COUPLES FOR CHRIST MEDIA POLICY

PURPOSE

The Media Policy is intended to provide guidance and direction on the use of different platforms that we utilise to communicate and engage with one another in the community and those outside CFCA.

The policy covers our website – cfcaustralia.org, our Facebook Group – CFCA (Established in 1988) and our YouTube account – Couples for Christ Australia. This policy also includes the use of our virtual meeting tools such as ZOOM and other accounts in the future.
Different household groups maintaining their respective social media platforms and are linked to CFCA are also expected to be guided by this policy.

EXPECTATION

We encourage all leaders and members to be aware of these platforms and tools as they are important means of sharing information within the community and outside CFCA. Accordingly, we are expected to be responsible with the materials that we share and the language we use to engage others through these platforms.
Our online and offline behaviour should demonstrate and reflect the family spirit and Christ-centred values and principles that we as a community of believers, advocate.

CFCA AS PART OF A LARGER COMMUNITY

We are part of a larger community, the Catholic Church. More specifically, CFCA is under the guidance and direction of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. As such, our media policy is aligned and primarily based on the guidelines provided by the Catholic Church in Australia.
The Catholic Church sees communication as an integral part of our humanity and acknowledges the benefits of media in enabling people to share their stories, stay in contact with one another irrespective of distance and the opening of possibilities for new encounters. The Catholic Church in Australia highlighted the message of Pope Francis during the World Communication Day in 2015 where he has written about the impact of modern media on family life. Oftentimes, the use of media can help, but also hinder our communication. We are encouraged to properly navigate and discern how we might use it properly.
By growing daily in our awareness of the vital importance of encountering others, these ‘new possibilities’, we will employ technology wisely, rather than letting ourselves be dominated by it.” (WorldCommunication Day Message, 2015)

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

CFCA utilises the use of these social platforms to disseminate information, advertise events, share stories and offer pastoral care. As advised by ACBC, our engagement through social media should be done in the name of evangelisation. We are Families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth. Primarily, all materials that we share are meant to nourish and fill our spiritual longing and should embody the calling of CFCA which is evangelisation – sharing of the Gospel.

HUMAN DIGNITY IN OUR ENCOUNTERS

At the heart of it, our behaviour as members of the body of Christ and of CFCA should demonstrate a Christ-centred love for others. All our actions should reflect our respect for human dignity and boundaries should always be taken into consideration and observed.

  • CFCA, in all its endeavours strongly protects the safety of everyone. All of us, especially those who are directly involved with working with our children, are expected to be aware of our child protection protocols and policies.
  • Our engagement with one another should build strong appropriate relationships that encourage and promote growth in faith and courage in serving others. Ultimately, this should foster a growing relationship with Christ.
  • Materials and other resources should be appropriate for faith formation and should uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • Our engagements through the media should also reflect our spirit of inclusiveness, within and outside CFCA.

PRIVACY ONