medium through which communication takes place. See input below.

Input • In each of the above instances we communicate through a medium (except in case no. 10 where we may restrict our self-communication only to a thought).

• The media used are of various kinds. Some of them, in themselves express meaning; others are given meaning. The first category has meaning intrinsically; the second has meaning extrinsically.

1. Media with Meaning as an intrinsic Component • The body: The way we communicate is always in and through our embodiment. We have our body but we are not our body. We are spirit-in- matter or embodied spirits and we communicate as such – always through ‘matter’ and, at best, giving matter ‘spirit’. The first we call materialisation/ symbolisation (visualisation); the second we call spiritualization/abstraction (inspiration). Thus as embodied spirits, the only way we can communicate as humans is through symbols, the body being the primary symbol. All symbols used in communication are but extensions of the body.

Aim Materials Required [ To understand the importance of the medium and the intrinsic or extrinsic nature of meaning.

[ To understand the development of communication.

[ Paper and pen.

3.2 Media and Meaning124 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • A symbol: The function of a symbol is to evoke or to reveal. (A dynamic factor that contains in some way the reality that is symbolised.) Joseph Goetz says “The symbol’s function is to be present itself so as to render present something other than itself.” For symbols to be understood one requires more specific knowledge of the background or context. Affectivity is the key to the power of the symbol.

• Language: spoken and written. Signs with syntax, semantics, phonetics, etc. all express meaning • An analogy: is a straightforward relationship between two terms – one an analogy of the other – easy external comparisons.

• An idol: when that which is symbolised is encapsulated within the alleged symbol, the symbol apprehends the symbolised. The idol traps it within its limited confines. Thus an idol is pretentious, a symbol is more modest. “Idols must die so that symbols can live. Fanaticism is misguided fidelity which is idolatry. When dogmas are viewed as the end-term and exhaustive expression of experience, rather than the starting point and guidelines of a journey, then dogmas become idols.

• A story could be historical and therefore true or a fable and therefore invented.

• Myth is an elaborated symbol. It is a symbolic story. It is sacred, exemplary and suggests guidelines for a lifestyle. Myths are viable – realisable as meaningfully fulfilling ways of life. They are capable of developing a system of meaning.

• Rite is an elaborated symbol. It is a symbolic action.

2. Media with Meaning as Extrinsic: • A sign is a pointer. It manifests something other than itself. Its function is indicative. (A static referential, conceptual link with a thing signified).

• Materials: used to convey messages like air, water, paper, pen and colour.

• Print: Newspapers, Magazines, Advertisements.

• Electrical parts: lights, current, etc.

• Electronic media: phone, radio, TV, • Satellite facilities: e-mail, internet, e-commerce… 3. The Medium is the Message: • The division of media with meaning as intrinsic or extrinsic is not always easy to make. What is important to note is the correlation between meaning and medium. Marshall McLuhan, a media theorist of great fame asserts, “All media are extensions of some human faculty – physical or psychic. The wheel is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye; Clothing is an extension of the skin; The electric circuitry is an extension of the central nervous system.” In this sense, all media are essentially linked to meaning. • In this connection, McLuhan’s oft-repeated adage, “The medium is the message” merely means that the personal and social consequences of any medium results from the new scale that is introduced into society by any extension of ourselves or by any new technology. Ideas no longer rule the world. It is the medium – any extension of ourselves or any new technology – that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.

• McLuhan believes that any medium will affect the society it becomes a part of.

• Thus the medium shapes and controls the scale and form of how many beings associate and act not by the mere information that it disseminates, but more by the total imposing ‘effect’ it has on the receiver. Societies have also been shaped more by the nature of the ‘medium’ than by the ‘message’ (content) of the communication.

• Today, as the medium of satellite transmission increases and improves, the world is being transformed into a living room, where people from different parts of the world can chat across cyber space and exchange ideas, images and money at the click of a button. All this has transformed behaviour, life-style, way of thinking, global finance and industry. Once again, McLuhan has been proved correct. The medium has determined the shape, size and content of the message – not the other way round.

4. Means of Communication Historically, authors like Innis, Ong and McLuhan see the development of communication in three stages while Michael Prosser adds a fourth stage: * Oral-aural communication * Script communication * Electronic communication * Space and satellite communication While it is certainly important to know the different stages of the development of communication and the means by which they are employed, it is necessary to guard against the risk of assuming that the means particular to a given 125 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa stage of development are limited and specific to that stage. This does not mean that they are not or may not be employed in the other stages.

Review 1. Some media in themselves express meaning while others are given meaning. The first category has meaning intrinsically; the second has meaning extrinsically.

2. The way we communicate is always in and through our embodiment.

3. The function of a symbol is to evoke or to reveal.

4. A sign is a pointer. It manifests something other than itself. 5. All media are extensions of some human faculty – physical or psychic. 6. Societies have been shaped more by the nature of the ‘medium’ by which one communicates than by the ‘message’ (content) of the communication.

7. The development stages of communication are: Oral-aural communication, Script communication, Electronic communication and Space and satellite communication.

8. On this note also, it is necessary to guard against the risk of assuming that the means particular to a given stage of development are limited and specific to that stage.

Reflection Modern means of communication are very powerful and are spreading to all corners of the world. However, in the greater part of Africa which is still rural, this is not so. Reflect on ways that one can evangelise these parts of Africa using a blend of the traditional and modern means of communication.

Relevant Skills For a period of 30 min, sit in your college compound or an office reception at your college and observe the unspoken communication rules practiced. Present your observations to your fellow participants and allow them to compare these observations with how they themselves communicate.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 1999.126 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the importance of the medium and the intrinsic or extrinsic nature of meaning.

• To understand the development of communication.

Procedure How would you communicate in the following situations? 1. I have had a fight with a friend and I now want to forgive and begin anew… 2. I am the owner of a new company that specialises in manufacturing decorative lighting… 3. I am going for a birthday party of my four-year-old nephew and I want to shower him with affection… 4. I disagree with the views expressed in a popular magazine… 5. I dislike my wife’s constant interruption in our conversation… 6. I have three dogs in my house and I want strangers and robbers to know… 7. I am looking for a wife who is fair, pretty, and hard working… 8. I am in-charge of the school scouts and guides movement and I want to give them a sense of pride and belonging… 9. I want to tell my neighbourhood that we should take greater care of how we dispose our waste… 10. I am angry with myself… Identify the media used in the above 10 instances? Review 1. Some media in themselves express meaning while others are given meaning. The first category has meaning intrinsically; the second has meaning extrinsically.

2. The way we communicate is always in and through our embodiment.

3. The function of a symbol is to evoke or to reveal.

4. A sign is a pointer. It manifests something other than itself. 5. All media are extensions of some human faculty – physical or psychic. 6. Societies have been shaped more by the nature of the ‘medium’ by which one communicates than by the ‘message’ (content) of the communication.

7. The development stages of communication are: Oral-aural communication, Script communication, Electronic communication and Space and satellite communication.

8. On this note also, it is necessary to guard against the risk of assuming that the means particular to a given stage of development are limited and specific to that stage.

Reflection Modern means of communication are very powerful and are spreading to all corners of the world. However, in the greater part of Africa which is still rural, this is not so. Reflect on ways that one can evangelise these parts of Africa using a blend of the traditional and modern means of communication.

Relevant Skills For a period of 30 min, sit in your college compound or an office reception at your college and observe the unspoken communication rules practiced. Present your observations to your fellow participants and allow them to compare these observations with how they themselves communicate.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a CyberAge in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 1999.

CHAPTER 3.2 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Media and Meaning COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke127 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure • Ask the class for four volunteers; three girls and one gentleman. Appoint one lady to be the prospective wife of the gentleman. Ask them to act out a scene from the traditional Rwanda wedding whereby the gentleman is supposed to identify from a group of ladies his prospective wife. This is to be done when the ladies are fully covered up with sheets of cloth (kanga). After this acting scene, invite the class to say, ask or state their thoughts about the short exercise. As the participants begin to express themselves the animator lists out their statements keeping in mind the following headings given in italics (which he/she does not immediately disclose to the class). The statements that follow each heading below are examples: • Descriptive: I like the way Joseph easily identified his bride.

• Scientific: How did he know which of the ladies was his bride? He must have been given a sign.

• Educational: What is the purpose of this part of an African wedding? • Psychological: What is the main purpose of this event? Does it have any significance in the African Traditional Setting? • Economic: How much fine is paid when the man makes a mistake in identifying his bride? • Political: The man who identifies his wife accurately easily commands respect from his fellow men and the society in general.

• Historical: This practice has been done since time immemorial. It is as old as the cultures themselves.

• Philosophical: What is culture? What is the purpose of following our cultures especially during marriage? Does it have any significance? • Spiritual/Moral: A woman belongs to the whole community. Marriage is a communal affair. Divorce is against God’s law and community customs.

• Once the participants have expressed themselves and the questions are categorised on the board for all to see, the animator can give the above titles (given in italics) to the groups of statements.

Input • Meaning is culturally determined and is not absolute.

• According to Pavlov and B.F. Skinner, meaning is a response to stimuli and is learned by a pattern of reinforcement. For these theorists, what the organism does under certain conditions is quite adequate for the determination of “meaning” from a scientific point of view.

• Life is full of statements, opinions, questions. But the way different people ask these questions or make statements may depend on their experiences, biases, etc. Yet our statements show the variety of approaches we have towards life, issues, and persons.

• Different people arrive and communicate their levels of meaning differently.

• The statements people make about life disclose the level (depth) at which they encounter it and reflect upon it.

Where is Meaning? There are at least three theories on where meanings exist. The first suggests that meaning is in the external world. That is, things contain their meanings and give them out to those who observe them. Contemporary communicologists however argue that if external phenomena and events contain their own meanings, it would be possible for anyone in any society to follow a single set of rules for interpretation and uncover the same meaning. Aim Materials Required [ To understand the different levels of communication about a particular issue. [ Pen and Paper.

3.3 The Levels of Meaning in Communication128 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa The second theory suggests that meaning rests in the symbols (primarily linguistic symbols) in whose terms the reality that we experience is described.

• For this theory, the argument is that there is divergence, sometimes wide divergence, in the way various people interpret the same symbols. Furthermore, there is change, sometimes great change from generation to generation in the meanings attached to any given word, phrase or other symbol employed for communication purposes. • The third theory contends that meanings lie within people, and not in the external world or the symbols in whose terms we describe the world.

• Meaning is therefore a personal thing, internal to persons rather than a part of the world outside. This is the theory ordinarily advocated for by contemporary communicologists.

Selective Perception and Self-fulfilling Prophecies • People tend to selectively perceive messages and to respond to those that are consistent with their self-concepts. This process is sometimes called circularity – believing something, and then looking for evidence from our observations of people and events to support the belief. Another description of the same general idea is self- fulfilling prophecy – that is, predicting that something will happen and then behaving in a manner that causes it to happen.

• What is it that constitutes the depth of meaning and therefore the depth of communication? The depth of presence- to-self. Meanings that involve our personhood (either individually or collectively) are far richer than meanings that pertain to what is exterior (and added) to our persons.

• At the core of the person is the drive to know and the will that grasps every known and willed being and thrusts itself forward towards that which fulfils the all knowing and willing – the ungraspable other-faith.

• At the core of the person is also the experience of the self as a knowing/willing subject in its drive to the ungraspable Other – an experience that matures and moulds the self along the long and seemingly endless journey to the other, an experience we call our search for identity (e.g.: Experiences of deep love, joy, sorrow that affect our identities).

• At the core of our person is the day-to-day experience of self-expression (communication) and self-possession (growth) in our interaction with other persons (in our quest for the other, search for our identity) who are also on the journey but not necessarily on the same path (social life).

• Meanings are also constituted as the result of a conglomeration of a multiplicity and variety of factors – the existence of which we are not always aware of (examples: time, space, power, culture, religion, tribe, status, etc…) • Meanings can be ethically right or wrong, beneficial or useless, informative or entertaining, educative or scandalous. Communication is thereby affected.

Review 1. Life is full of statements, opinions and questions which when expressed show the variety of approaches to life, people and issues that people have.

2. The statements people make about life reflect the level (depth) at which they encounter it and reflect upon it.

3. The depth of presence to self is what constitutes the depth of meaning and therefore the depth of communication.

4. At the core of the person is also the experience of the self as a knowing/willing subject in his drive to the ungraspable other.

5. Meanings are also constituted as the result of a conglomeration of a multiplicity and variety of factors – the existence of which we are not always aware of.

6. Meanings can be ethically right or wrong, beneficial or useless, informative or entertaining, educative or scandalous.

Reflection What new insight have you gained on the meaning of the word ‘meaning’? Is it true therefore that all meanings given to a particular issue are correct? Give a list of issues in Africa today and the different meanings we can assign to them.

Relevant Skills Instructor asks the participants to comment on the various reasons that could have triggered the post-election violence in Kenya and Zimbabwe or any other African country that has experienced political violence along tribal lines. He/ she then evaluates the different meanings expressed by the participants.129 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.

Burton Graeme, Richard Dimbleby. Teaching Communication. London: Routledge, 1990.130 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the different levels of communication about a particular issue. Procedure • Four volunteers are required, three girls and one gentleman. The lady will act as the prospective wife of the gentleman. Act out a scene from the traditional Rwanda wedding whereby the gentleman is supposed to identify from a group of ladies his prospective wife. This is to be done when the ladies are fully covered up with sheets of cloth (kanga). After this acting scene, state your thoughts about the short exercise. • Meaning is culturally determined and is not absolute.

• According to Pavlov and B.F. Skinner, meaning is a response to stimuli and is learned by a pattern of reinforcement. For these theorists, what the organism does under certain conditions is quite adequate for the determination of “meaning” from a scientific point of view.

• Life is full of statements, opinions, questions. But the way different people ask these questions or make statements may depend on their experiences, biases, etc. Yet our statements show the variety of approaches we have towards life, issues, and persons.

• Different people arrive and communicate their levels of meaning differently.

• The statements people make about life disclose the level (depth) at which they encounter it and reflect upon it.

Review 1. Life is full of statements, opinions and questions which when expressed show the variety of approaches to life, issues and persons that people have.

2. The statements people make about life reflect the level (depth) at which they encounter it and reflect upon it.

3. The depth of presence to self is what constitutes the depth of meaning and therefore the depth of communication.

4. At the core of the person is also the experience of the self as a knowing/willing subject in his drive to the ungraspable Other.

5. Meanings are also constituted as the result of a conglomeration of a multiplicity and variety of factors – the existence of which we are not always aware of.

6. Meanings can be ethically right or wrong, beneficial or useless, informative or entertaining, educative or scandalous.

Reflection What new insight have you gained on the meaning of the word ‘meaning’? Is it true therefore that all meanings given to a particular issue are correct? Give a list of issues in Africa today and the different meanings we can assign to them.

Relevant Skills Comment on the various reasons that could have triggered the post-election violence in Kenya and Zimbabwe or any other African country that has experienced political violence along tribal lines. Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.

Burton Graeme, Richard Dimbleby. Teaching Communication. London: Routledge, 1990.

CHAPTER 3.3 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT The Levels of Meaning in Communication COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke131 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Different words mean different things to different people. For instance, the word witch doctor will elicit different responses from a village elder, a teacher and a sociologist. Several great people also had different definitions for words such as poverty, change, democracy, racism and peace. For example, Nelson Mandela defined racism as a system of advantage based on race as compared to the Oxford dictionary definition – the belief that some races are superior to others whilst Mother Teresa talked of poverty/poor people as a kind of richness and wealth as impoverishment, while most modern age people regard poverty as lack.

1. What meanings/feelings arise about the words below as you view them in the contexts stated? Word Context Meaning/feeling “ambitious” urban school culture politics religion “short pants” beach office school “so sweet!” pudding girlfriend puppy Input • In any act of communication there are two things happening together. There is the CONTENT of the communication, the message that is communicated and there is the PROCESS, the way that the message is communicated. The process is often decided by the context in which the message is given.

• The context or setting is a complex kind of vehicle that affects the message as it conveys it.

• Context normally decides for us whether we dare to speak or not, the kind of words we use if we do speak, and the way we stand or sit or act. For instance, when we enter a church, we begin to speak in whispers; we do not shout across the aisles; we may genuflect at the altar or kneel and pray, or both. The context determines how we behave.

• We change our behaviour and that means the way we communicate in different situations. But we remain the same person, and that is important.

• It is important that we recognise the worth of people in all contexts e.g. the man who serves in the hotel during the day and has to say “sir” and “madam” and accept criticism without answering back is the same man who when he is at home is served by his wife and chats easily with his friends. Christians are taught by their faith that everyone belongs to God. The problem arises when this is not recognised and we use contexts to oppress people.

• We need to recognise situations where the right to communicate freely, to Aim Materials Required [ To highlight the importance of people’s interpretation of meanings with respect to their context – both in the construction (encoding) as well as interpretation of a communication (decoding). [ To study an overview of the African context of communication.

[ Pen and paper.

3.4 People, Context and Communication132 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa reach out and touch one another as children of God is being denied and we need to ensure we do not practice this.

• When it comes to meaning, the context of a communicational event becomes a major component in the participants’ interpretation of its meaning.

• Before we distinguish between media, we should distinguish between the objective and the subjective meaning in communication: objective Meaning • Language has objective meaning (independent of the meanings we give it) in the following instances: I. A fact is an event that occurs irrespective of our knowledge or comprehension of it. Language used to describe a fact is carefully chosen. II. Technical language attempts to be as objective as possible and refers directly to the thing signified and nothing else. It is known only to those within the respective sphere of the technical study in question. E.g. the expression D.P.I will not make much sense just to anybody except those in the computer graphics and printing fields.

(D.P.I=Dots Per Inch or resolution of a graphic.) The Subjective Meaning More often than not, it is people who give words their meaning. Look at the following examples: • An opinion is a point of view shared by a subject. Language is the verbal or written expression of a subject’s cognitive, volitional or emotional processes. Words in contexts mean different things to different people.

• Culture: Symbols (like words, language, etc.) although necessary have a finite context. They are born, they live and they die. Symbols are also nurtured within contexts. And symbols subsist as long as meanings subsist. And because meanings change according to time and space, also symbols change. (E.g. Notice the various ways we use our hands in different contexts to signify different meanings. Notice again the different cultures that give hand gestures added meaning. So a hand movement cannot be interpreted uniformly for all people, time, places and cultures) • Meanings depend on contexts that evolve and interpenetrate over time and space because people evolve.

Traditional African Communication Context • In the traditional societies of Africa, communication uses more informal than formal mechanisms.

• The Amhara of Ethiopia is a rumour monger; the Tiu of Nigeria is an orator, the Yoruba of Nigeria a poet who is noted for his artistry of greeting known personalities with appropriate songs.

• Also, dancing is a means of informal communication. Thus, the African dances for joy, grief, love, hate, prosperity. Singing accompanies his work activity, improving team work and promoting co-ordination in manual communal work.

• Also, written scripts existed before the Europeans arrived, Africans communicated formally among themselves by written script. The Bantu communicated through symbols and cultural scripts. • The drum operated as an unmuffled extending medium and communicated by signature or by talking. African languages are tonal so drums were and still are built to reproduce tonal patterns of sentences through pitch, timbre and volume.

• The pipe was used to imitate songs of birds or cries of beasts thus conveying messages to hunters in the chase.

• In the African communication context, there also existed linguists who interpreted and disseminated information. Among the Amhara of Ethiopia, linguists acted as messengers and were taught secret musical notes to establish the authenticity of written notes. • Ornaments, charms and insignia served as aesthetic as well as communicative symbols. For instance, they showed the wearer’s status.

• In conclusion, communication plays an important role in cohesiveness among Africa’s traditional peoples. Review 1. In any act of communication there are two things happening together. There is the CONTENT of the communication, the message that is communicated and there is the PROCESS, the way that the message is communicated. The process is often decided by the context in which the message is given.

2. Context normally decides for us whether we dare to speak or not, the kind of words we use if we do speak, and the way we stand, sit or act.

3. We change our behaviour which translates in the way we communicate in different situations. But we remain the same person.

4. We need to recognise situations where the right to communicate freely, to reach out and touch one another as children of God is being denied and we need to ensure we do not practice this ourselves.133 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 5. A fact is an event that occurs irrespective of our knowledge or comprehension of it. 6. Technical language attempts to be as objective as possible and refers directly to the thing signified and nothing else.

7. Words in contexts mean different things to different people.

8. Data is information about the event – attempts to be as true to the reality as can be. Surveys, statistics, reports fall under this category.

9. More often than not, it is people who give words their meaning. This is known as subjective meaning.

10. In the traditional societies of Africa, communication uses more informal than formal mechanisms.

11. Communication plays an important role in cohesiveness among Africa’s traditional peoples. Reflection Risk exercise There are five steps: Step 1. The teacher asks for three volunteers who are willing to take a risk. When they came forward tell them to return to their places again as the exercise is over.

Step 2. In plenary ask what happened and why. Ask those who volunteered why they did so and others why they did not. The students analyse what actually happened.

Step 3. Divide participants into groups to discuss ‘what do I do’ when there are risks that need to be taken. Is there any advantage in taking risks? What was there in the context of the class at this time that stopped me or helped me to volunteer? Step 4. Return to plenary to share learning and possibly to offer ideas about changing attitudes towards risks taking.

Step 5. A prayer, scripture text, or a final word from the professor to close the session, then the students DO something related with the results of the exercise and have discussions.

Relevant Skills Give the objective and subjective meanings of the following words as they are applied in the current African context: • Sovereignty • Democracy • Aid Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and Imbisa. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000. Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.134 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To highlight the importance of people’s interpretation of meanings with respect to their context – both in the construction (encoding) as well as interpretation of a communication (decoding).

• To study an overview of the African context of Communication.

Procedure Different words mean different things to different people. For instance, the word witch doctor will elicit different responses from a village elder, a teacher and a sociologist. Several great people also had different definitions for words such as poverty, change, democracy, racism and peace. For example, Nelson Mandela defined racism as a system of advantage based on race as compared to the Oxford Dictionary definition – the belief that some races are superior to others whilst Mother Teresa talked of poverty/ poor people as a kind of richness and wealth as an impoverishment, while most modern age people regard poverty as lack.

1. What meanings/feelings arise about the words below as you view them in the contexts stated? Word Context Meaning/feeling “ambitious” urban school culture politics religion “short pants” beach office school “so sweet!” pudding girlfriend puppy Review 1. In any act of communication there are two things happening together. There is the CONTENT of the communication, the message that is communicated and there is the PROCESS, the way that the message is communicated. The process is often decided by the CONTEXT in which the message is given.

2. Context normally decides for us whether we dare to speak or not, the kind of words we use if we do speak, and the way we stand, sit or act.

3. We change our behaviour which translates in the way we communicate in different situations, but we remain the same person.

4. We need to recognise situations where the right to communicate freely, to reach out and touch one another as children of God is being denied and we need to ensure we do not practice this ourselves.

5. A fact is an event that occurs irrespective of our knowledge or comprehension of it. 6. Technical language attempts to be as objective as possible and refers directly to the thing signified and nothing else.

7. Words in contexts mean different things to different people.

8. Data is information about the event – attempts to be as true to the reality as can be. Surveys, statistics, reports fall under this category.

9. More often than not, it is people who give words their meaning. This is known as subjective meaning.

10. In the traditional societies of Africa, communication uses more informal than formal mechanisms 11. Communication plays an important role in cohesiveness among Africa’s traditional peoples. CHAPTER 3.4 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT People, Context and Communication COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke135 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Reflection Step 1. Three volunteers who are willing to take a risk please come forward. Step 2. Analyse what actually happened.

Step 3. In groups discuss ‘what do I do’ when there are risks that need to be taken. Is there any advantage in taking risks? What was there in the context of the class at this time that stopped me or helped me to volunteer? Step 4. Share learning and offer ideas about changing attitudes towards risk taking.

Relevant Skills Give the objective and subjective meanings of the following words as they are applied in the current African context: • Sovereignty • Democracy • Aid Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and Imbisa. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000. Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.136 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Show the drawings on page 133 to the students.

• Ask them to study what makes the drawing so deceptive.

• What would one have to do to arrive at a correct judgement of the drawing? (Answer: Take time to look; verify wherever possible.) Input 1. Perception is the process whereby data received by our senses is converted by the brain into meaningful information. To do this, we need to interpret the meaning of the message. • If the message is to be communicated successfully, it has to be interpreted as its creator intended. Sometimes, mistakes occur because a message unintentionally carries more than one meaning. On other occasions, a message may deliberately contain more than one meaning. Artists, psychologists and advertisers sometimes try to confuse our perception to make their work more powerful, to provide insights about the mind, or to challenge particular attitudes.

2. Communication depends largely on how we perceive the world – persons, events, issues. • The eye sees and accepts in accordance with set norms and patterns. There are some patterns that fit in the frame of reference given to the eye by the memory brain. When items conform to this frame of reference they are accepted. On the other hand, patterns that do not fit will not be accepted. The eye simply refuses to see.

• The eye needs, for example, to put any item it sees into a three dimensional perspective of height, breadth, and length. • The question most basic to communication then, is: ‘Do we perceive correctly?’ • To be correct we must verify. This is time consuming.

• The results of my verification will give my communication more conviction.

3. When we communicate, we reveal to our audience the way we perceive, our levels of meaning, our biases and stereotypes.

• Personal biases may prevent a person from listening seriously to certain arguments, paying attention to particular speakers, or engaging in a conversation with a new person.

• Sometimes because of personal bias, you may “write someone off” and decide he/she has nothing worthwhile to say. In other situations, sensitive topics such as gender issues or religious beliefs may make you uncomfortable and you “tune out”.

• If you always avoid discussing certain topics, you will miss the chance to become more fully informed.

• In the case of the mass media, bias in communication and the consequent influence it has on the mass of receivers is vast. This influence is not always recognisable and is often very subtle. It is all the more essential for receivers to sharpen their critical faculties in order to discern the biases in the messages they receive. It is also necessary for receivers/audiences to become aware of their own biases which make them favour or reject the mass media messages.

According to Verderber F. Rudolph in his book Communicate, the stages of perception are: Aim Materials Required [ To understand that much of communication relies heavily on the stereotypes we have of people.

[ Photocopies of the drawing in the input for the participants or its reproduction charts or Power Point slide for all to see.

3.5 Perception, Bias and Stereotypes137 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Selection Every second you are subject to a variety of sensory stimuli, you have learned to cope with competing stimuli by focusing attention on relatively few of these stimuli. Part of our selection process is determined by physiological limitations of our senses. If your eyes are weak, you are going to have trouble selecting visual stimuli that are far away. But even when the senses are working properly, they have limitations. E.g. human eyes perceive only certain rays – you cannot see infrared or ultraviolet ends of the colour spectrum. Another factor affecting selection is interest. Different people seeing your campus at the same time will perceive it differently. An architect may be primarily aware of the beauty or ugliness of the buildings; a person in a wheelchair sees the steps and curbs that have to be negotiated to get from one building to the next; a naturalist sees the trees and shrubs that grace the campus.

A third factor is need. When you drive from one place to another, you see things that affect your driving – traffic lights, cars in front, behind, on the side etc. Passengers in the car may be oblivious to any of these – they may be noticing a store they had not seen before or the condition of the neighbourhood. Whether because of sensory capability, interest, need, or any of a number of other potential factors, you consciously and unconsciously focus on certain stimuli around you.

organisation Information is received from the senses by the brain which selects some of that information and then organizes it. Although the principles of perceptual organization are not universally agreed upon, Gestalt psychologists, who first outlined various rules of organization, consider the following as some of the most important.

The first law is simplicity. Given a relatively complex perception, we are likely to simplify it into some recognizable form. Thus, instead of seeing a three sided object, you may see a rectangle. A second law is pattern. When people look at sets of shapes, they tend to group them along common lines. Thus instead of perceiving a number of individual human beings, you may think of them as males and females, marrieds and singles, or young, middle- aged, and elderly. A third law is proximity. We tend to group those things that are physically close together. In a classroom if you see a group of five students sitting apart from the rest of the class, you may decide they have something in common. interpretation As the mind selects and organizes, it completes its perception by interpreting the information it receives. The interpretation gives the perception meaning. Your communication then is based on the total perception. If, as a result of problems in selection, organization, and interpretation, your mind has a distorted perception, then the communication that follows the perception is likely to be distorted as well.

Can we be more bias free, more objective in our communication? • Yes we can, provided we identify our biases and realise the part they play in the interpretation of reality.

• Being realistic about our biases, accepting them if we cannot change them, transcending them wherever possible – these are some ways we can establish a harmonious relationship with others who may think differently from us.

4. We are able to judge the maturity of a person by the content quality of his/her communication. 5. Factors that can affect and influence our perception (the way we interpret facts) are: A: physical influences: • general health, co-ordination of body-parts • Limitation of the senses B. Psychological influences: • personality types, • interests. needs, • past experiences, future plans, • prejudices • feelings C. Upbringing and education: • formation of habits, peer influence, value based priorities…138 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa D. Self image: • Feeling good about oneself will affect your vision about others and the world. One who lives with complexes will view the world as stepping on his weakness all the time. He will therefore consider strategies to counteract the ‘oppression.’ He will set up defence mechanisms.

E. Religious, cultural, social influences: • tradition, values, beliefs, customs F. Economic-political environment.

• wealth, status, security G. Other factors: • Time: Lack of time can constrain my perception and my communication.

• Space: Large houses with open spaces may mean wealthy occupants.

• Colour: A white flag could mean peace, purity or surrender.

• Shape: Shapes can be designed to suit gender, age or ethnic groups.

• Smell: Fragrance or stench can make us attracted to an object or loathe it.

• Taste: According to some ethnic customs, the sweeter the tea you are offered the greater your presence is appreciated.

• Touch: Warm personalities are usually effusive in their actions and do not shy away from touching.

• Aesthetics: Choice of design, art, culture etc.

• Ideology: One’s philosophy can shape one’s outlook considerably.

• Relationship: Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt.

• Gender: The perception of a child by a man and a woman are not the same.

• Age: The question “What are your future plans?” does not have the same meaning for the old and the young.

The Following diagram illustrates well how people perceive differently (ask the class to state what they are seeing). Most likely, the diagrams seen may be different. The instructor should guide the students to see each other’s diagrams.

Functional Factors of Perception (experiment by Levine, Chein, and Murphy) Proposition i The perceptual and cognitive field in its natural state is organized and meaningful. This first proposition affirms that the cognitive field, except perhaps in rare pathological conditions, is never a “blooming, buzzing confusion” of discrete impressions, unrelated experiences, and unitary sensations. The individual’s cognitive fields are organized and meaningful.

Proposition ii Perception is functionally selective. No one perceives everything that there is “out there” to be perceived. The factors that determine the specific organisation of our cognitive field and select out only certain stimuli to integrate into that field are frequently at work even before we are exposed to the physical stimuli. Typically, only certain physical stimuli are “used” in making up the organized perception, while other stimuli are either not used at all or are given a very minor role. This is what is meant by saying that perception is “selective.” Proposition iii The perceptual and cognitive properties of a substructure are determined in large measure by the properties of the structure of which it is a part. Our mental world is a structured or organized one, and it can also be seen as broken 139 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa down into hierarchies of structures. Each of our perceptions is not an experience that “lives a life of its own,” as it were. Every perception is embedded in an organisation of other percepts – the whole going to make up a specific “cognitive structure.” Proposition iV Objects or events that are close to each other in space or time or resemble each other tend to be apprehended as parts of a common structure. Why for example, do some people have a cognitive structure in which socialism and Christianity are organized together, while other people have a cognitive structure in which socialism and atheism are found together? This proposition attempts to indicate the major factors that determine the contents of a single structure.

What Keeps People from Misinterpreting often? 1. Rule-ordered structure of behaviour – Human beings and groups seem to have a deep-seated drive to produce and live by rules (agreements). When a group gets together to play a game, for example, the first discussion is designed to bring about agreement as to what the rules will be.

2. Human beings organise themselves into groups – Such groups, referred to as reference groups, are characterised by strong agreement concerning what the rules should be and how they should be adhered to. The sense of ‘we- ness’ in these groups is a powerful facilitator of communication.

3. The power of habit – Even before birth we have been learning to operate our lives reflexively according to the cultural patterns and structures passed on and recommended by our elders to organise and carry out much of what we do. The strength of these habits, then, has a powerful positive influence in the direction of accuracy of communication, especially within groups.

4. What we do and say has a high level of predictability, or more technically, redundancy such that most of the time, we tend to deal with familiar subjects and in a way that finds us frequently saying the same or similar things. The predictability of any given meaning for a given word in a specific context enables interpreters to have a better chance at correct interpretation than would otherwise be the case.

5. The capacity of human beings to adapt or adjust to others – there seems to be within us a drive to understand, a predisposition to make sense out of what others do and say. Most people at most times seem to expend the necessary energy to adjust, thus making effective communication their normal experience most of the time.

6. In human communicational interaction, we settle for approximations rather than demanding preciseness – the fact that people settle for approximation in communication rather than demanding preciseness joins, then, with our ability to adapt, our drive to understand, the predictability factor, and many other similar factors to enable most communication to pass fairly effectively between participants.

African Worldview • The common thread flowing through the African perspective is ‘The Triad’: the principle of ancestor (representing the dead), the living, and the generations yet unborn. It is similar to the three-persons-in-one-God concept of the Christian religion: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

• Land is the most revered property of all African traditions. It is in the ownership, management, and use of this common property that African traditions best express their Cosmovisions.

• When the focus is on ‘The Triad’, and on land as a common property, a common vocabulary and knowledge, and therefore a common culture, sweeps through Africa • Several studies have drawn attention to spirituality as an essential component of rural people’s way of life.

Stereotypes • Stereotyping is the assigning of attributes to another person solely on the basis of the class or category they belong to, e.g. “All Tongas are short”; “All Kikuyus are shrewd and grasping”. It involves projecting one’s selective perceptions of a group of people onto an individual member of the group. However, stereotypes are not always harmful.

• A stereotype is expressed in the form of a generalisation.

Roles • We recognise each other primarily through the roles each of us play in society.

• We understand and accept people according to our experience of them in their roles. We form an opinion of people based on the roles they play in society. Different Kinds of Stereotypes Stereotypes of Roles: The roles we play shape and determine our communication styles. Each person may have more than one role to play in society. The communication style of a working mother, for instance, is not the same at home and at the office. Furthermore, these two roles are not interchangeable in the two situations – she cannot be mother at the office and secretary at home.

Stereotypes of identities: These are the ways we think about people, not merely with respect to how they perform in society but with respect 140 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa to who they are. These stereotypes refer to gender, personality traits, age, family lineage, culture, religion, ideology, etc. They concern the core of a person. Thus we have stereotypes of an adult, a child, a man, a woman, etc.

Group Stereotypes: We have various kinds of group stereotypes based on family, social class, religion, ethnic origin, culture, political stance, etc. This is an important stereotype because we often assume that an individual has the traits of the group he/ she belongs to. Hence our tendency is to know the group a person belongs to even before we know their name.

How are stereotypes formed? • Through direct experience of people • Through our inquiries about them • Through hearsay • Through the way they appear: their behaviour, dress, standard of living, etc.

• Through our group’s collective opinion about them.

• Through the media: the stereotyping of people in books, magazines, advertisements, songs, radio, films and TV.

Are Stereotypes harmful? • Stereotypes per se are not harmful. In fact they help us recognise people from our past experiences of them. Without this reference it would be difficult to connect people with their roles, their identities and their communities. Thanks to stereotypes, we do not have to go over the whole process of learning about people every time we meet them. Besides, positive stereotypes, those that are in favour of people, help to enhance our relationships with them.

• Stereotypes are not always inaccurate. A selective process may bring together people who share common characteristics. This in and of itself may not be bad or detrimental to effective communication. In fact, our ability to see similarities and respond to them is a basic in coping with large amounts of information and highly diverse events. • The problem of a stereotype lies in the extent to which a person uses it without recognising differences. Failure to recognise our stereotypes, allowing our responses to be based on highly simplified beliefs and very selective perceptions, is a far greater problem than the act and process of making generalisations based on similarities.

• However, people are far more complex and unique than our stereotypes of them. We can often fail to acknowledge this. We prefer to think of people in and through our stereotypes, refusing to update and change our perceptions. When these static stereotypes are against people, we tend to be unfair and do much harm to them.

• History is full of episodes of bloodshed simply because people refused to change their negative stereotypes of their enemies. If Hitler was prepared to change his prejudice against the Jews, we would not have had the holocaust.

African Stereotypes Many popular images of Africa especially in Western countries are based on stereotypes that present fragmented, inaccurate, and at times fallacious, images or representations of Africa. Africa is thought to be without history, stuck in a changeless socio-cultural reality, prior to the coming of European colonialism. Many Americans believe that Africa is comprised of jungle, sparsely populated savannah, or desert. As Africans, we know first hand that these stereotypes are not true. We therefore need to challenge ourselves to understand our culture and our history as we are the carriers of Africa’s story to the rest of the world. We also need to be rooted in our identity as Africans and secure a place in our personhood for our culture and history. When pictures of modern African cities are shown to audiences in Western countries, they may not accept that the cities are in Africa. However, if the dominant representation is not directly challenged in an attempt to maintain cognitive consonance, they will maintain their prior perception. Consequently, we firmly believe that teachers as well as Africans themselves must be aware of and understand the prior knowledge of other cultures and aggressively confront stereotypes, misrepresentations, and explanatory constructs that are misleading.

Review 1. Perception is the process whereby data received by our senses is converted by the brain into meaningful information. To do this, we need to interpret the meaning of the message. 2. Communication depends largely on how we perceive the world – persons, events, issues… 4. The question most basic to communication then, is ‘Do we perceive correctly?’ 5. Our perceptions are influenced by physical, environmental and learnt elements.

6. The common thread flowing through the African perspective is ‘The Triad’: the principle of ancestor, the living, and the generations yet unborn.

7. Several studies have drawn attention to spirituality as an essential component of rural people’s way of life.141 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 8. Some of the factors that keep people from misunderstanding most of the time and promote human understanding are: Rule-ordered structure of behavior, human organization into groups, the power of habit, the predictability/ redundancy of what we do and say, the capacity of human beings to adapt/adjust to others and the fact that humans settle for approximations rather than demand for preciseness in their communicational interaction.

9. Some of the factors that influence perception are: physical influences, psychological influences, upbringing and education, self-image, religious, social and cultural influences, the eco-political environment as well as other factors such as time, space, colour, smell, taste, touch and aesthetics.

10. Personal biases may prevent a person from listening seriously to certain arguments, paying attention to particular speakers, or engaging in a conversation with a new person.

11. In the case of the mass media, the influence of bias is not always recognisable and is often very subtle. It is all the more essential for receivers to sharpen their critical faculties in order to discern the biases in the messages they receive and become aware of their own biases which make them favour or reject the mass media messages.

12. Being realistic about our biases, accepting them if we cannot change them, transcending them wherever possible – are some ways we can establish a harmonious relationship with others who may think differently from us (biases).

13. Stereotyping is the assigning of attributes to another person solely on the basis of the category they belong to.

14. There are three types of stereotypes: stereotypes of roles, stereotypes of identity and group stereotypes.

15. Stereotypes are formed through direct experience of people, enquiries about them, hearsay, through the way that they appear, through group’s collective opinion of them and through the media.

16. The problem of a stereotype lies in the extent to which a person uses it without recognising discrepancies. Many popular images of Africa especially in Western countries are based on stereotypes that present fragmented, inaccurate, and at times fallacious, images or representations of Africa.

17. As Africans, we need to challenge ourselves to understand our culture and our history as we are the carriers of Africa’s story to the rest of the world. We also need to be rooted in our identity as Africans and secure a place in our personhood for our culture and history. 18. There exists four propositions that address the functional factors of perception namely: a) The perceptual and cognitive field in its natural state is organized and meaningful.

b) Perception is functionally selective. c) The perceptual and cognitive properties of a substructure are determined in large measure by the properties of the structure of which it is a part. d) Objects or events that are close to each other in space or time or resemble each other tend to be apprehended as parts of a common structure.

Reflection 1. Some people argue that there is no ultimate reality, only the illusion of our perceptions. Do you agree with this notion? In your world, does reality only exist in your head or is there factual evidence that reality does really exist? 2. In the early 18 th Century, the white man discriminated negatively against the African’s black skin and culture terming it as witchcraft and seeing him as inferior and only fit to be a slave. In what ways do we stereotype against our fellow Africans? Are our stereotypes justified? 3. Resolve to exploit your talents and opportunities to the full and to support and uplift others, especially your fellow Africans, as they do the same.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

Schramm Wilbur and Donald F. Roberts (Ed.). The Process and Effects of Mass Communication. Chicago: University of Illinois Press Chicago, 1974.

Verderber F. Rudolph. Communicate!. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company Inc., 1984.

References Gifford, Clive. Media & Communication. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1999.

Amecea and Imbisa. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000.

Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.

AMECEA & IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999.

Pace R Wayne, Brent D. Peterson and M. Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. USA: Addison- Wesley Publishing Company Inc., 1979.

http://www.companet.org142 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim To learn that: • Our perception depends on our previous experiences, our preferences, our influences, our psychological make- up, our tastes, etc.

• What we perceive may not always coincide with factual reality.

• To understand that much of communication relies heavily on the stereotypes we have of people.

Procedure • What does the drawing represent? • What would one have to do to arrive at a correct judgement of the drawing? Review 1. Perception is the process whereby data received by our senses is converted by the brain into meaningful information. To do this, we need to interpret the meaning of the message. 2. Communication depends largely on how we perceive the world – persons, events, issues… 4. The question most basic to communication then, is ‘Do we perceive correctly?’ 5. Our perceptions are influenced by physical, environmental and learnt elements.

6. The common thread flowing through the African perspective is ‘The Triad’: the principle of ancestor, the living, and the generations yet unborn.

7. Several studies have drawn attention to spirituality as an essential component of rural people’s way of life.

8. Some of the factors that keep people from misunderstanding most of the time and promote human understanding are: Rule-ordered structure of behavior, human organization into groups, the power of habit, the predictability/ redundancy of what we do and say, the capacity of human beings to adapt/adjust to others and the fact that humans settle for approximations rather than demand for preciseness in their communicational interaction.

9. Some of the factors that influence perception are: Physical influences, psychological influences, upbringing and education, self-image, religious, social and cultural influences, the eco-political environment as well as other factors such as time, space, colour, smell, taste, touch and aesthetics.

10. Personal biases may prevent a person from listening seriously to certain arguments, paying attention to particular speakers, or engaging in a conversation with a new person.

11. In the case of the mass media, the influence of bias is not always recognisable and is often very subtle. It is all the more essential for receivers to sharpen their critical faculties in order to discern the biases in the messages they receive and become aware of their own biases which make them favour or reject the mass media messages.

12. Being realistic about our biases, accepting them if we cannot change them, transcending them wherever possible CHAPTER 3.5 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Perception, Bias and Stereotypes COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke143 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa – are some ways we can establish a harmonious relationship with others who may think differently from us (biases).

13. Stereotyping is the assigning of attributes to another person solely on the basis of the category they belong to.

14. There are three types of stereotypes: stereotypes of roles, stereotypes of identity and group stereotypes.

15. Stereotypes are formed through direct experience of people, enquiries about them, hearsay, through the way that they appear, through group’s collective opinion of them and through the media.

16. The problem of a stereotype lies in the extent to which a person uses it without recognising differences. Many popular images of Africa especially in Western countries are based on stereotypes that present fragmented, inaccurate, and at times fallacious, images or representations of Africa.

17. As Africans, we need to challenge ourselves to understand our culture and our history as we are the carriers of Africa’s story to the rest of the world. We also need to be rooted in our identity as Africans and secure a place in our personhood for our culture and history.

18. There exists four propositions that address the functional factors of perception namely: a) The perceptual and cognitive field in its natural state is organized and meaningful.

b) Perception is functionally selective. c) The perceptual and cognitive properties of a substructure are determined in large measure by the properties of the structure of which it is a part. d) Objects or events that are close to each other in space or time or resemble each other tend to be apprehended as parts of a common structure.

Reflection 1. Some people argue that there is no ultimate reality, only the illusion of our perceptions. Do you agree with this notion? In your world, does reality only exist in your head or is there factual evidence that reality does really exist? 2. In the early 18 th Century, the white man discriminated negatively against the African’s black skin and culture terming it as witchcraft and seeing him as inferior and only fit to be a slave. In what ways do we stereotype against our fellow African men? Are our stereotypes justified? 3. Resolve to exploit your talents and opportunities to the full and to support and uplift others, especially your fellow Africans, as they do the same.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008. Schramm Wilbur and Donald F. Roberts (Ed.). The Process and Effects of Mass Communication. Chicago: University of Illinois Press Chicago, 1974.

Verderber F. Rudolph. Communicate!. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company Inc., 1984.

References Gifford, Clive. Media & Communication. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1999.

Amecea and Imbisa. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000.

Kraft H. Charles. Communication Theory for Christian Witness. Tennessee: Abingdon Books, 1991.

AMECEA & IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999.

Pace R Wayne, Brent D. Peterson and M. Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. USA: Addison- Wesley Publishing Company Inc., 1979.

http://www.companet.org144 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Give the following two reports to the students: A As I was standing at the bus stop, a beggar crossed the road and sneaked into a clothes shop meant for the rich. After a few moments, the owner appeared at the door and called the police who were standing at a police post nearby. He had caught the beggar stealing. He held the thief by the scruff of his neck until the police arrived. They took him to the nearest police station. B As I was standing at the bus stop, a boy dressed in shabby clothes crossed the road and entered the department store. After some moments, a man who appeared angry came to the door of the shop catching the boy by the scruff of his neck and shouted for the police. The police arrived after a few seconds and took the boy away.

Ask the students to answer the following questions: 1. Can you spot the differences between the two reports? 2. Which of the reports is the more subjective – i.e. containing the opinion and bias of the reporter? Can you underline the phrases and words used that indicate the reporter’s opinion? 3. What are your reasons for your choice of the more objective report (i.e. the one that is more true to fact.)? 4. Which of these reports do you find more interesting to read? You will notice that the participants will tend to move between fact and opinion. Draw the students’ attention to the differences. Ask them to identify the phrases and words used by the reporters to explain and Interpret the event (the ‘how’ and ‘why’) beyond merely stating what happened. In this way the class will be trained to sift fact from interpretation. or Invite a guest speaker from the media, preferably an editor from a notable media house to give a talk on truth and interpretation, fact and opinion.

Input • Despite centuries of argument, philosophers and the Ologians are still unable to agree on what truth is. Even if there was agreement on this basic question, how likely is it that the Roman Catholic Church and other organisations would agree on the “truth” about abortion or that a president and his challenger would agree on the “truth” about the state of the economy? Indeed, the exercise has shown us that in report-writing the truth in its factual form eludes us. We are more likely to receive information filtered through interpretations of the actual event. • In journalistic terms, truth is information that is factual, closer to the event – it is objectivity as distinguished from interpretations or subjectivity.

• But how objective (true to fact) are our opinions? • Michael Schudson, in his classic, ‘Discovering the News’, traces the rise of objectivity to the Post-World War I period when scholars and journalists alike turned to the methods and language of science in an attempt to make sense of a world that was being turned upside down by the influence of Freud and Marx, the emergence of new economic forces and the erosion of traditional values. Aim Materials Required [ To understand the dynamics of truth – the relation between fact and interpretation. [ To understand the standards of human communication.

[ To highlight the difference between fact and opinion.

[ To see the importance of interpretation in making sense of reality.

[ Copies of the story in the procedure.

[ Pen and Paper.

3.6 What is Truth?145 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Objectivity was a reliance on observable facts, but it was also a methodology for freeing factual reporting from the biases and values of source, writer or reader. It was itself a value, an ideal.

• In the examples above, the narrative style of B is the more factual one. The description of the event is free from any bias. The narrator is merely retelling what went on before his eyes, as he saw it happen.

• The narrative style of A is interpretative. The description goes beyond a mere ‘laying bare’ of the events that happened. It describes how the narrator has himself perceived the event. His biases and judgements are included in his narration.

As I was standing at the bus stop, a beggar crossed the road and sneaked into a clothes shop meant for the rich. After a few moments, the owner appeared at the door and called the police who were standing at a police post nearby. He had caught the beggar stealing. He held the thief by the scruff of his neck until the police arrived. They took him to the nearest police station.

- The bias in the words and phrases is explained below: - ‘Beggar’ - Either he has seen the boy begging before or he presumes he is a beggar by the way he is dressed, relying therefore on a bias that likens all or most shabbily dressed people to be beggars.

- ‘Sneaked’ - The narrator describes the way he sees the boy entering the shop. It is a way that, to his mind, appears suspicious.

- ‘Meant for the rich’ - The narrator may have been to the store himself and may have found the prices very high or he may be judging from the look of the shop, or from hearsay.

- ‘Owner’ - Is the man who caught the boy by his neck the owner? How sure is the narrator of this? Probably the narrator knows him to be the owner due to a previous acquaintance.

- ‘He had caught the beggar stealing’ - The narrator standing at the bus stop across the street could not have seen so clearly as to declare the exact nature of the ‘crime’ committed by the boy. He may have fought with someone in the shop, or may have threatened a sales agent….we are not really sure. Here the narrator takes the liberty to provide the answer that his listener will inevitably ask: But what happened in the shop? Why was the boy caught? - ‘Thief’ - The foregone conclusion.

- ‘Nearest police station’ - How certain is the narrator about where the police are taking the boy and whether they are actually taking him to the police station nearest to the scene of the crime? • People do not only want to know what happened, they want to know how and why an event occurred.

• In entering into these areas we tread on unsure ground because only a thorough verification would help us arrive at the correct answers.

• Unfortunately, popular communication lacks the patience of investigative research and so we supplement the news with our own theories and opinions. This is how rumours begin. Rumours are distortions of a core fact – distortions that contain more of subjective opinion than objective news. And as long as the rumours are rife, as long as they are in circulation, they accumulate more and more of opinion and less and less of objective fact.

Standards of Human Communication What makes Christian communication different from any other form of communication? It should contain the elements of: • Empathy- Here we share with the one to whom we speak. Empathy is saying “here I am to share the hurt, the sorrow, the shame with you.” Empathy is often said to be like walking in the other person’s shoes.

• incarnational- We show God in ourselves and in who we are. We do not speak the word on its own but we practise it in our own behaviour with others.

• Healing- The aim is to cure, not to cause wounds. The purpose is to build up rather than destroy. The goal is creative rather than destructive.

To fulfill these elements our communication will hold the standards of: 1. Truth - We will not lie to obtain commitment to ourselves or our cause. We will communicate reality and not deception. We will be true to ourselves as well as to our people.

2. Freedom - We will allow people to make free choices for themselves. I cannot live any other person’s life of faith for them. It is not helpful then to seek to coerce or force my views or opinions or ideas upon others. I will share them and offer them for the people to make the choice.

3. Responsibility - We are held responsible for what we demand of others through our communication. If we are asking others to take risks, then we have to be responsible for sharing those risks and for what may happen to others because of our demands. Jesus never called on people to do things he himself would not do.

Truth • In reporting the fact, it is important for the reporter to answer the question: ‘Who? What? When? Where?’ concerning the event. Often reporters are not actually present at the site and pick up the answers to these questions through eye-witnesses who, if they are available, see things from their points of view. Thus, invariably interpretations creep in and actual facts get distorted.146 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • Then there are two other questions: the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’ of the event. The reasons for the facts are not always easy to find. For example, if a committee searching for a new university Chancellor announces that the field of candidates has been narrowed to five, but the names of the five are not released. Committee membe rs are sworn to secrecy. What can you do to get the names? Should you try? • Other times it’s hard to tell what the facts mean. For example the High Court refuses to hear a case in which legislators are questioning the constitutionality of a state’s spending limit. The court only says that there is no “justifiable controversy.” What does that mean? Who won? Is the ruling good news or bad news and for whom? • Sometimes it’s even hard to tell what a fact is. For example a presidential commission, after a year long study says there is no widespread hunger in Somalia. Is the conclusion a fact? Or is the fact only what the commission said? And how can you determine whether the commission is correct? • Daily journalism presents still more complications. Usually, as a reporter you have only a few hours, at most a few days, to try to learn as many facts as possible. Then, even in such a limited time, you may accumulate information enough for a story of 2,000 words, only to be told that there is space or time enough only for 1,000 or fewer. Thus, you may have to limit your story only to the bare facts leaving out contextual information that will usually help the reader get a more accurate picture of the story.

• On reading a story, or in our case, a report, the readers have two choices: either to believe what they have read as true or to suspend judgement for want of more evidence. Nevertheless they themselves are prone to be affected by various shades of bias when forming their own opinion of the event.

• Despite the elusiveness of truth in journalism, there are two questions that every responsible journalist should ask about every story: Is it accurate? Is it fair? • Accuracy is essential in every detail. Every name must be spelled correctly, every quote must be just what was said; every set of numbers must add up. And that is still not good enough. You can get the details right and still mislead unless you are accurate with context too.

• In traditional African society, the Amhara of Ethiopia were taught secret musical notes to establish the authenticity of written notes (messages). • Truth, then, is the goal. A sincere media person strives to attain it but may never really reach it since interpretations based on biases are bound to affect the communication process. However, they must nonetheless strive to be truthful.

• It requires a sincere heart, a perceptive eye and a discerning mind to sift fact from opinion, truth from interpretation and these are qualities every media person should possess.

interpretation • In all this, you must remember that new information is inevitably related to past experiences, and that of course affects interpretation of the new material. The understanding developed by the receiver may be very similar to, or very different from the intended meaning.

• Interpretations are subjective, that is, affected by our past experiences, our physical and psychological health, preferences, history, prejudices, etc. They are ready made patterns of meaning for me to apply to my understanding of reality.

• Because of this our interpretations are true only to a limited extent.

• It is important to note that all media are interpretations of reality and therefore are only partially true. No media, no message can claim to be the whole truth.

• This is all the more reason for us to be open in our communication to accept another’s point of view, because the more we listen to another’s view point, the more we are able to understand the diverse viewpoints pertaining to an event or issue.

• On the positive side, because they are ready made (i.e. collected from past experiences), they help us relate to new information quickly. (Imagine if every time I sought to know something, I were to begin from scratch!) • But because they are patterns, set models, they condition. Past experiences, prejudices, physical and psychological experiences condition us to think in set, stereotyped ways when we are exposed to a new thing, event, person, etc.

Review 1. Truth in its factual form eludes us. We are more likely to receive information filtered through interpretations of the actual event.

2. When we communicate we express ideas, thoughts, and opinions but we need to reflect on how objective (true to fact) our opinions are.

3. Objectivity first came about in an attempt to make sense of a world that was being turned upside down by the influence of Freud and Marx as well as new economic forces and the erosion of traditional values.147 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 4. Popular communication lacks the patience of investigative research and so we supplement the news with our own theories and opinions.

5. Empathy, incarnation and healing are what make Christian communication different from other forms of communication.

6. To fulfill the above elements, our communication has to hold standards of truth, freedom and responsibility.

7. Truth is information that is factual, closer to the event – objectivity.

8. Sometimes it’s hard to get the facts. At other times it’s hard to tell what the facts mean. And yet still it’s hard to tell what a fact is. Adding to this dilemma of truth telling in journalism, limits on story lengths compromise the communication of these facts.

9. On reading a story, the readers have the choice either to believe what they have read as true or to suspend judgement until they get more evidence. Nevertheless they are prone to be affected by various shades of bias when forming their own opinion of the event.

10. Despite the elusiveness of truth, every responsible journalist must always be accurate and fair in his report.

11. All media are interpretations of reality and therefore are only partially true. No media, no message can claim to be the whole truth.

12. This is all the more reason for us to be open in our communication to accept another’s point of view, because the more we listen to another’s view point, the more we are able to understand the diverse viewpoints pertaining to an event or issue.

Reflection 1. For a journalist, a hunch, based on previous occurrences of a said event is what normally leads to the discovery of truth in a story. In what ways can a journalist refine his discovery skills to be able to find the best obtainable version of the truth? 2. What is it that makes the difference between Christian communication and other forms of communication? What are the different elements? Relevant Skills Record a piece of news or get a newspaper cutting and identify what information is true, and what is subjective and what is factual? Identify words that led to your conclusion.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and IMBISA. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000. AMECEA & IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 1999.148 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the dynamics of truth – the relation between fact and interpretation.

• To understand the standards of human communication.

• To highlight the difference between fact and opinion.

• To see the importance of interpretation in making sense of reality.

Procedure Please read the following two reports: A As I was standing at the bus stop, a beggar crossed the road and sneaked into a clothes shop meant for the rich. After a few moments, the owner appeared at the door and called the police who were standing at a police post nearby. He had caught the beggar stealing. He held the thief by the scruff of his neck until the police arrived. They took him to the nearest police station. B As I was standing at the bus stop, a boy dressed in shabby clothes crossed the road and entered the department store. After some moments, a man who appeared angry came to the door of the shop catching the boy by the scruff of his neck and shouted for the police. The police arrived after a few seconds and took the boy away.

Answer the following questions: 1. Can you spot the differences between the two reports? 2. Which of the reports is the more subjective – i.e. containing the opinion and bias of the reporter? Can you underline the phrases and words used that indicate the reporter’s opinion? 3. What are your reasons for your choice of the more objective report (i.e. the one that is more true to fact.)? 4. Which of these reports do you find more interesting to read? Identify the phrases and words used by the reporters to explain and interpret the event (the ‘how’ and ‘why’) beyond merely stating what happened. Review 1. Truth in its factual form eludes us. We are more likely to receive information filtered through interpretations of the actual event.

2. When we communicate we express ideas, thoughts, and opinions but we need to reflect on how objective (true to fact) our opinions are.

3. Objectivity first came about in an attempt to make sense of a world that was being turned upside down by the influence of Freud and Marx as well as new economic forces and the erosion of traditional values.

4. Popular communication lacks the patience of investigative research and so we supplement the news with our own theories and opinions.

5. Empathy, incarnation and healing are what make Christian communication different from other forms of communication.

6. To fulfill the above elements, our communication has to hold standards of truth, freedom and responsibility.

7. Truth is information that is factual, closer to the event – objectivity.

8. Sometimes it’s hard to get the facts. At other times it’s hard to tell what the facts mean. And yet still it’s hard to tell what a fact is. Adding to this dilemma of truth telling in journalism, limits on story lengths compromise the communication of these facts.

9. On reading a story, the readers have the choice either to believe what they have read as true or to suspend judgement until they get more evidence. Nevertheless they are prone to be affected by various shades of bias when forming their own opinion of the event.

10. Despite the elusiveness of truth, every responsible journalist must always be accurate and fair in his report.

11. All media are interpretations of reality and therefore are only partially true. No media, no message can claim to be the whole truth.

CHAPTER 3.6 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT What is Truth? COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke149 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 12. This is all the more reason for us to be open in our communication to accept another’s point of view, because the more we listen to another’s view point, the more we are able to understand the diverse viewpoints pertaining to an event or issue.

Reflection 1. For a journalist, a hunch, based on previous occurrences of a said event is what normally leads to the discovery of truth in a story. In what ways can a journalist refine his discovery skills to be able to find the best obtainable version of the truth? 2. What is it that makes the difference between Christian communication and other forms of communication? What are the different elements? Relevant Skills Record a piece of news or get a newspaper cutting and identify what information is true, and what is subjective and what is factual? Identify words that led to your conclusion.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References AMECEA and IMBISA. Basic Human Communication. Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2000. AMECEA & IMBISA. Communication, Culture and Community. Nairobi: Paulines Publications, 1999.150 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Discuss the following questions in groups: 1. Identify the two individuals/groups that have differing ideologies.

2. Elaborate briefly the ‘truth’ that each of the opposing parties holds dearly.

3. What are the methods used by any one or either of the groups to establish a tolerant relationship? Or if tolerance does not exist, what methods would you have suggested were you a part of the situation? 4. Whose side are you on and why? Input In the examples above we have seen that ‘truth’ for each party is different. This difference is strong enough to bring about acute tension that can even lead to aggression and ideologies to co-exist in tolerance and peace. We shall now delve deeper into the two questions: What is truth? What is tolerance? A) What is Truth? 1. There are many theories that answer this question: • The correspondence theory of truth: Truth as consonance between the mind and reality (Thomas Aquinas).

• The coherence theory of truth: Truth as coherence in thinking or in judging. (Idealist philosophers, e.g. Hegal) • The pragmatic theory of truth. Truth as what works, what functions. (John Dewey) • The historicist theory of truth: Truth as time-bound: what was true in one period may not be true in another.

2. Regarding the ability to reason to attain the truth: • Nihilism: The search is an end itself, without any hope or possibility of ever attaining the goals of truth. Life is a conglomeration of ephemeral sensations and experiences.

• Subjectivism or Relativism: There is no objective truth, only “subjective certainty.” • Democratic consensus: Truth is what is decided by a consensus of opinions. Truth is the democratic interaction in the consideration of matters of ultimate import and concern. What is the Christian Answer to the Question? • Human beings are able to attain the truth. They are historically conditioned: they always function within some context which is for the most part inherited or taken over from others, through processes such as socialisation, education, and acculturation.

• Human beings move towards truth not despite such historical “conditionness”, but rather in and through it.

• The dynamism of the movement towards truth is constituted by questions: we spontaneously seek understanding, truth and reality.

• It is a common human experience that this dynamism, which is our questioning, spontaneously comes to rest on particular issues: as long as questions keep arising, it is clear that we are still searching; when questions come to rest, it may be that we have found what we have been searching for.

• However, questions may come to rest also because we are bored, or because 3.7 Tolerance and the Communication of Truth Aim Materials Required [ To enable students reflect on tolerance and its urgency in a pluralistic society.

[ To understand the various meanings given to truth and tolerance.

[ A video clip that depicts the tolerance against which Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandhi fought for.151 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa we are tired or because we are distracted. Again, it may be that we have asked the wrong questions or formulated the questions badly, for our questions are themselves a product of our historicity.

• Can we then ever be certain of having reached the truth, or is it that we have at most the feeling of having reached the truth? This is a big question, but we can say this much: attainment of truth is a function of the cessation of further relevant questions as well as of the soundness of the context from which our questions arise. is it Possible to Ensure the Soundness of our Context? • Heidegger and Gadamer, for example, recommend that we become transparent, that we become aware of where we come from, that we bring our context to light. This is sound psychology too: when we are aware of our biases or our feelings, we are much more in control of our actions and reactions.

• Another great help is the encounter with others who are different: someone coming from a different background can help me see what I am unable to see, encounter, dialogue. Encounter and dialogue is an intrinsic part of the human search for truth.

• Where does all this leave us? Well, it leaves us with the human condition: we are able to attain the truth, but this attainment is not always easy and never something automatic. The difficulty of attaining truth in the specifically human realm, or in the religious realm, should not make us conclude that it is impossible to attain truth. In banal matters, in most of the areas of everyday living, human beings are very well able to attain the truth, and without much difficulty. This is a question of familiarity with the situation and normal alertness: in such a context, the absence of further relevant questions is easily attained, and variations in historical conditioning do not really matter (I can easily conclude ‘This is a knife’. My culture and my religion and my personal or other biases and prejudices hardly matter here).

• Further, we must keep in mind the distinction between knowledge of some part of reality, and knowledge of the whole of reality. We are not saying that we can know everything about everything; all we are saying is that we can know something about reality.

B) What is Tolerance? • The need for tolerance arises because pluralism is a fact of life. It is a fact that people experience the world differently, understand it differently, judge and evaluate it differently, feel differently about it.

• There are several examples in the world today, of instances when tolerance was not exercised and hatred and war/ genocide broke out. For instance, in Rwanda, genocide broke out because of the deliberate choice of successive elites to deepen the cleavages between the country’s two main ethnic groups, to de-humanise the group that was out of power and to legitimise the use of violence against that group. Whatsmore, the missionaries concocted a bizarre ideology of ethnic cleavage and racial rankings that attributed superior qualities to the country’s Tutsi minority. It was announced that this minority group were approaching the exalted level of white people in contrast with the declared brutishness and innate inferiority of the ‘Bantu’ (Hutu) majority and because the missionaries ran the colonial-era schools, these pernicious values were systematically transmitted to several generations of Rwandans.

• To further solidify this racial hatred, the Belgians made the King’s complex structures more rigid and ethnically inflexible by institutionalising the split between the two groups, culminating in the issuance to every Rwandan an ethnic identity card. This card system was maintained for over 60 years, until, with tragic irony, during the genocide it became the instrument that enabled Hutu killers in urban areas to identify the Tutsi who were its original beneficiaries. This period in history was characterised by harshness applied to the Hutu majority and soon, many Hutu came to agree that the two ethnic groups were indeed fundamentally dissimilar in nature and irreconcilable in practice. The Tutsi came to be demonised as a foreign invading power with no entitlements in Rwanda. • Thus, because of intolerance between the two ethnic communities and the influence of the colonial government and missionaries, a genocide resulted that saw over one million people slain.

• Tolerance is the first step towards peace. It is the ability to adjust and accommodate within the pluralism of society. Peace on the other hand takes us a step further towards an active and loving relationship with those who do not share the same truth. Tolerance is necessary because truth cannot be stifled within human beings. We naturally share the truth we discover. This communication of truth often leads us into conflict with those who differ. This is what happened in Rwanda. • Truth is something that demands to be shared. If a truth has been revealed, it is incumbent on the one to whom it has been revealed to “shout it from the rooftops.” • Claiming to possess the truth is not in itself an act of intolerance. “To believe it possible to know a universally valid truth is in no way to encourage intolerance. On the contrary, it is the essential condition for sincere and authentic dialogue between persons.”152 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • No one who differs should think that he/she is wrong because the other claims to have the truth. There are different relationships between truths, and there are different types of differences. There are differences that are rooted in data: these differences are resolved when the proper data is adduced and accepted. • There are differences rooted in perspectives: these are inevitable, being the consequence of the richness of reality and of the finiteness of our particular points of view. There are differences rooted in an equivocal use of language: the different parties may understand the same words in different ways. There are differences rooted in attitudes: the different parties may understand the same words in the same way, but may have different attitudes towards the realities concerned. Finally there are differences which are really radical, such that if one is right, the other is wrong. Before we conclude that we differ radically, we must explore the other types of differences.

• Imposing the truth on another through direct or indirect force - this would be intolerance. History shows that those who claimed to possess the truth have sometimes thought it necessary to use force and power to safeguard the truth or to impose it on others. It is unfortunately possible to defend the truth with a zeal that obscures the very truth one is defending. • Those who impose their truth on others and proudly assert they possess the truth are by virtue of their intolerance and pride doing a disservice to the truth.

• Humility is a virtue that is absolutely necessary in those who think they possess the truth. In fact, it is truer to say that one is possessed by the truth, rather than to speak of possessing the truth, especially when the truth in question is religious truth. It is necessary to consider ourselves as servants of the Truth and not owners of the Truth.

• What we are saying then is that it is possible to speak the truth in love. We need to draw a distinction between our stand on someone’s ideas and our attitude towards that person. When I disagree with someone, it does not follow that I love him/her less. And vice versa, when I love someone, it does not follow that I should not disagree with him/her. This is a basic distinction in psychology and counseling: positive empathy does not necessarily involve agreeing with a person. It would not only be ranked immaturity, but also bad psychology to confuse the two. Tolerance is not only limited to being open to other ideas and letting others express their ideas, but also in accepting people who may be different from us. • Now and then we meet persons who have a certain aura. They radiate an atmosphere which leaves us singularly free from pressure. They are glad to express their opinions, but we feel no compulsion to agree. We feel emancipated and refreshed. And these people are not cold or aloof. It is simply that they have such emotional solidity that they want nothing from us but that which we can freely give. A therapeutic atmosphere is set up in which others feel safe, can be them selves, can flourish and grow. These fortunate individuals have the power to convey a most extraordinary gift.

Conflict Management Styles: These are predictable ways of handling conflict and may shift as you come into disagreement with specific people. They include competing, compromising, collaborating, giving in and avoiding.

Competing Competing means working to win. It implies “I win and you lose.” When people are competing, you hear comments such as: “You’re wrong,” “That’s a stupid idea,” or “I’m right!” “There is only one way.” Competitors are not motivated to listen to other ideas because they do not acknowledge points on the other side of a conflict.

Compromising Compromising is meeting the other person halfway or looking for the middle ground between your opposing positions. When people are compromising, you hear comments such as “So what do you want?” or “Let’s split the difference”. Each person walks away partially satisfied.

Collaborating It occurs when people look for a solution that satisfies both people. It is a win/win solution. Collaborating requires “out-of-the–box” or creative thinking. When collaborating, you hear comments such as “Have you ever considered...” Or “Let’s re think this whole thing from another angle”. When collaborators think “out of the box,” they go beyond the obvious, limited alternatives. Giving in This is putting the needs of the other person first and not looking out for oneself. It is characterised by the person being overly cooperative, denying their own needs while trying to make others happy. You can tell that someone is giving in when you hear comments such as “Fine. I can live with that,” or “Have it your way,” or “I don’t care.” This 153 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa style sometimes indicates that you are not taking care of yourself. It’s okay to give in sometimes, but choose which battles you are going to walk away from because if you always give in, you may find that people will take advantage of you.

Avoiding This is whereby you withdraw and do not participate in disagreements by physically leaving or emotionally shutting down and ignoring the other person. It is characterised by being passive and failing to make an effort to resolve the conflict. Some of the comments you might hear when a person is avoiding is “You don’t need me” and “Just decide and tell me later,” or nonverbal cues such as turning away, closing a notebook and capping a pen, or staring into space. This style of conflict is very destructive and can be thought of as a lose/lose situation. It leaves both you and the other person unsatisfied and frustrated.

How Does one Live a Tolerant Life in a Plural World? Some important attitudes to be cultivated as pre-requisites for tolerance are: • The ability to listen.

• The ability for self-disclosure.

• The ability to give feedback.

• The ability to suspend judgement until the truth is disclosed from as many angles as possible or until “both sides of the story” have been heard.

• The ability to acknowledge one’s opinion as one among many others.

• The ability to stand by what one holds as true when one is convinced of the stand taken.

• The ability to recognise that others are equally entitled to hold their own opinions.

• The ability to keep searching for newer ways to discover and express the truth.

• Emotional maturity, self-image, self-esteem.

• Humility.

If tolerance is the stepping-stone to DiALoGuE, then dialogue is the weapon of PEACE.

note to the teacher Where conflicts based on tribal differences exist, the teacher must pay special attention, to be objective and respect the opinions of the learners. Review 1. According to the correspondence theory of truth, truth is a consonance between the mind and reality (Thomas Aquinas). It is also the coherence in thinking or in judging according to the coherence theory of truth. According to the pragmatic theory of truth, it is what works, what functions (John Dewey). The historicist theory of truth suggests that truth is time-bound: what was true in one period of time may not be true in another.

2. There are three ways to reason so as to attain the truth. They include: nihilism, democratic consensus and subjectivism or relativism.

3. According to Christianity, human beings are historically conditioned: they always function within some context which is for the most part inherited or taken over from others, through processes such as socialisation, education, and acculturation. Thus, they are unable to attain the truth.

4. Someone coming from a different background can help me see what I am unable to see. Encounter and dialogue, are an intrinsic part of the human search for truth.

5. Tolerance arises because pluralism is a fact of life. It is a fact that people experience the world differently, understand it differently, judge and evaluate it differently, feel differently about it.

6. Conflict styles are predictable ways of handling conflict. They include: competing, compromising, collaborating, giving in, and avoiding.

Reflection Evaluate your beliefs. Do you believe that some races e.g. the Whites are superior to the others? Examine how you came to hold such beliefs. nB/: some of these beliefs get into our system in very subtle ways and so careful examination is required. Take the necessary steps required to change your mindset and resolve to view all human races as equal and important.

Relevant Skills 1. Pair up participants. Each participant is to have a partner of a different tribe and tell them to evaluate the stereotypes they have of each other’s tribes. After this, ask each participant to explain whether the stereotype 154 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa is true or false and to give an explanation as to why they perform some of the practices that others consider unfit or undesirable. Each participant is to give ample time to their partner to talk and it is mandatory that they listen and adopt some of the attitudes that are a pre-requisite for tolerance listed above.

2. Watch the movies SHOOTING DOGS and HOTEL RWANDA and examine the different perspectives.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

Give Peace a Chance. Documentary. Kenya: BEAMS, 2009.

References Galvin M. Kathleen and Jane Terrell. Communication Works. Illinois: National Textbook Company, 2001.

Thompson Allan. The Media and the Rwanda Genocide. Kampala: Fountain Publishers, 2007.155 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To reflect on tolerance and its urgency in a pluralistic society.

• To understand the various meanings given to truth and tolerance.

Procedure Discuss the following questions in groups: 1. Identify the two individuals/groups that have differing ideologies.

2. Elaborate briefly the ‘truth’ that each of the opposing parties holds dearly.

3. What are the methods used by any one or either of the groups to establish a tolerant relationship? Or if tolerance does not exist, what methods would you have suggested were you a part of the situation? 4. Whose side are you on and why? Conflict Styles: These are predictable ways of handling conflict and may shift as you come into disagreement with specific people. They include competing, compromising, collaborating, giving in and avoiding.

Competing Competing means working to win. It implies “I win and you lose.” When people are competing, you hear comments such as: “You’re wrong,” “That’s a stupid idea,” or “I’m right!” “There is only one way.” Competitors are not motivated to listen to other ideas because they do not acknowledge points on the other side of a conflict.

Compromising Compromising is meeting the other person halfway or looking for the middle ground between your opposing positions. When people are compromising, you hear comments such as “So what do you want?” or “Let’s split the difference”. Each person walks away partially satisfied.

Collaborating It occurs when people look for a solution that satisfies both people. It is a win/win solution. Collaborating requires “out-of-the–box” or creative thinking. When collaborating, you hear comments such as “Have you ever considered...” Or “Let’s re think this whole thing from another angle”. When collaborators think “out of the box,” they go beyond the obvious, limited alternatives. Giving in This is putting the needs of the other person first and not looking out for oneself. It is characterised by the person being overly cooperative, denying their own needs while trying to make others happy. You can tell that someone is giving in when you hear comments such as “Fine. I can live with that,” or “Have it your way,” or “I don’t care.” This style sometimes indicates that you are not taking care of yourself. It’s okay to give in sometimes, but choose which battles you are going to walk away from because if you always give in, you may find that people will take advantage of you.

Avoiding This is whereby you withdraw and do not participate in disagreements by physically leaving or emotionally shutting down and ignoring the other person. It is characterised by being passive and failing to make an effort to resolve the conflict. Some of the comments you might hear when a person is avoiding is “You don’t need me” and “Just decide and tell me later,” or nonverbal cues such as turning away, closing a notebook and capping a pen, or staring into space. This style of conflict is very destructive and can be thought of as a lose/lose situation. It leaves both you and the other person unsatisfied and frustrated.

Review 1. According to the pragmatic theory of truth, it is what works, what functions (John Dewey). The historicist theory of truth suggests that truth is time-bound: what was true in one period of time may not be true in another.

CHAPTER 3.7 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Tolerance and the Communication of Truth COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke156 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 2. There are three ways to reason so as to attain the truth. They include: Nihilism, Democratic consensus and Subjectivism or Relativism.

3. According to Christianity, human beings are historically conditioned: they always function within some context which is for the most part inherited or taken over from others, through processes such as socialisation, education, and acculturation. Thus, they are unable to attain the truth.

4. Someone coming from a different background can help me see what I am unable to see. Encounter and dialogue are an intrinsic part of the human search for truth.

5. Tolerance arises because pluralism is a fact of life. It is a fact that people experience the world differently, understand it differently, judge and evaluate it differently, feel differently about it.

6. Conflict styles are predictable ways of handling conflict. They include: competing, compromising, collaborating, giving in, and avoiding.

Reflection Evaluate your beliefs. Do you believe that some races e.g. the Whites are superior to the others? Examine how you came to hold such beliefs. nB/: some of these beliefs get into our system in very subtle ways and so careful examination is required. Take the necessary steps required to change your mindset and resolve to view all human races as equal and important.

Relevant Skills Pair up participants. Each participant is to have a partner of a different tribe and tell them to evaluate the stereotypes they have of each other’s tribes. After this, ask each participant to explain whether the stereotype is true or false and to give an explanation as to why they perform some of the practices that others consider unfit or undesirable. Each participant is to give ample time to their partner to talk and it is mandatory that they listen and adopt some of the attitudes that are a pre-requisite for tolerance listed above.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

Give Peace a Chance. Documentary. Kenya: BEAMS, 2009.

References Galvin M. Kathleen and Jane Terrell. Communication Works. Illinois: National Textbook Company, 2001.

Thompson Allan. The Media and the Rwanda Genocide. Kampala: Fountain Publishers, 2007.157 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure • Ask the participants to look carefully at the picture.

• Now give them time to select 4 sections, the size of the view-frame given below.

• With the help of these 4 pictures they must narrate a story in about 10 sentences.

• If the picture is enlarged and photocopied for each participant, the view- frame would also have to be enlarged proportionately or • The participant could cut the sections they have selected.

• Once the selections and the story have been prepared, the participants share their stories with their groups or with the whole class.

VIEW FRAME Input - Like the picture, our experiences of the world have variety and are complex. The older we grow the more experiences we have and consequently, the more diverse and complex our experiences are.

- Yet when we communicate we are very selective, like the selection we have made through the view-frame. E.g. When A and B desire to walk together to school they usually enjoy a good conversation. Yet what A communicates to B is merely a selection from the variety of his/her experiences. A may decide to talk about the match to be held in school, or about the previous day’s test, or about the beating he/she received at home for not doing his/her homework, or about the weather.

- This is also the case with African Traditional stories, myths and proverbs. They focus on one interpretation of reality which is fit for the occasion or purpose for which the story is told.

3.8 Reconstructing Reality Aim Materials Required [ To show that communication means making selective judgements of reality.

[ Copies of the picture in the procedure or have it drawn on the black board or projected on a screen.158 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa - In today’s world, the same selection is made, although in a more complex way by: • The author of a book • The director of a film • The reporter of a news-story • The radio broadcaster • The photographer • The Ad agency - But our selections are not passive. Just as we made stories of our selected pictures, we usually interpret and reconstruct our selection in order to give it new meaning.

- This happens in all communication: In the example above, when A talks to B about the match, he/she does not speak as someone unaffected but as someone who wants one of the teams to win, or when the beating for not doing the home-work is described, an added emphasis may be laid on the pain that he/she received with little thought to the annoyance the event may have caused one’s parent.

- In a more complex way, again, the media – TV, songs, ads, etc. reconstruct reality and give it the interpretations and meaning the ones who create it wish to give.

- We should therefore be alert to the interpretations of media that we receive and try to be objective and independent in our interpretations so as to retain our freedom of choice and opinion. For example, a toothpaste commercial that depicts the brand as being the best in the market can be judged by an alert viewer on the basis of how many people say it is very good and the viewer’s own previous experience with it. In this way, and objective view of the brand can be maintained and the viewer can have the option of seeking out other brands which might be more satisfying.

- Another example, though extreme is that of Charles Manson and his cult who killed several people, inspired by the beatles songs (Piggies, Helter Skelter) on August 9, 1969. This was not the first time a possible negative influence of rock ‘n’ roll was discussed, but it was the first serious case. Another example is that of former Beatle John Lennon who was shot in 1980. His killer, Mark David Chapman was inspired by Lennon’s music and the book The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. These are just but a few examples of how the media can influence its audience and especially the youth and mentally ill.

- The press remains one of the most important landmarks in any given social landscape. This importance is rightly underscored by the respect, almost bordering on awe, with which other sectors of society regard it. In most cases, the source of this reverence usually lies in the recognition of the role of the press in shaping public consciousness. True enough, either wittingly or otherwise, people in most countries tend to depend heavily on media articulation as a formal guide to any particular issue. Perhaps there is no greater illustration of the gravity with which the press is regarded than the feverish attention it usually receives from the authorities in less open societies. Here, the censor is an omnipresent reality and virtually dictates what the media let out as information. The role of the press is no less crucial within the category of civil society, where it helps to provide the desired coverage of the activities of various constituent organizations. - While the media continues to reflect a reality, it also continues to exist as a part of that same reality. In addition, the media may also reflect a certain reality in such a way as to accommodate its own conviction about it. Having done this, it naturally succeeds in shaping or altering the perceptions of the public, many of whom usually take the essential accuracy of its reports for granted. In this, the highest level of veneration is perhaps to be found in foreign policy matters around which the policy-making elite appears to have thrown a cordon sanitaire. - In the construction of reality, the media usually employs a variety of techniques. These vary from imposing its own narrow definition on the given reality, setting apart a certain aspect of the event for deliberate emphasis, or even in some cases, blocking it from view by being silent on it. Of course the import of the employment of all these devices is that the media itself remains constantly conscious of the reality it constructs because it is aware of its existence as a category within a defined social space. - Whatever the case may be, there is little doubt that over time, as Lance Bennett (1988) has rightly noted; ‘political reality’ eventually becomes what the media says it is. In the case of relations between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea from 1970 to 2000, the reality that the media created and sustained fell within the ambit of a hegemonic ‘ideology’. As such, in speaking and entertaining a language of violence and ultra-nationalism, the media simultaneously accepted and constructed a reality which reified a particular mental disposition by most Nigerians towards a ‘recalcitrant’ neighbour.159 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Review 1. Our experiences of the world are varied and complex.

2. When we communicate we are selective.

3. African Traditional Societies focused on one interpretation of a story/myth/proverb which was fit for the occasion or purpose for which it was told.

4. Our selections are not passive.

5. The media – TV, songs, ads, etc. reconstruct reality and give it the interpretations and meaning the ones who create it wish to give.

6. Because the media reconstructions are so powerful, we need to be alert and knowledgeable in order to retain our freedom of choice and opinion.

Reflection How does selective judgement present itself in our media? What steps can we take to overcome it so as to retain our freedom of choice and opinion? Relevant Skills Compare and contrast the news and programming of two TV or Radio stations in light of the different interpretations given.

Make a study on a conflict in Africa and analyse the role of Media e.g. Nigeria vs Equitorial Guinea, Kenya Election 2007. Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

Reference http://news-service.com Akinrinade, O. Threats to Security and Stability in Nigeria. Perceptions and Reality. Geneva-Africa 26(2), 1988. Altschull, H. J. Agents of Power. The Role of the News Media in Human Affairs. New York: Longman, 1994.160 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To show that communication means making selective judgements of reality.

Procedure • Look carefully at the picture.

• Select 4 sections, the size of the view-frame given below.

• With the help of these 4 pictures you must narrate a story in about 10 sentences.

VIEW FRAME Review 1. Our experiences of the world are varied and complex.

2. When we communicate we are selective.

3. African Traditional Societies also focused on one interpretation of a story/myth/proverb which was fit for the occasion or purpose for which, it was told.

4. Our selections are not passive.

5. The media – TV, songs, ads, etc. reconstruct reality and give it the interpretations and meaning the ones who create it wish to give.

6. Because the media reconstructions are so powerful, we need to be media alert and educated in order to retain our freedom of choice and opinion.

Reflection How does selective judgement present itself in our media? What steps can we take to overcome it so as to retain our freedom of choice and opinion? Relevant Skills Compare and contrast the news and programming of two TV or Radio stations in the light of the different interpretations given.

Make a study on a conflict in Africa and analyse the role of Media e.g. Nigeria vs Equitorial Guinea, Kenya Election 2007.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

Reference http://news-service.com Akinrinade, O. Threats to Security and Stability in Nigeria. Perceptions and Reality. Geneva-Africa 26(2), 1988. Altschull, H. J. Agents of Power. The Role of the News Media in Human Affairs. New York: Longman, 1994.

CHAPTER 3.8 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Reconstructing Reality COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke161 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Match the statements in A with the various types of human communication stated in B: A 1. Njoroge hits Kamau in the eye.

2. Omondi bargains with his customer.

3. Adhiambo looks at herself in the mirror and cries: “idiot!” 4. The British Petroleum (BP) Company signs an agreement with the Shell Company 5. St. Francis Xavier is revered by the Catholic Church for bringing many natives of Asia to Christianity.

6. I actually disagree with your ideas but for now I am willing to do as you say.

7. How are you? – I’m fine thanks.

8. Let’s have a debate on tribalism in Africa.

9. I have always told her to dress decently but she never listens to me.

10. Although I may not agree with everything you say, I really do admire your sincerity and strength of convictions.

B a) dialogue b) negotiation c) debate d) disputation e) parallel monologue f) practical cooperation g) proselytizing h) mutual accommodation i) merger j) involuntary exchange of ideas k) antagonistic confrontation Input • Dialogue is a conversation between two or more parties, aimed at reaching a better understanding of each other’s point of view, and working out a solution acceptable to all sides. It is a habit of the mind, an attitude of respect and friendship towards those who have a different point of view or faith from our own. Dialogue is that type of person-to-person communication in which the deepest, most intimate and most personal relationships are formed. It is a communication in which the self is entrusted to another, in confidence and in faith in oneself. In dialogue, each person has a deep concern for the other and both parties assume responsibility for the relationship. It is flexible and open to truth no matter what side it comes from. So that the search for truth may be free, the person in dialogue seeks to eliminate every prejudice, intolerance and unnecessary misunderstanding. • Dialogue shows openness to the activity of the spirit in each person and each religion or group, and hence a readiness to accept the depth of the religious experience of others and to collaborate with them for the good of the religion and society.

Aim Materials Required [ To understand the importance of dialogue in human communication.

[ To have an overview of dialogue between the Synod and the African Traditional Religion.

[ List of examples of human communication.

3.9 Dialogue – A Way of Being Fully Human162 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • Thus a working definition of dialogue could be given as a frank exchange of view-points between two or more persons with the scope of enriching each other, leading to increase in the knowledge about each other’s beliefs and convictions, and the removal of ignorance and/or prejudice about the same.

• We need dialogue, because meaning is constitutive of our humanity. Meaning has many layers. Our search for deeper meanings is a search for human self-realisation.

• Human self-realisation is never an individual affair; it is always in and through community. We discover ourselves only by mediating ourselves through another, through other individuals, through society, through tradition. Because we can live and grow only with the help of others, it may be said that dialogue is essential to being human.

• Dialogue is made possible because of our common humanness – what we might call our common human interiority.

• This interiority is not so much a set of formulated convictions or philosophical propositions, but rather the very way we function in our feeling, our knowing, our doing and our loving.

inter-religious Dialogue • The synod, gives the ultimate aim and purpose of inter-religious dialogue to be to bring all believers to the realisation that we are all children of the same father God.

• The synod notes that African Traditional Religion (ATR) is the religious and cultural background from which most African Christians come and in which they live. In the majority of African countries, ATR is still the all pervasive determinant of life and culture. In some places, ATR as an organised system is still the dominant religion and is practised as a publicly by organised system. • The Synod gives a number of solid reasons why the church must dialogue with adherents of ATR. As a general rule, it observes that, as with all men and women of good will irrespective of the religious faith to which they belong, the church must dialogue with adherents of ATR, since the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth, and Lord of history, is the Father of the one great human family to which we all belong. As such, He wants us to bear witness to Him through our respect for the values and religious traditions of each person and work together with them for human progress and development at all levels • Dialogue with ATR is very important because ATR is still very strong and widely practised in many places. For example the AMECEA (Association of Members of Episcopal Conferences in East Africa) in its report to the consultation organised by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID), Rome, held at Kumasi, Ghana, in Jan 1998, reported that over 23 million people are still adherents of ATR in its area. In Benin Republic, about 64% of the population are adherents of ATR. About 12% in Nigeria and about 12.6 million of the population in Ghana are still followers of ATR. The church cannot afford to marginalize these people.

• Dialogue with ATR reveals the many values which are common to both Christianity and ATR which can serve as a “praeparatio Evangelica”, as stepping stones for introducing African adherents of ATR into the full acceptance of the Christian faith.

Varieties of Dialogue: 1. Dialogue of life: extending hospitality, showing concern for another, experiencing a live-in.

2. Dialogue of action: a common commitment to service, peace, justice and liberation of fellow human beings, irrespective of religious affiliation.

3. Dialogue of theological exchange: mutual understanding and promotion of the values in one another’s religions.

4. Dialogue of religious experience: sharing experiences of prayer, search for God, etc. and reaching beyond concepts, formulations categories to the very experience of the other to become united in spiritual communion.

Factors involved in Dialogue 1. The Body • The body is the symbol (sacrament) of our interiority. Whatever we think and feel is immediately made visible through our bodies. Our body represents our ideas and our feelings.

• The expression of our thoughts and feelings through our bodies may be intentional or non-intentional. (More of this is studied under body language) • Body language is an essential factor in dialogue.

2. our Biases • The way we interpret reality is always through filters, called biases. This is because we are embodied spirits in time and space. Our historicity is essential to the way we view our world. This historicity is made up of our social, psychological, cultural, religious, economical, political and various other influences that have determined our manner of interpreting and understanding life.163 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • It is because of these biases that we select, interpret, distort, emphasise and evaluate facts which seriously affect and block our attempts at sincere dialogue.

3. Awareness of Blocks: • If one is serious about dialogue, one has to become aware of one’s biases in order to meet the other partner on objective, common ground.

4. A desire for Truth • For dialogue to be successful, both partners must be ardent seekers after Truth. This demands not merely an awareness of the blocks on the path but our eagerness to attain to the Truth as well as our humility before it.

Conditions for Dialogue 1. External Conditions • Freedom: A certain degree of freedom is needed on the side of both parties. One cannot be forced to dialogue.

• Difference: A difference must exist in ideology, culture and creed between the two parties for dialogue to be necessary. The need to dialogue must be experienced by both parties.

2. internal Conditions • Identity: Each of the participants of dialogue must have convictions which are his/her views. Thus, each comes with the richness of his/her ideas, faith, culture, etc. to the dialogue. Also, both partners need to acknowledge that their aim is truth and that they are entering into dialogue for the sake of truth.

• Respect: Each person in the dialogue needs to respect the other’s point of view. This involves being sincere about your search and sharing. Thus, the dialogue of truth must be fostered and sustained by the dialogue of love.

• Humility: The partners must be aware that reality is greater than any group or person can grasp. An assertion that one possesses the entire truth and can interpret it infalliably and unchangeably is a dialogue killer. Humility also involves the ability to accept one’s failings whether personal or collective.

• Perseverance: Each partner must accept the other at a very deep level in order to move beyond admission of failure towards the goal of dialogue. This is what makes dialogue a spiritual activity and transforms every effort at dialogue into prayer.

• Renewal: Dialogue should be a dialogue of conversion whereby personal as well as social sins and sinful structures are forgiven and left behind. It cannot take place only on a horizontal level, being restricted to meetings, exchanges of points of view or even the sharing of gifts proper to each religion. It possesses a vertical aspect whereby partners acknowledge themselves as sinners. Thus, the Catholic Church must enter into a dialogue of conversion which constitutes the spiritual foundation of ecumenical dialogue whereby each individual recognises his faults and sins before God.

• As a young Buddhist monk, Shoten Minegischi, secretary general of the International Department of Zen Soto, once said - every religion should recognise the errors committed in the name of religion, and accept responsibility for racism, xenophobia, and the wars of religion and for militarism.

Review 1. Dialogue is a frank discussion between two or more parties, aimed at reaching a better understanding of each other’s point of view, and working out a compromise acceptable to all sides.

2. Dialogue shows openness to the activity of the spirit in each person and each religion or group, and hence a readiness to accept the depth of the religious experience of others and to collaborate with them for the good of the religion and society.

3. The synod gives the ultimate aim and purpose of inter-religious dialogue to be to bring all believers to the realisation that we are all children of the same father - God.

4. The church must dialogue with adherents of ATR since the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth, and Lord of history, is the Father of the one great human family to which we all belong.

5. Dialogue with ATR is also important because ATR is still very strong and widely practiced in many places.

6. There are several types of dialogue. They include: Dialogue of life, Dialogue of action, Dialogue of theological exchange and Dialogue of religious experience.164 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 7. Factors involved in dialogue include: the body, our biases, awareness of blocks and a desire for Truth.

8. Conditions for dialogue are external such as freedom, and internal such as identity, respect, humility, perseverance and renewal.

Reflection Even when in dialogue with others, a Christian must always be true to the name, bearing the obligation to witness to Christ and only the firmly committed Christian can truly dialogue with others because he is firm in his faith and knows the word of God. Reflect on this and think about how strongly rooted you are to your Christian faith. Can you stand firm in the face of opposition by other religions? Resolve to grow stronger in your faith.

Relevant Skills Pick a contentious issue between the school administration and the students and attempt to use dialogue to resolve the issue.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Pace Wayne R, Brent D. Peterson and M Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. Philippines: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979.

http://afgen.com165 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the importance of dialogue in human communication • To have an overview of dialogue between the Synod and the African Traditional Religion.

Procedure Match the statements in A with the various types of human communication stated in B: A 1. Njoroge hits Kamau in the eye.

2. Omondi bargains with his customer.

3. Adhiambo looks at herself in the mirror and cries: “idiot!” 4. The British Petroleum (BP) Company signs an agreement with the Shell Company 5. St. Francis Xavier is revered by the Catholic Church for bringing many natives of Asia to Christianity.

6. I actually disagree with your ideas but for now I am willing to do as you say.

7. How are you? – I’m fine thanks.

8. Let’s have a debate on tribalism in Africa.

9. I have always told her to dress decently but she never listens to me.

10. Although I may not agree with everything you say, I really do admire your sincerity and strength of convictions.

B a) dialogue b) negotiation c) debate d) disputation e) parallel monologue f) practical cooperation g) proselytizing h) mutual accommodation i) merger j) involuntary exchange of ideas k) antagonistic confrontation Review 1. Dialogue is a conversation between two or more parties, aimed at reaching a better understanding of each other’s point of view, and working out a compromise acceptable to all sides.

2. Dialogue shows openness to the activity of the spirit in each person and each religion or group, and hence a readiness to accept the depth of the religious experience of others and to collaborate with them for the good of the religion and society.

3. The synod gives the ultimate aim and purpose of inter-religious dialogue to be to bring all believers to the realisation that we are all children of the same father - God.

4. The church must dialogue with adherents of ATR since the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth, and Lord of history, is the Father of the one great human family to which we all belong.

5. Dialogue with ATR is also important because ATR is still very strong and widely practiced in many places.

6. There are several types of dialogue. They include: Dialogue of life, Dialogue of action, Dialogue of theological exchange and Dialogue of religious experience.

7. Factors involved in dialogue include: the body, our biases, awareness of blocks and a desire for Truth.

8. Conditions for dialogue are external such as freedom, and internal such as identity, respect, humility, perseverance and renewal.

Reflection Even when in dialogue with others, a Christian must always be true to the name, bearing the obligation to witness CHAPTER 3.9 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Dialogue – A Way of Being Fully Human COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke166 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa to Christ and only the firmly committed Christian can truly dialogue with others because he is firm in his faith and knows the word of God. Reflect on this and think about how strongly rooted you are to your Christian faith. Can you stand firm in the face of opposition by other religions? Resolve to grow stronger in your faith.

Relevant Skills Pick a contentious issue between the school administration and the students and attempt to use dialogue to resolve the issue.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Pace Wayne R, Brent D. Peterson and M Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. Philippines: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979.

http://afgen.com167 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Input - The most effective and pleasant speech tones have four qualities: • Purity: i.e. projection of a tone with just enough breath.

• Resonance: that which adds a ring to the voice, makes it mellow and pleasant to listen to, and gives carrying power.

• Volume: this is power and content as opposed to loudness of voice.

• Flexibility: that means using pitch, tempo, inflection, stress and tone colour to capture the meaning and context of words and what they could mean for the audience.

- To have these four qualities one needs to have: 1. perfectly formed vowel sounds, 2. clearly articulated consonants, 3. correct modulation.

- Below are exercises that will help develop all three. Practice them individually as well as in groups. The guiding presence of the instructor who can check to see if the sounds are correct is important.

1. Exercises for Vowels There are three groups of vowel sounds: • Long vowels: AA, AY, EE, OH, OO – as in “Mark may see all those tools.” • Short Vowels: as in: “The black pen is not much good.” • Diphthongs: I, OY, OW, Y – as in: “My boy found you” Try to practice the long vowel sounds without strain on the throat. No need to shout. Keep the sound of each vowel for as long as you can.

• Repeat the long vowels above as M-AA, M-AY, M-EE, etc.

• Say out loud: NOW AS YOU KNOW… • Sing the same up and down the scale… • Take any vowel. Say it aloud with the highest note you can take, then with the lowest. Then choose a comfortable note. This will help you to find your range.

Practice the diphthongs: I, OY, OW, Y Say distinctly: • day – de – die – do – duty • rat – ret – rit – rot – run • sat – set – sill – sop – subtle • lame – lean – light – loam – lucid • take – tease – tile – tome – tube • sam – sell – sill – sot – super • gasp – get – gilt – gone – gun.

Practise long vowels: a. Cain slew his brother Abel.

b. The lion will bite people.

c. Nora ate meat on Friday.

d. Old bones are used in making cleaning powder.

e. Pine trees grow to a great height.

Aim Materials Required [ To develop correct speech tone [ Copies of the exercises in the input.

3.10 Enunciation Skills168 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Practise short vowels: a. The man’s hat was hit by a football.

b. Good books are congenial friends.

c. It is often best to sit still and listen.

d. The judge said that the man was convicted.

e. Hit or miss is a careless slogan.

2. Exercises for Consonants: Consonants are important because speech depends upon them for its distinctness, brilliance and firmness. They may be divided into two kinds: a. Vocal consonants – e.g.: N in Nine; M in Many L in Leaves; V in Vows W in Well or Away Y in Young R in Rows; J in Jam Z in Zoo; • Th in There or Those; D in Doctor; • B in Big or Blessing • G in Good or Going Of these there are: • Labials (B, W and M) • Labio-dentals (V) • Lingua dentals (Th, Z, Zh as in azure) • Lingua-palatals (L, N and R) • Gutturals (NG, J) • Orals (Y) b. Aspirate consonants: e.g.: H in Hot T in Two P in Purple F in Fix or Food K in Kite TH in Thirty; CH in Chance S in Six Here too we have • Labials (P, WH) • Labio-dentals (F) • Lingua dentals (TH, S, SH) • Lingua-palatals (T and CH) • Gutturals (K) • Orals (H) Exercises 1. Acquire control over each consonant by sounding it in front of the vowels e.g. Pah, Pay.

2. To exercise the “vocal” consonants, such as in the following sentences with the breath and, when the lungs are full, turn on sound from above: a. Lend me your aid b. Now I may go c. Ring the gong d. This is yours e. Do not giggle f. John rose well g. Ring away h. Good weather 3. Say Mi, Mi, Mi, Mi… clearly but as quick as you can do it. This exercises also your lips. Concentrate also on resonance for the consonants.169 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 4. To get the explosive vocal consonants say: Blames, Dreams, Joke, Great.

5. To get the sustained vocal consonants, say: Wicked, Marvellous, Vice, Though, Zigzag, Lonely, Never, Pain, Remain, Yesterday.

6. To exercise the “aspirate” consonants, hold your diaphragm with palms down, breathe in to fill the lower lungs, then allowing the diaphragm to bob up and down, say the following: • Hold hot • Two or three • Pepper and salt • White paper • Fix it fast • Sixty six • Three hundred and thirteen • She sells sea-shells on the sea shore.

7. To get the “explosive” aspirate consonants, say: PRETTY TALKER, CHERISH, KANGAROO 8. To get the “sustained” aspirate consonants, say WHICH, FLUTTER, THROUGH, SLOVENLY, SHOUTING, HAPPY.

9. To combine the vocals and the aspirates say: If the wood-peck would peck wood How much wood would the wood-peck peck If the wood-peck would peck wood 10. The consonant “R” which is one of the most important and forcible sounds is treated by most persons in a most casual and capricious manner. Practice it when it follows a vowel, e.g. ARM, WORD, STAR, BAR, HEAR, FEAR, SHAKESPEARE AND SHAKESPEAREAN. Also when it precedes a vowel e.g. DRUM, ROLL, ARRAIGN.

11. Practice the following sentences, attending to the classification given: The Labials (Vocal): B, M, W a. Bessie barnished the brass bowls.

b. Ben Bolger bent his business ability to better budgeting.

c. Bananas, bananas the bent-backed block bawled.

d. Mocking mobs made moving monumental.

e. The mighty medicine-man made mournful music.

f. Mary Martin made many mistakes.

g. Wearisome work worries workmen.

h. Washington worked wisdom into warfare.

i. Weary wayfarers waited wolfishly for water.

j. Wilful Walter wandered waywardly westward.

The Lingua-Dentals (Vocals) V a. Vexatious vixens vaunt their vituperations on their victims.

b. Varnishing vases vanquished Vera’s vanity.

c. The villainous vagabond vaulted venturesomely into the vineyard.

d. Violent volcanoes vomit vitriolic vapours.

The Lingua-Dentals (Vocals) Z a. Zealous zoologists visited the zoo to study the zebras.

b. Ziba’s zest and seal cooled in zero weather.

The Labials (Aspirate) P - Wh a. “Pretty Poll, Pretty Poll” the proud parrot repeated.

b. Patience polished the piano painstakingly.

c. Prudence Primm printed poems.

d. When William whistled, Wheeler’s white dog went willingly.

The Labio-Dentals (Aspirate): F a. Fickle fortune flaunts her foolhardily fancies.

b. Florence Ferris frantically fanned the feeble flame.

c. A foolish fellow finds fault freely.170 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa The Lingua-Dentals (Aspirate): S-Sh-Th a. Susan, the servant girl, served sandwiches to the shipwrecked sailors.

b. Silver sails slipped silently southward, shunning sight-seeing streamers.

c. The shaky shanty shook shockingly in the shrieking storm.

d. A shell-shocked shepherd shunted his shivering sheep under a shelter.

e. Thieves the thugs think not of thriftiness.

f. Thomas thought theology was theoretical.

The Lingua-Palatals: T-Ch a. To multiply twelve times twenty-two taxes the thinking.

b. Ten toothsome tarts tempted Ted’s tranquillity.

c. The Church chimes cheered the char-women in the churchyard.

Review 1. The most effective and pleasant speech tone has four qualities: purity, resonance volume and flexibility. 2. To have these four qualities, one needs to have: a. perfectly formed vowel sounds, b. clearly articulated consonants, c. correct modulation.

3. There are exercises that can be practiced to develop and perfect these qualities.

Reflection From now on, take time to collect new words and pronounce them correctly. Make it a habit to learn new words every week and practice them in your day to day speech.

Relevant Skills In preparation for a day when all participants will make a speech (the date should be decided upon by the instructor), the participants will undertake to practice their enunciation skills using the exercises presented in the input.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Pace Wayne R, Brent D. Peterson and M Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. Philippines: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979.

http://afgen.com171 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To develop correct speech tone CHAPTER 3.10 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Enunciation Skills COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke - To have these four qualities one needs to have: 1. perfectly formed vowel sounds, 2. clearly articulated consonants, 3. correct modulation.

- Below are exercises that will help develop all three. Practice them individually as well as in groups. The guiding presence of the instructor who can check to see if the sounds are correct is important.

1. Exercises for Vowels There are three groups of vowel sounds: • Long vowels: AA, AY, EE, OH, OO – as in “Mark may see all those tools.” • Short Vowels: as in: “The black pen is not much good.” • Diphthongs: I, OY, OW, Y – as in: “My boy found you” Try to practice the long vowel sounds without strain on the throat. No need to shout. Keep the sound of each vowel for as long as you can.

• Repeat the long vowels above as M-AA, M-AY, M-EE, etc.

• Say out loud: NOW AS YOU KNOW… • Sing the same up and down the scale… • Take any vowel. Say it aloud with the highest note you can take, then with the lowest. Then choose a comfortable note. This will help you to find your range.

Practice the diphthongs: I, OY, OW, Y Say distinctly: • day – de – die – do – duty • rat – ret – rit – rot – run • sat – set – sill – sop – subtle • lame – lean – light – loam – lucid • take – tease – tile – tome – tube • sam – sell – sill – sot – super • gasp – get – gilt – gone – gun.

Practise long vowels: a. Cain slew his brother Abel.

b. The lion will bite people.

c. Nora ate meat on Friday.

d. Old bones are used in making cleaning powder.

e. Pine trees grow to a great height.

Practise short vowels: a. The man’s hat was hit by a football.

b. Good books are congenial friends.

c. It is often best to sit still and listen.

d. The judge said that the man was convicted.

e. Hit or miss is a careless slogan.

2. Exercises for Consonants: Consonants are important because speech depends upon them for its distinctness, brilliance and firmness. They may be divided into two kinds: a. Vocal consonants – e.g.: N in Nine; M in Many L in Leaves; V in Vows W in Well or Away Y in Young R in Rows; J in Jam Z in Zoo; • Th in There or Those; D in Doctor; • B in Big or Blessing • G in Good or Going Of these there are: • Labials (B, W and M) • Labio-dentals (V) • Lingua dentals (Th, Z, Zh as in azure) • Lingua-palatals (L, N and R) • Gutturals (NG, J) • Orals (Y) b. Aspirate consonants: e.g.: H in Hot T in Two P in Purple F in Fix or Food K in Kite TH in Thirty; CH in Chance S in Six Here too we have • Labials (P, WH) • Labio-dentals (F) • Lingua dentals (TH, S, SH) • Lingua-palatals (T and CH) • Gutturals (K) • Orals (H) Exercises 1. Acquire control over each consonant by sounding it in front of the vowels e.g. Pah, Pay.

2. To exercise the “vocal” consonants, such as in the following sentences with the breath and, when the lungs are full, turn on sound from above: a. Lend me your aid b. Now I may go c. Ring the gong d. This is yours e. Do not giggle f. John rose well g. Ring away h. Good weather 3. Say Mi, Mi, Mi, Mi… clearly but as quick as you can do it. This exercises also your lips. Concentrate also on resonance for the consonants.172 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 4. To get the explosive vocal consonants say: Blames, Dreams, Joke, Great.

5. To get the sustained vocal consonants, say: Wicked, Marvellous, Vice, Though, Zigzag, Lonely, Never, Pain, Remain, Yesterday.

6. To exercise the “aspirate” consonants, hold your diaphragm with palms down, breathe in to fill the lower lungs, then allowing the diaphragm to bob up and down, say the following: • Hold hot • Two or three • Pepper and salt • White paper • Fix it fast • Sixty six • Three hundred and thirteen • She sells sea-shells on the sea shore.

7. To get the “explosive” aspirate consonants, say: PRETTY TALKER, CHERISH, KANGAROO 8. To get the “sustained” aspirate consonants, say WHICH, FLUTTER, THROUGH, SLOVENLY, SHOUTING, HAPPY.

9. To combine the vocals and the aspirates say: If the wood-peck would peck wood How much wood would the wood-peck peck If the wood-peck would peck wood 10. The consonant “R” which is one of the most important and forcible sounds is treated by most persons in a most casual and capricious manner. Practice it when it follows a vowel, e.g. ARM, WORD, STAR, BAR, HEAR, FEAR, SHAKESPEARE AND SHAKESPEAREAN. Also when it precedes a vowel e.g. DRUM, ROLL, ARRAIGN.

11. Practice the following sentences, attending to the classification given: The Labials (Vocal): B, M, W a. Bessie barnished the brass bowls.

b. Ben Bolger bent his business ability to better budgeting.

c. Bananas, bananas the bent-backed block bawled.

d. Mocking mobs made moving monumental.

e. The mighty medicine-man made mournful music.

f. Mary Martin made many mistakes.

g. Wearisome work worries workmen.

h. Washington worked wisdom into warfare.

i. Weary wayfarers waited wolfishly for water.

j. Wilful Walter wandered waywardly westward.

The Lingua-Dentals (Vocals) V a. Vexatious vixens vaunt their vituperations on their victims.

b. Varnishing vases vanquished Vera’s vanity.

c. The villainous vagabond vaulted venturesomely into the vineyard.

d. Violent volcanoes vomit vitriolic vapours.

The Lingua-Dentals (Vocals) Z a. Zealous zoologists visited the zoo to study the zebras.

b. Ziba’s zest and seal cooled in zero weather.

The Labials (Aspirate) P - Wh a. “Pretty Poll, Pretty Poll” the proud parrot repeated.

b. Patience polished the piano painstakingly.

c. Prudence Primm printed poems.

d. When William whistled, Wheeler’s white dog went willingly.

The Labio-Dentals (Aspirate): F a. Fickle fortune flaunts her foolhardily fancies.

b. Florence Ferris frantically fanned the feeble flame.

c. A foolish fellow finds fault freely.

The Lingua-Dentals (Aspirate): S-Sh-Th a. Susan, the servant girl, served sandwiches to the shipwrecked sailors.

b. Silver sails slipped silently southward, shunning sight-seeing streamers.

c. The shaky shanty shook shockingly in the shrieking storm.

d. A shell-shocked shepherd shunted his shivering sheep under a shelter.

e. Thieves the thugs think not of thriftiness.

f. Thomas thought theology was theoretical.

The Lingua-Palatals: T-Ch a. To multiply twelve times twenty-two taxes the thinking.

b. Ten toothsome tarts tempted Ted’s tranquillity.

c. The Church chimes cheered the char-women in the churchyard.

Review 1. The most effective and pleasant speech tone has four qualities: purity, resonance volume and flexibility. 2. To have these four qualities, one needs to have: a. perfectly formed vowel sounds, b. clearly articulated consonants, c. correct modulation.

3. There are exercises that can be practiced to develop and perfect these qualities.

Reflection From now on, take time to collect new words and pronounce them correctly. Make it a habit to learn new words every week and practice them in your day to day speech.

Relevant Skills In preparation for a day when all participants will make a speech (the date should be decided upon by the instructor), the participants will undertake to practice their enunciation skills using the exercises above.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFOR- MATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Pace Wayne R, Brent D. Peterson and M Dallas Burnett. Techniques for Effective Communication. Philippines: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1979.

http://afgen.com173 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Input A) Preparing a Speech: Speech training is essential for good leadership. Here are some reminders of good speech writing: 1. Whom Are You Going To Speak To? First know your audience: How old are they? Are they men or women? Urban or rural? What are their interests? What is their economic status? Etc.

2. Why are You Speaking? • What is the occasion for your speech? If your topic does not fit the occasion you could be cracking jokes at a funeral! • Get to know the history behind the occasion, the reasons for its occurrence, the people involved, dates, their special traits that have contributed to the event etc.

3. Why Are You Called To Speak? • There may be a reason why you are invited to speak. Knowing how you are connected with the event (that is, if you are connected) will help you add that particular detail people who have invited you are looking forward to hearing. This does not mean bragging about yourself or your involvement with the event.

4. Time and Timeliness: • Make your topic fit the time allowed. Do not exceed your time. Be specific. Note that generalised topics do not grip the audience. “Ten ways of holding a cricket bat” will attract your listeners more than just “Cricket”.

• Make your topic timely, that is, of current interest.

What is Your Topic? If you are not already given a topic to speak on here are some tips that may help: - Pick a topic of current interest.

- Pick a topic your audience is interested in.

- Pick a topic that will stimulate your hearers to action rather than one that they will sleep over.

- Pick a topic that you yourself are interested in.

- If you are given a topic to speak on it means that that you are to come well prepared. Your audience is likely to know your topic and is looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Your knowledge of the audience will tell you how many are familiar with the topic and the degree of familiarity. But here is where your hard work and your communication skills will carry you through an effective speech delivery.

The Body of Your Speech: • Plan your talk in three parts: 1. Introduction: • Wake up your audience with something interesting, something that will arouse their curiosity. If you are tackling an explosive issue, make sure you first define the problem clearly before you proceed to present your solution to it.

2. The Middle • Give your middle substance.

Aim Materials Required [ To help students develop techniques to speak in public in formal and non-formal settings.

[ Copies of the Input.

3.11 Public Speaking Skills174 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • Avoid jokes, if you are not good at cracking them. The effect could be pathetic.

• Elaborate on one or two points, no more.

• Use examples to make your theory “accessible” • Be simple in your vocabulary and your phrasing.

3. Conclusion • Conclude with a striking sentence which the people will remember.

Relevant Skills Write a speech of approximately one page on any of the following: • Self Introduction • How I got my vocation • How I survived and learned from a very difficult experience.

• My parents Etc.

B) Public Speaking In public speaking what you are matters, what you say matters and how you say what you say also matters. This last factor may be analysed in three groups: Audio expression, Visual expression, Getting into your speech.

Audio Expression Loudness: If you are not using a mike it is important to throw your voice forward. If you are before a mike adjust your position during your opening sentences so that you are clear and audible.

Variation: Difference in volume according to your phrases and meaning adds great emphasis by making certain ideas within a message stand out. Loud tones communicate excitement, higher emotion, boisterous feelings, anger. A soft tone can attract attention to what one is saying.

Rate: Choose a pleasant speed when communicating. Yet a variation will also help. A rapid rate is usually associated with excitement, danger, the need for sudden action. A slow rate often communicates calm, tiredness, sickness, resignation.

Pause: Just as commas are used in writing, pauses are used to separate points or divide ideas. Long pauses serve to separate lines of thought. Wrong pauses can change meaning. For example, “Woman (pause) without her (pause) man is a beast.” “Woman, without her man (pause) is a beast.” Visual Expression: Be presentable: How you dress, or comb your hair says a lot about what you stand for. The ideal way to present oneself is to appear in a manner that bespeaks simplicity and self-respect.

Control your nervousness: Stage fright is natural, even among professionals. These feelings are useful to key you up to do a better job. Speakers who are over-confident can speak for hours without saying anything. They seldom prepare themselves.

Posture: The way a speaker stands, holds his/her shoulders and head while speaking, communicates a good deal to the audience.

In a formal speech, where the audience is about twelve or more feet away, the speaker stands erect, with weight evenly balanced on both feet. The feet should be relatively close together, with one foot slightly in front of the other. In an informal speech where the audience is close, the speaker can make it apparent that a carefully prepared speech is not intended but that he/she just wishes to ramble on a bit and throw out a few ideas and then solicit questions and comments. In so doing, sitting on the table or chair or leaning on the stand is tolerable.

Facial expressions: Facial expressions can have a wide range of smiles, grins, smirks, frowns, grimaces, etc. which can add emphasis when you want, or de-emphasise what you do not consider important. Facial expressions must be exaggerated in formal public speaking since the distance tones down one’s facial expression. But in an informal setting, be moderate.

Eye contact: This is the most expressive region of the face. Generally the speaker ought to give the illusion that he/she is looking directly at the members of the audience. In almost all situations, random eye movements are 175 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa distracting, looking over the heads of the audience, at windows or out of them, at the floor, at one’s watch or at one’s notes...are all distracting.

Gestures: Movement of hands and arms while speaking is important. But these movements must flow through the whole arm right to the tips of the fingers, not simply from elbows down. Remember to use the space above your head, particularly if one is speaking from a long distance. Make sure the gestures do not detract what you want to communicate. More than the hands and the arms, the whole body can be used. Thus one can make use of the techniques of pantomime.

The use of notes: Notes can inhibit eye contact, facial expression, posture and gesturing and thereby affect the speaker’s total skill at non-verbal communication. In formal speeches notes may be used but eye-contact must be made from time to time. Do not use notes in both hands – use it in one hand, and gesture with the other. In an informal setting it is preferable not to use notes. Never pretend that you have no notes. Quotations and statistics may be read from notes. What if you forget what to say? In such a situation do not look at the notes when you feel embarrassed – look at the audience, keep your poise, pause to collect yourself.

C) Getting into Your Speech Here are a few general tips for public speakers: • Do not waste time on apologies when you begin; and when you end, do not announce your conclusion.

• Be enthusiastic about what you have to say.

• Even when speaking on an abstract topic, be concrete and down to earth. Show how your abstract analysis has concrete repercussions.

• Be yourself – your audience can notice when you pretend. Admit your limitations.

• Be brief • Speak from your heart.

Relevant Skills • Keeping the rules of public speaking in mind, deliver your speeches before the rest of the class. (Or deliver ready-made elocution speeches).

• The teacher as well as the rest of the students evaluate the manner of delivery (and, if the speech is original, the content of the speech as well) • This exercise could be repeated once every week.

D) impromptu Speeches You are having a great party. The company of your friends is exhilarating. The host claps his hands to draw the attention of the audience and invites you to speak. Suddenly all eyes turn towards you...

What to Say? Here are some ideas: • Speak about the occasion: its purpose, high points or humorous aspects.

• Speak about the people assembled, their successes, future plans, or other group interests.

• Current events in politics, in the local situation or in the community.

• Choose something that you know people of that age and upbringing may like to hear.

What Manner of Delivery? Now that you know what to say, plan your style of delivery. A few headings are suggested: • The event: history, persons, relevance • Story – moral/relevance • Cause-effect • Problem-solution • Then and now • Past, present, future • Deduction: from many to one • Induction: from one to many • East-west • Rich-poor • Statement, example, conclusion176 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Don’t: • Make apologies about “being unaccustomed to giving impromptu speeches”.

• Be unduly nervous and anxious • Repeat yourself • Be overconfident • Exaggerate your actions.

Relevant Skills Once the fear of facing their own companions is over, ask the participants to get ready for impromptu speech training. Explain that they will have to deliver impromptu speeches on topics given barely two minutes earlier. They would have to spend the two minutes collecting their thoughts along the lines suggested above. This exercise could be repeated once a month.

E) Speeches for Specific Occasions: a) The Announcement: • Plan your talk.

• Open with an attention-getting sentence.

• Relate all the essential information – who, what, when, where, and how much – succinctly and clearly.

• Be enthusiastic; make the subject inviting; emphasise its importance.

• Repeat the essential information briefly.

b) The Speech for Introduction: • Speak for not more than two or three minutes – you are not the main speaker.

• Learn about the host/chief guest before the meeting – convey what you have learned to the audience.

• Make sure it is accurate, including of course, the proper title of the talk and the proper pronunciation of his/her names.

• General comments that show how the subject relates to the occasion and the audience, or that summarise the speaker’s work in the field are appropriate.

• Do not include your personal opinion.

• Build the host/guest up, but not to an embarrassing extent.

• Welcome the host/guest to the podium • Be seated! c) Speech of Presentation of an Award: • Do not use notes.

• Discuss reasons for the representation and what the symbol being offered represents.

• Discuss the characteristics and qualifications of the recipients.

• Be sincere in expressing the genuine pleasure felt by those giving the award or gift.

• Maintain the proper spirit of bestowing an honour, yet avoid making embarrassing exaggerations.

d) Speech of Acceptance of an Award: • Speak briefly, unless a long speech is expected.

• Discuss the importance of the award to you; show your appreciation.

• Modestly discuss significant and relevant facts that led to the honour being paid to you; discuss the roles played by other persons.

• Pay tribute to those presenting the gifts.

e) Speech of Welcome: • Do not use notes • Discuss the nature of the occasion.

• Discuss complimentary and interesting traits of your visitor(s) or new members.

• Discuss pertinent features of the welcoming group.

• Be a genial and cordial ambassador of good will; make the welcome explicit.

f) Response to a Speech of Welcome: • Graciously acknowledge the host’s courtesy.

• Bring greetings from the group that you represent (if you are a representative and point out common bonds.

• Sincerely praise the welcoming organizations.

• Be enthusiastic about what you have to say.

• Even if speaking on an abstract topic, be concrete and down-to-earth. Show how your abstract analysis has concrete repercussions.

• Be yourself – your audience can notice when you pretend. Admit your limitations.

• Be brief.

• Speak from your heart.177 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa TEn CoMMAnDMEnTS FoR THE PuBLiC SPEAKER 1. Stand erect, with one foot slightly advanced.

2. After having taken your position, address your audience, then pause, creating a moment of suspense.

3. Speak deliberately in a normal tone and throw out your voice to those in the last row of seats.

4. Keep your hands at your sides for the first minute or two at least.

5. Speak clearly with a distinct enunciation. Do not drop your final d’s and t’s and do not slight your vowels and syllables.

6. Remember inflection and an occasional change in speed or rate.

7. Avoid the same key and monotony.

8. Do not try to be dramatic – let it come naturally. Do not ‘pose.’ 9. Forget yourself in what you are saying. Have something to say, something to ‘persuade’ and lose all self- consciousness in the saying of it – in “putting across” your message.

10. Use the emphasis of stress, be forceful and, above all, be sincere.

THE PuBLiC SPEAKER BEFoRE A MiCRoPHonE 1. Adjust the mike to the level of your mouth. Keep it about 12 inches from your mouth so that you do not come too close to the microphone nor have you to bend to reach it.

2. Speak into the microphone. Once you have accepted the fact of the microphone, try to forget about it. Put as much effort into clarity, interpretation and effectiveness with it as you would without it.

3. Do not turn away from the microphone when speaking. You may look around at your audience but, when speaking, speak into the microphone. Otherwise your audience will be irritated because they will miss part of your message.

4. Remember that a mic lessens emotional intensity and hence, if you are using your normal speaking voice, you must make a special effort to hold your audience. Avoid over-rapid speech.

5. Never blow into the microphone. The moisture of your breath can damage it. Preferably, tap lightly or “Mike check” to ensure that it is in working condition.

6. If you increase your volume for a particularly vehement passage, move slightly back from the microphone.

7. If you change a wireless mic, it will give you freedom of movement but may limit your ability to be vehement.

8. There is much that one can learn from the way others use a mic. Be open to suggestions from others who are better judges of the proper way in which you use a microphone.

9. The clarity of your speech over the microphone depends largely on the acoustics of the hall in which you speak. A hum or an echo could make your speech inaudible or unclear.

10. If you can do without a mike, it is always preferable.

Relevant Skills Make a list of special events and allot each participant a day when he/she will deliver a special occasion speech.

Review 1. A good speech requires one to know the audience, the ‘why’ of the speech, why one is called to speak, the topic as well as the time.

2. The body of the speech has got three parts: the introduction, the middle and the conclusion.

3. Audio expression, Visual expression, and getting into the speech are important factors to consider for a good outcome.

4. There are different types of speech for different occasions: a) The Announcement b) The Speech for Introduction c) Speech of Presentation of an Award d) Speech of Acceptance of an Award e) Speech of Welcome.

f) Response to a Speech of Welcome Reflection Reflect on this statement: What you are matters, what you say matters and how you say what you say also matters.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Stephen E. Lucas. The Art of Public Speaking. USA: McGraw-Hill,1998.

www.mhhe.com/lucas178 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To develop techniques to speak in public in formal and non-formal settings.

TEn CoMMAnDMEnTS FoR THE PuBLiC SPEAKER 1. Stand erect, with one foot slightly advanced.

2. After having taken your position, address your audience, then pause, creating a moment of suspense.

3. Speak deliberately in a normal tone and throw out your voice to those in the last row of seats.

4. Keep your hands at your sides for the first minute or two at least.

5. Speak clearly with a distinct enunciation. Do not drop your final d’s and t’s and do not slight your vowels and syllables.

6. Remember inflection and an occasional change in speed or rate.

7. Avoid the same key and monotony.

8. Do not try to be dramatic – let it come naturally. Do not ‘pose.’ 9. Forget yourself in what you are saying. Have something to say, something to ‘persuade’ and lose all self- consciousness in the saying of it – in “putting across” your message.

10. Use the emphasis of stress, be forceful and, above all, be sincere.

THE PuBLiC SPEAKER BEFoRE A MiCRoPHonE 1. Adjust the mike to the level of your mouth. Keep it about 12 inches from your mouth so that you do not come too close to the microphone nor have you to bend to reach it.

2. Speak into the microphone. Once you have accepted the fact of the microphone, try to forget about it. Put as much effort for clarity, interpretation and effectiveness with it as you would without it.

3. Do not turn away from the microphone when speaking. You may look around at your audience but, when speaking, speak into the microphone. Otherwise your audience will be irritated because they will miss part of your message.

4. Remember that a mic lessens emotional intensity and hence, if you are using your normal speaking voice, you must make a special effort to hold your audience. Avoid over-rapid speech.

5. Never blow into the microphone. The moisture of your breath can damage it. Preferably, tap lightly or “Mike check” to ensure that it is in working condition.

6. If you increase your volume for a particularly vehement passage, move slightly back from the microphone.

7. If you change a wireless mic, it will give you freedom of movement but may limit your ability to be vehement.

8. There is much that one can learn from the way others use a mic. Be open to suggestions from others who are better judges of the proper way in which you use a microphone.

9. The clarity of your speech over the microphone depends largely on the acoustics of the hall in which you speak. A hum or an echo could make your speech inaudible or unclear.

10. If you can do without a mike, it is always preferable.

Review 1. A good speech requires one to know the audience, the ‘why’ of the speech, why one is called to speak, the topic as well as the time.

2. The body of the speech has got three parts: the introduction, the middle and the conclusion.

3. Audio expression, Visual expression, and getting into the speech are important factors to consider for a good outcome.

4. There are different types of speech for different occasions: a) The Announcement b) The Speech for Introduction c) Speech of Presentation of an Award d) Speech of Acceptance of an Award e) Speech of Welcome.

f) Response to a Speech of Welcome Relevant Skills 1. Write a speech of approximately one page on any of the following • Self Introduction CHAPTER 3.11 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke179 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • How I got my vocation • How I survived and learned from a very difficult experience.

• My parents Etc.

2. Keeping the rules of public speaking in mind, deliver your speeches before the rest of the class. (Or deliver ready-made elocution speeches).

• The teacher as well as the rest of the students evaluate the manner of deliver (and, if the speech is original, the content of the speech as well) 3. The participants get ready for impromptu speech training. You will have to deliver impromptu speeches on topics given barely two minutes earlier. You have two minutes to collect your thoughts. 4. Make a list of special events and each participant will deliver a special occasion speech.

Reflection Reflect on this statement: what you are matters, what you say matters and how you say what you say also matters.

Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References www.mhhe.com/lucas Stephen E. Lucas. The Art of Public Speaking. USA: McGraw-Hill, 1998.180 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure - Invite two volunteers to play a ping-pong game of three points across the room. The students can use their hands.

- or if this may seem too childish for their age, allude to the game and the way it is played.

- With the help of the diagram draw a parallel with interpersonal and group communication as follows: - The sender sends the ball/message and the receiver receives it. - Next, the receiver is the sender who returns the ball/another message/feedback to the sender who is now the receiver, and so the game/communication goes on.

- It is the same when communication is between groups.

- It is important to note that both sender and receiver are in control of their communication. They are in a position to seek clarification, to agree or disagree, to state their point of view, to check misinterpretations and reinterpret what has not been understood. This also means that they are also accountable to each other. They directly face the consequences of their interpersonal and group communications.

Input - In the case of mass media, the situation is more complex. Mass communication through electronic means is very much like this: (Take a glass of clear water and insert a few drops of water colour.) Watch the colour spread and gradually dissolve in the water. Notice how the colour once thrown into the water is difficult to control. The colour spreads to give every section of the water in the glass a coloured tint.

- The experiment adequately demonstrates the way mass media influence society. Unlike the ping-pong ball, the sender cannot easily take back the ‘colour’ he has thrown into the water nor control the way it spreads. The influence of the message is wide and all pervasive because of the power of the media technology used. Everyone in due course of time is ‘tinted’ by the message – if not directly (by glib acceptance), indirectly (through the influence of friends, neighbours and the fear of human respect).

- The role of technology - the development of machines- drives economic and cultural change. This is known as technological determinism. Indeed, there can be no doubt that movable type contributed to the Protestant Reformation and the decline of the Catholic Church’s power in Europe, or that television Aim Materials Required [ To understand how media culture originates.

[ To understand the power of the mass media.

[ A tennis ball, a glass of water and powder water color.

3.12 The Power of Mass Media181 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa changed the way members of American families interact. However, others see technology as more neutral and claim that the way people use technology is what gives it significance. This perspective accepts technology as one of many factors that shape economic and cultural change; technology’s influence is ultimately determined by how much power it is given by the people and cultures that use it.

- Money also shifts the balance of power; it tends to make audiences products rather than consumers. The first newspapers were financially supported by their readers but in the 1830s, publishers began selling their papers for a penny and because so many more papers were sold at this bargain price, publishers could “sell” advertising space based on their readership. What they were actually selling to advertisers was not space on the page, it was readers. This new type of publication changed the nature of mass communication. The goal of the process was no longer for audience and media to create meaning together; rather it was to sell those readers to a third participant – advertisers. This does not mean, however, that the media are or must be slaves to profit, our task is to understand the constraints placed on these industries by their economies and then demand that, within those limits, they perform ethically and responsibly. We can do this only by being thoughtful, critical consumers of the media. Current Trends in Mass Communication 1. Concentration of ownership and Conglomeration Ownership of media companies is increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Through mergers, acquisitions, buyouts and hostile takeovers, a very small number of large conglomerates is coming to own more and more of the world’s media outlets.

2. Globalisation The potential impact of globalisation on the process of mass communication speaks on the issue of diversity of expression. Will distant, anonymity, foreign corporations, each with vast holdings in a variety of non-media businesses use their power to shape news and entertainment content to suit their own ends? Opinion is divided. Some observers feel that this concern is misplaced, that the pursuit of profit will force these corporations to respect the values and customs of the nations and cultures they operate in. Other observers point to the 1998 controversy surrounding the publication of East and West as a prime example of the dangers of media globalisation. This book was very critical of the Chinese government and News Corporation had significant business dealings with the Chinese government and had ambitions of even more. 3. Audience Fragmentation The audience is becoming more fragmented, its segments more narrowly defined. It is becoming less of a mass audience. If the nature of the media’s audience is changing, then the mass communication process must also change. The audience in mass communication is typically a large, varied group about which the media industries know only the most superficial information. What will happen as smaller, more specific audiences become better known to their partners in the process of making meaning? What will happen to the national culture that binds us as we become increasingly fragmented into demographically targeted taste publics – groups of people bound by little more than an interest in a given form of media content? 4. Hyper-commercialism The costs involved in acquiring numerous or large media outlets, domestic and international, and of reaching an increasingly fragmented audience must be recouped somehow. Selling more advertising on existing and new media and identifying additional ways to combine content and commercials are the two most common strategies. This leads to what media critic Robert McChesney calls hyper-commercialism. He explains: “Concentrated media control permits the largest media firms to increasingly commercialise their output with less and less fear of consumer reprisal” E.g. in 1999 there were 16 minutes and 43 seconds of advertising in an average network television prime-time hour, a 21.8% increase from 1991.

5. Erosion of Distinctions Among Media (Convergence) You can read the New York Times or Nation Newspaper and a few other newspapers and magazines here in Africa on your computer screen. Manufacturers in the US now produce WebTV, allowing families to curl up in front of the big screen for online entertainment and information. Cable television delivers high-fidelity digitised music by DMX. Where people had to buy game cartridges for video games, now these games can be played interactively on cable television. This erosion of distinctions among media is called convergence. The reasons for convergence include a strong incentive to get the greatest use from media content whether news, education or entertainment by using as many channels of delivery as possible. Another reason for convergence is audience fragmentation. A mass communicator who finds it difficult to reach the whole audience can reach its component 182 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa parts through various media. Another reason is the audience itself which is becoming increasingly comfortable receiving information and entertainment from a variety of sources. Will this expansion and blurring of traditional media channels confuse audience members, further tilting the balance of power in the mass communication process toward the media industries? Or will it give the audiences more power – power to choose, power to reject, and power to combine information and entertainment in individual ways? - The chart that follows demonstrates the power the mass media has in influencing society. Because the mass media have such tremendous power over the masses, those who use them (senders) have in their control the possibility of shaping society and influencing millions of people the world over. Mass media barons and those who work with them have the power to inform, to educate and to entertain at so influential a level that they have the possibility of: A revision of Maletzkie’s Model of Mass Communication in Chapter 2.3 will be helpful.

Review 1. In mass communication, the influence of the message is wide and all pervasive because of the power of the media technology used. 2. The role of technology - the development of machines- drives economic and cultural change. However, others see technology as more neutral and claim that the way people use technology is what gives it significance.

3. Money also shifts the balance of power; it tends to make audiences products rather than consumers.

4. Concentration of ownership and conglomeration, globalisation, audience fragmentation, hyper-commercialism and erosion of distinctions among media are all major areas where the mass media is changing.

5. Media has the potential to: affect political equations, changing economic standards, shape public opinion, define our identities (what we think about ourselves, our sexuality), manipulate our life-styles, shape our relationships (who are our friends, how do we express affection…) change beliefs and value systems (traditions, religion, ethics, ideals, priorities.) and influence culture (language, dance, drama, customs, festivals, etc) Reflection 1. What are the qualities of a thoughtful and reflective media consumer? Do you have these characteristics? Strive to develop them.

2. The media must not be slaves to profit. Our task is to understand the constraints placed on the media industries by their economies and then demand that, within those limits, they perform ethically and responsibly. We can do this only by being thoughtful, critical consumers of the media. Are you a thoughtful and critical media consumer? In what ways can the media work ethically and responsibly in the 21 st century? Relevant Skills Evaluate the impact of television news on your country’s audience. How does it shape public opinion? Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Baran J. Stanley. Introduction to Mass Communication. USA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002.

• affecting political equations (what we think about a political party, policies, etc); • changing economic standards (our opinions about capitalism, socialism, etc); • shaping public opinion (our view points about just about any issue); • Defining our identities (what we think about ourselves, our sexuality); • Manipulating our life-styles (what we consider needs, desires and luxuries); • Shaping our relationships (who are our friends, how do we express affection…); • Changing beliefs and value systems (traditions, religion, ethics, ideals, priorities.); • Influencing culture (language, dance, drama, customs, festivals, etc);183 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa CHAPTER 3.12 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT The Power of Mass Media COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke Aim • To understand how media culture originates.

• To understand the power of the mass media.

Current Trends in Mass Communication 1. Concentration of ownership and Conglomeration 2. Globalisation 3. Audience Fragmentation 4. Hyper-commercialism 5. Erosion of Distinctions Among Media (Convergence) - The chart below demonstrates the power the mass media has in influencing society. Because the mass media have such tremendous power over the masses, those who use them (senders) have in their control the possibility of shaping society and influencing millions of people the world over. Mass media barons and those who work with them have the power to inform, to educate and to entertain at so influential a level that they have the possibility of: Review 1. In mass communication, the influence of the message is wide and all pervasive because of the power of the media technology used. 2. The role of technology - the development of machines- drives economic and cultural change. However, others see technology as more neutral and claim that the way people use technology is what gives it significance.

3. Money also shifts the balance of power; it tends to make audiences products rather than consumers.

4. Concentration of ownership and conglomeration, globalisation, audience fragmentation, hyper-commercialism and erosion of distinctions among media are all major areas where the mass media is changing.

5. Media has the potential to: affect political equations, changing economic standards, shape public opinion, define our identities (what we think about ourselves, our sexuality), manipulate our life-styles, shape our relationships (who are our friends, how do we express affection…) change beliefs and value systems (traditions, religion, ethics, ideals, priorities.) and influence culture (language, dance, drama, customs, festivals, etc) Reflection 1. What are the qualities of a thoughtful and reflective media consumer? Do you have these characteristics? Strive to develop them.

2. The media must not be slaves to profit. Our task is to understand the constraints placed on the media industries by their economies and then demand that, within those limits, they perform ethically and responsibly. We can do this only by being thoughtful, critical consumers of the media. Are you a thoughtful and critical media consumer? In what ways can the media work ethically and responsibly in the 21 st century? Relevant Skills Evaluate the impact of television news on your country’s audience. How does it shape public opinion? Resources BOSCOM-INDIA. ‘SHEPHERDS’ FOR AN INFORMATION AGE. Matunga: Tej Prasarini, 2000.

Kunnel, Tom. Salesians of Don Bosco for a Cyber Age in Africa, Kenya: BEAMS, 2008.

References Baran J. Stanley. Introduction to Mass Communication. USA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2002.

• affecting political equations (what we think about a political party, policies, etc); • changing economic standards (our opinions about capitalism, socialism, etc); • shaping public opinion (our view points about just about any issue); • Defining our identities (what we think about ourselves, our sexuality); • Manipulating our life-styles (what we consider needs, desires and luxuries); • Shaping our relationships (who are our friends, how do we express affection…); • Changing beliefs and value systems (traditions, religion, ethics, ideals, priorities.); • Influencing culture (language, dance, drama, customs, festivals, etc);184 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure Let the participants read Psalm 81 and analyze the various exhortations to listen.

Input • Menuha in Hebrew means rested.

• According to Abraham Joshua Heschel, Menuha means purposeful contemplation. A process where one becomes quiet enough inside to see more deeply into life.

• In biblical times, menuha was equated with good life, absence of strife, the presence of inner tranquility, and opportunity for reflection (Ps 32: 2) • God invites people to move beyond passivity to contemplation. Involvement with God implies involvement with God’s creation.

• God is attentive – God’s own response to creation. On the first day God’s spirit hovered, on the seventh day God listened.

1. Listening as a Way to Relate with nature • Ancient people were keenly attuned to nature, seasons and events, so were the Israelites who believed that Yahweh brought all these changes.

• Something deep within the heart of these people exhorted them to hear beneath the surface of their lives. Something of the listening God in whose image they were made called them to attention • The earth taught Israelites to listen. The prophets told them how to listen as they themselves were good listeners. Many of them introduced themselves as being ‘called’ by Yahweh. The prophets knew that listening was demanding that it would not come without cost.

2. Listening, a Tough Task • In the wilderness the chosen people listened to their discouragement, to manna and to pillars of fire, with their hopes with renewed excitement, to conquests and harvests. They also listened to the bitter taste of exile in a foreign land. They often grew tired of listening.

• They had leaders to remind them and teach them prayers to encourage them (Ps 81:7-8) “Listen, listen to me...” (Is. 55:2-3).

• The response was profoundly intertwined with the call to serve. (Is. 50:4-5).

• For Isaiah, responding flows from listening. Even the purpose of waking up each day was just to listen to Yahweh.

3. Jesus the Listener • His life gives evidence that he saw the work of Abba and heard the voice of God in the earth, in the people, in the history of his world.

• He is attentive to nature and it is revealed by his frequent reference to the earth’s symbols. He talked of lilies of the fields and birds of the air, the smallness of the mustard seed and the types of soil.

• The scriptures present Jesus as a listener from the earliest days of his youth. “Three days later, they found him in the temple sitting among the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions” (Lk.2:46) • The synoptic gospels spell out the quality of listening in Jesus’ ordeal in the desert.

• It is in the wilderness, in the empty lonely unsure places of life, that Jesus hears God’s voice (Mt 4:4) • Jesus learnt something essential about human communication and its closeness to prayer in the wilderness, that both start with listening.

• Jesus listened to the experience of the 72 disciples on their first missionary journey (Lk 10:17).

Aim Materials Required [ To understand the meaning of listening according to the Bible.

[ To learn from the Gospels how Jesus listened.

[ To get to know ways we can apply listening in ministry.

[ Pen and Paper.

[ A Bible.

3.13 Listening the Biblical Perspective185 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • He also listened to the question of the two disciples of John “where do you live?” and invited them to “come and see” (Jn. 1:39).

• He spent time with the frightened Nicodemus and heard his concern (Jn. 3:4-5).

• Jesus did not sense what was in peoples’ hearts by pressing the “infused knowledge” key on his divine computer. He did not automatically know what people were thinking and feeling because he was the son of God. He had learnt to listen.

4. in-depth Listening • Jesus stressed the relationship between listening and understanding and he spoke of his own sadness when he noticed an absence of listening in those around him. (Mt.13:15) • Listening requires taking in the message and allowing it to influence our life. This in-depth listening prevents the kind of hardness of heart or human coldness that was so loathed by Jesus.

• Listening demands a conscious choice to expend awareness. According to Robert Bolton in “People skills”, as much as 75 percent of oral communication is ignored, forgotten or misunderstood.

5. Pseudo Listening and Passivity • Two styles of behavior are often confused with listening: pseudo listening and passivity. • In pseudo listening the person attempts to look as though he/she is listening, but in reality there is little perception of the feelings and reactions of others. The listener does a lot of talking. This listener becomes bored when others are talking.

• Sometimes passivity is confused with shyness. The person is uninvolved and disinterested, rarely talks, never takes the responsibility for keeping a conversation going and maintains a poster of distance.

• We live in a world where there is more talking than listening. We get caught up in our own thoughts to notice other’s needs. Sometimes there is so much noise around us, in us. We cannot pay attention to what our own lives are saying.

6. True Listening • Reflection describes the process by which we leave the obvious and search for significance. It means putting out into the deep, risking finding something that we didn’t know was there.

• To someone who is guarded, fearful and over-controlled, reflection can be a threatening process.

• It requires letting go of rigidity and defensiveness. With regard to interpersonal communication, it means taking an honest look at the style of my interactions with people.

• Rumination can confuse reflection; it is dwelling on something-mentally going over and over the concrete details. It is like being stuck in the mud.

• Reflection means examining something, looking past the details to their meanings. It leads to a clarification of an event or situation.

• Rumination focuses on what happened while reflection focuses on why it happened or how and on what role we played in enabling it to happen.

• Rumination goes in circles, fueling anxiety and depression while reflection goes forward and fuels self-awareness. Reflection listens while rumination worries.

Becoming Reflective • Build sometime each day or each week to be alone in a quiet place.

• Become quiet inside, to turn away from the noises of life and wait.

Quieting Down • Consciously stopping all thoughts.

• Slowing down the breathing more deeply.

• Tensing and then releasing the muscles to relax the body.

• Becoming aware of any part of the body that seems tight and then slowly loosing it.

We can now focus our awareness on something. We can either choose something to focus on or we can focus on what spontaneously comes into our mind.

Focusing • Focusing is looking at all sides of something or someone.

• Fixing our gaze and trying to see more deeply into; * Some dimensions of life than we have seen before.

* A sound, a memory.

* Feeling or needs.

* Way we have been acting.

* Feelings or needs of someone close to us.

* World events.

* Plight of the oppressed.186 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa * Scripture. * Weather patterns.

* The first bud of spring.

Self Reflection Self reflection is central to total listening and reflective process. In order to ensure that our interpersonal style of what is helping rather than hindering our relationship we need to reflect regularly on our behavior: • How much do I talk? Too much? Too little? • How frequently do I interrupt when others are talking? • What does my body posture say to people? • What do my facial expressions say? Am I conscious of what my face is saying when I am with others? • Do I welcome feedback? How do I react when I get it? • How do I let others know what my needs are? Am I dependent? Manipulative? Possessive? Controlling? Warm? Caring? Available? • How do I act when I am angry? Jealous? Lonely? Insecure? Threatened? Happy? Excited? Obstinate? • Do I always have to be right? Have the last word? • How do I express my sexuality? Is it in tune with my religious living? • Are my feelings and my behavior congruent? Does what I feel on the inside match or fit with what I say on the outside? • Do I experience a real relationship between my Christian values and my treatment of peoples? It is impossible to be a good listener if we do not listen to what our own behavior is saying. Reflection enables us to listen with our eyes and ears, with our nose...it sharpens our sense of perception.

Stages of listening 1. Attending: • Attending is paying close attention- noticing and being sensitive to signs in self, others, and the environment that say something about what is going on.

• It is being in touch. In Greek the word ‘attend’ is translated as diakonos, the technical term for ministry.

• To be attentive is to minister. In the New Testament times, ministry described: * Christians attending to one another * noticing the needs of the widow * seeing the plight of the poor and the needy * Recognizing the sick in their midst.

• In interpersonal situations attending always starts with me. Knowing what is going inside of us as we interact.

• Attending also involves being aware of what is going on in others. This can help us know something of another person’s world. • Having this information makes our attempts to respond that much more grounded in reality and maximizes our potential of getting through to another. 2. Following • In biblical and in a psychological sense, following means staying with another. Jesus wanted his disciples to walk alongside him and learn from him (companionship and learning).

• Interrupting, diverting another with questions, and giving advice, all interfere with the act of following.

• An effective listener helps the speaker to speak. This enables the listener to “come and see” where that person lives on the inside.

• Following involves facilitating “door openers” or non-coercive invitations to talk. We can follow by being genuinely interested; by remaining present and open to the other as they talk and by making brief comments that encourage talking.

• In conversations both among individuals and groups, ‘following’ involves doing anything that makes it easier for a person to talk:- nodding, smiling, matching the facial expressions of the other, maintaining the eye contact, single words of encouragement are also helpful like “ really”, “sure”, “Yea”, “me too”, “wow”, “and?”, “oh!” etc.

• Following leads us to another’s world to get a glimpse of the kingdom from another perspective.

3. Responding: • Learning to move beyond the obvious, getting beneath the superficial, is the goal of attending.

• When the response to another flows from our own needs, or from poor listening skills, our relationships always suffer.187 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • Responding with understanding completes the listening process.

• Appropriate and understanding responses solidify trust and promote long lasting interpersonal ties. It gives the people the feeling that, “we are with them.” Ensuring that our response to others is both understanding and appropriate • Make sure that the response flows from reflection.

• Avoid quick comebacks and snap comments (the old “count to ten” rule is a good one).

• Avoid judging and categorizing what others say.

• Wait until the other has finished talking to respond.

• Comment on what a speaker has said before introducing a new topic.

• Avoid monopolizing conversations, or engaging in frequent “me” talk.

• Develop the habit of frequently assessing what other people might be feeling as they talk.

• Participate in the conversation (remaining silent elevates the tension level in a group).

There is nothing in interpersonal interaction quite so energizing as the feeling of being heard, the expression of being understood.

Review 1. Ancient people were keenly attuned to nature, seasons and events, so were the Israelites who believed that Yahweh brought all these changes.

2. The earth taught Israelites to listen. The prophets told them how to listen. They knew that listening was demanding that it would not come without cost.

3. For Isaiah, responding flows from listening.

4. The scriptures present Jesus as a listener from the earliest days of his youth. “Three days later, they found him in the temple sitting among the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions” (Lk.2:46) 5. Jesus did not sense what was in peoples’ hearts by pressing the “infused knowledge” key on his divine computer. He did not automatically know what people were thinking and feeling because he was the son of God. He had learnt to listen.

6. According to Robert Bolton in “People skills”, as much as 75 percent of oral communication is ignored, forgotten or misunderstood.

7. Listening demands a conscious choice to expend awareness. 8. Listening requires taking in the message and allowing it to influence our life. This in-depth listening prevents the kind of hardness of heart or human coldness that was so loathed by Jesus.

9. Two styles of behavior are often confused with listening: pseudo listening and passivity. 10. Becoming reflective involves quietening down, focusing and self reflection.

11. There are three stages of listening • Attending • Following • Responding Reflection There is nothing in interpersonal interaction quite so energizing as the feeling of being heard, the expression of being understood. How often do you give people an ear? Relevant Skills Compare the Hebrew understanding of listening with the African understanding.

References Robert Bolton. People Skills. NJ: Prentice Hall Inc., 1979.

Ferder, Fran. Word Made Flesh: Scripture, Psychology and Human Communication. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1986.

www.christianitytoday.org188 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the meaning of Listening according to the Bible • To learn from the Gospels how Jesus listened • To get to know ways we can apply listening in ministry Procedure Read Psalm 81 and analyze the various exhortations to listen.

Stages of listening 1. Attending: • Attending is paying close attention- noticing and being sensitive to signs in self, others, and the environment that say something about what is going on.

2. Following • In biblical and in a psychological sense, following means staying with another. Jesus wanted his disciples to walk alongside him and learn from him (companionship and learning).

3. Responding: • Appropriate and understanding responses solidify trust and promote long lasting interpersonal ties. It gives the people the feeling that, “we are with them.” Ensuring that our response to others is both understanding and appropriate • Make sure that the response flows from reflection.

• Avoid quick comebacks and snap comments (the old “count to ten” rule is a good one).

• Avoid judging and categorizing what others say.

• Wait until the other has finished talking to respond.

• Comment on what a speaker has said before introducing a new topic.

• Avoid monopolizing conversations, or engaging in frequent “me” talk.

• Develop the habit of frequently assessing what other people might be feeling as they talk.

• Participate in the conversation (remaining silent elevates the tension level in a group).

Review 1. Ancient people were keenly attuned to nature, seasons and events, so were the Israelites who believed that Yahweh brought all these changes.

2. The earth taught Israelites to listen. The prophets told them how to listen. They knew that listening was demanding that it would not come without cost.

3. For Isaiah, responding flows from listening.

4. The scriptures present Jesus as a listener from the earliest days of his youth. “Three days later, they found him in the temple sitting among the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions” (Lk.2:46) 5. Jesus did not sense what was in peoples’ hearts by pressing the “infused knowledge” key on his divine computer. He did not automatically know what people were thinking and feeling because he was the son of God. He had learnt to listen.

6. According to Robert Bolton in “People skills”, as much as 75 percent of oral communication is ignored, forgotten or misunderstood.

7. Listening demands a conscious choice to expend awareness. 8. Listening requires taking in the message and allowing it to influence our life. This in-depth listening prevents the kind of hardness of heart or human coldness that was so loathed by Jesus.

9. Two styles of behavior are often confused with listening: pseudo listening and passivity. 10. Becoming reflective involves quietening down, focusing and self reflection.

11. There are three stages of listening • Attending • Following • Responding CHAPTER 3.13 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Listening, the Biblical perspective COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke189 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Relevant Skills Compare the Hebrew understanding of listening with the African understanding.

References Robert Bolton. People Skills. NJ: Prentice Hall Inc., 1979.

Ferder, Fran. Word Made Flesh: Scripture, Psychology and Human Communication. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1986.

www.christianitytoday.org190 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Procedure: Let the participants recall from memory instances from the gospel when Jesus expressed his emotions publicly.

Input • In the Gospel of John chapter 11: 33-36, we see that Jesus was a man of deep feeling.

• Following the death of his friend Lazarus, Jesus is emotionally moved and groans out of a sigh of distress from the very core of his being.

• Beyond tears, he is moved again, and tries to release his tensed feeling and instructs “...take away the stone” (Jn. 11:38) 1) Emotional Jesus The stories about Jesus show that he was able to express his feelings with an unashamed, unembarrassed freedom. Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions: • He felt sorry (Lk 7:13) • Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand (Mk 1:41, NAB) • How often have I longed (Lk 13: 34) • And sadness came over him (Mt 26:37) • Then, grieved... he looked angrily around’ (Mk 3:5) • He...summoned those he wanted (Mk 3:13) • He was indignant (Mk 10:14) • Filled with joy (Lk 10:21) • He shed tears (Lk 19: 41-12) • “I have longed” (Lk 22:15) • “I have loved you” (Jn 15:9) • He was astonished (Mt 8:10) Jesus knew the pain and disappointment of rejection, the agony of sadness. He was moved with anger, struggled with impatience, and cherished times of joy and excitement.

2) Accepting Emotions The attempt to over spiritualize the emotional life (as many Christians do) leads eventually to deeply buried grief, resentment, anger, sexual desires, fear, attractions and a full range of locked-in feelings. As Christians we must be deeply moved by present reality. We will not know the joy of resurrection until we have groaned over death.

3) Feelings and Mental Health The ability to know and express feelings appropriately is an indication of mental health. In order to express feelings in a manner that promotes relationships and deepens intimacy, they must be owned, acknowledged to ourselves and then clarified verbally for others. This process takes away the darkness of confusion in relationships. Expression of emotions is overly dictated by cultural norms, often different for men and women.

4) The Influence of Christianity • With Jesus as a model, it would seem that expressing feelings and being comfortable with emotional experience should come more easily for those who follow the gospel.

• Influenced by secular philosophies of the day; Greek dualism, Gnosticism, the puritan ethics, it was hard for the church to keep alive the memory of the emotional Jesus.

Aim Materials Required [ To understand the meaning of emotions according to the Bible.

[ To learn how to name emotions.

[ To get to know ways we can gain control of and use our emotions.

[ Pen and Paper.

[ A Bible.

3.14 Feelings and Relationship191 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • During the 5th century, St. Augustine taught that sexual desires and the potential to experience genital pleasure were not actually intended by God but came as a result of fall of Adam and Eve.

• With the Church’s regulations and directives surrounding sexual behavior, and the pronouncement of anger as one of the seven capital sins, the stage for Christians to be suspect of their feelings was set. Peace and joy were regarded as good feelings and feelings and emotions came to be regarded as distant from God and opposed to the spirit.

• In the minds of many catholic Christians, repressing emotions was elevated to the status of a virtue. It became easy to divide feeling into good and bad ones. • As a result many people learnt to evade their less comfortable feelings. Denying anger, ignoring jealousy, running from loneliness, and turning off sexual feelings became an established way of life for many.

5) Emotions and Body’s Response • The energy from the hidden feeling remains trapped in the stomach, the chest, and the neck. If not let out, the repressed feelings become plagued with a variety of emotionally related physical problems and diseases.

• After behavioral science began recognizing the relationship between poorly handled feelings and many physical symptoms and diseases, and as theologians began viewing the humanity of Jesus in a new light, there has been a renewed emphasis in both society and Christianity on the importance of being in touch with and giving appropriate expressions to feelings.

6) Feelings in Relationship • Many people find it awkward to express feelings in relationship although they know its importance.

• They have not learnt to be at home with feelings, to name them or to express them aloud to anyone.

• Assisting people with this process of dealing with feelings is an essential dimension of ministry today.

• Feelings and emotions are created by God and are not simply psychological realities to put up with. They are potential sources of divine revelation, God bursting unexpectedly into our lives with a message not to be ignored.

7) origin of Feelings • God is the potter, we are the clay (Is 64:8) • The Hebrew yaster was an artist. Yaster means to make pots in a particular kind of way. It means “to fashion” “to knit” “to form”. It implies a posture of involvement on the part of the porter. It takes time and demands a great skill. It requires a sense of purpose and vision.

• The potter like any artist puts something of himself or herself into each pot. The pot images the potter.

• God was envisioned as the yaster who fashioned them as the potter with clay. Yahweh was the divine artist, intent upon them, as studying them, touching them, molding them.

• Yahweh was at once the potter acting on all of Israel (Jer 18: 5-6, 44:2).

• If we believe that God fashioned us, much as would a potter, then God must have fashioned all parts of us, our feelings and emotions as well as our arms and our legs.

• Ours is a God of love who sent Jesus to remind us of that love and to show us that feeling part of loving.

8) Emotions • Many psychologists believe that the ultimate purpose of human emotion is survival.

• Psychologist Robert Plutchik has identified eight primary emotions, to which are linked all other feelings and emotions. Each evokes a protective behavior that enables the survival of an individual as well as the human race: a) Joy – initiates reproductive behaviors and thus allows the race to perpetuate itself b) Acceptance – leads to incorporation and social interaction, enabling individuals to receive adequate nurturance and care.

c) Fear – protects compelling retreat from threatened harm and perceived danger.

d) Surprise – encourages adequate reorientation to changes in the environment.

e) Sadness – facilitates reintegration in the face of loss by attracting sources of help.

f) Disgust – brings about behaviors that force the rejection of something harmful.

g) Anger - evokes actions designed to eliminate barriers to the satisfaction of important needs. It also enables the clarification of needs.

h) Anticipation – elicits exploration, urging preparation for future challenges and change.

Primary and Mixed Emotions When the primary emotions are blended with each other, according to Plutchik, mixed emotions occur.

The mixed emotions appear outside the circle between the two primary emotions being mixed.

importance of Emotions • Emotions seem to play an important role in relationships as well as in physical survival.

• Individuals who ignore their emotions, or who are out of touch with their feelings, do not survive well in their interpersonal lives.

• It is our relationships that suffers and sometimes die when our emotional reactions are neglected.192 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa • When we are unaware of our deepest feelings, we can behave in destructive ways without realizing it. Sarcasm can result from unnoticed anger, while gossip can flow from unrecognized jealousy.

• Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, values, attitudes and actions are all profoundly influenced by feelings 9) Process of Responding to Feelings (i) Noticing Feelings • People who are in touch with their feelings are in touch with their bodies. Thy can sense almost instantly, a slight quickening of their heart beat and they know it means something.

• All feelings have physiological correlates. Emotions are defined in part as bodily reactions. This means certain physical signs can be used as clues to alert us to the fact that an emotional reaction is occurring: E.g. A dry mouth, facial warning (and reddening), stomach butterflies, shaking or sweating, a lump in the throat, loss of breath.

• In order to grow more accustomed to noticing our feelings states, it can be helpful to stop periodically throughout the day and check on our bodily reaction.

• Consciously focusing attention on our body during interpersonal encounters or during times of stress can also facilitate the process of noticing feelings.

ii) Naming Feelings • To the Hebrew, naming something meant establishing a relationship with that which was named.

• When we name our feelings, we acknowledge that they exist and we begin to relate to them.

• Naming feelings is difficult and many people lack more than a rudimentary feeling vocabulary. It is a temptation to name feelings differently, e.g. Judas named his avarice as concern for the poor.

(iii) Owning Feelings • It is important to own our feelings before we start to shape a response to them.

• Owning a particular feeling can seem more real if we actually say it aloud, particularly to ourselves and possibly to another e.g. “I am afraid”, “I am feeling very frightened.” (iv) Responding to Feelings • Sometimes we act in a programmed fashion because some emotional reactions occur so fast.

• At other times the instantaneous expression of emotion is equally healthy, particularly emotional response.

• Taking the time to reflect on our feeling before responding is obvious for those situations which offer a variety of possible responses, some of them healthy and some of them unhealthy. They allow at least some time for thinking which is key to responding. Responding to our emotions requires thinking about options.

• Sometimes the best response is easy to see. Choosing our responses to emotional states is an effort to choose life.

• By reminding ourselves that it is we who make the decision will help us to be in control. “You make me angry” will be replaced by ‘I choose to be angry.” • Being attentive to our own inner experience resembles biblical hovering; it is like hanging in the air, circling over our life, noticing, watching, attending emotional awareness means faithfulness, faithfulness to a potter.

Review 1. The stories about Jesus show that he was able to express his feelings with an unashamed, unembarrassed freedom. Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions.

2. The attempt to over spiritualize the emotional life (as many Christians do) leads eventually to deeply buried grief, resentment, anger, sexual desires, fear, attractions and a full range of locked-in feelings.

3. In order to express feelings in a manner that promotes relationships and deepens intimacy, feelings must be owned, acknowledged and then clarified verbally for others. This process takes away the darkness of confusion in relationships.

4. The energy from the hidden feeling remains trapped in the stomach, the chest, and the neck. If not let out, the repressed feelings become plagued with a variety of emotionally related physical problems and diseases.

5. Feelings and emotions are created by God and are not simply psychological realities to put up with. They are potential sources of divine revelation, God bursting unexpectedly into our lives with a message not to be ignored.

6. If we believe that God fashioned us, much as would a potter, then God must have fashioned all parts of us, our feelings and emotions as well as our arms and our legs.

7. Individual who ignore their emotions, or who are out of touch with their feelings, do not survive well in their interpersonal lives.193 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa 8. In order to grow more accustomed to noticing our feeling states, it can be helpful to stop periodically throughout the day and check on our bodily reactions.

9. When we are unaware of our deepest feelings, we can behave in destructive ways without realizing it. Sarcasm can result from unnoticed anger, while gossip can flow from unrecognized jealousy.

10. Increasing awareness of our feelings and choosing appropriate responses to them involves: Noticing the feelings, naming them, owning and responding to them.

Reflection Many Christians tend to over spiritualize their emotional life which leads to a buried grief, resentments… How is this done in our Christian communities? How can we encourage healthy expression of feelings amongst our Christian communities? Relevant Skills a) Find out cultural notions in your country or your ethnic group of how men and women ‘should express’ feelings. b) Find synonyms for: • Accepting • Afraid • Sad • Surprised • Disgusted • Angry • Anticipatory • Joyful What are the differences in these cultural notions between men and women ‘expressions’ of: JOY, SADNESS, ANGER.

Resources www.bibletopics.com/attitudes.htm www.navigators.org www.preachingtoday.com References Whitehead, Evelyn Eaton and Whitehead, James D. Christian Life Patterns. New York: Crossroad, 1999.

Ferder, Fran. Word Made Flesh: Scripture, Psychology and Human Communication. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1986.194 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa Aim • To understand the meaning of emotions according to the Bible • To learn how to name emotions • To get to know ways we can gain control of and use our emotions Procedure: Recall from memory instances from the gospel when Jesus expressed his emotions publicly.

Review 1. The stories about Jesus show that he was able to express his feelings with an unashamed, unembarrassed freedom. Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions.

2. The attempt to over spiritualize the emotional life (as many Christians do) leads eventually to deeply buried grief, resentment, anger, sexual desires, fear, attractions and a full range of locked-in feelings.

3. In order to express feelings in a manner that promotes relationships and deepens intimacy, feelings must be owned, acknowledged and then clarified verbally for others. This process takes away the darkness of confusion in relationships.

4. The energy from the hidden feeling remains trapped in the stomach, the chest, and the neck. If not let out, the repressed feelings become plagued with a variety of emotionally related physical problems and diseases.

5. Feelings and emotions are created by God and are not simply psychological realities to put up with. They are potential sources of divine revelation; God bursting unexpectedly into our lives with a message not to be ignored.

6. If we believe that God fashioned us, much as would a potter, then God must have fashioned all parts of us, our feelings and emotions as well as our arms and our legs.

7. Individual who ignore their emotions, or who are out of touch with their feelings, do not survive well in their interpersonal lives.

8. In order to grow more accustomed to noticing our feeling states, it can be helpful to stop periodically throughout the day and check on our bodily reactions.

9. When we are unaware of our deepest feelings, we can behave in destructive ways without realizing it. Sarcasm can result from unnoticed anger, while gossip can flow from unrecognized jealousy.

10. Increasing awareness of our feelings and choosing appropriate responses to them involves: Noticing the feelings, naming them, owning and responding to them.

Reflection Many Christians tend to over spiritualize their emotional life which leads to a buried grief, resentments… How is this done in our Christian communities? How can we encourage healthy expression of feelings amongst our Christian communities? Relevant Skills a) Find out cultural notions in your country or your ethnic group of how men and women ‘should express’ feelings. b) Find synonyms for: • Accepting • Afraid • Sad • Surprised • Disgusted • Angry • Anticipatory • Joyful What are the differences in these cultural notions between men and women ‘expressions’ of: JOY, SADNESS, ANGER.

Resources www.bibletopics.com/attitudes.htm www.navigators.org www.preachingtoday.com References Whitehead, Evelyn Eaton and Whitehead, James D. Christian Life Patterns. New York: Crossroad, 1999.

Ferder, Fran. Word Made Flesh: Scripture, Psychology and Human Communication. Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 1986.

CHAPTER 3.14 PARTiCiPAnT’S HAnDouT Feelings and Relationship COMMUNICATOR FOR A CYBER AGE IN AFRICA Bosco Eastern Africa Multimedia Services - BEAMS Publication, Kenya. beams@donbosco.or.ke195 Communicator for a Cyber-Age in Africa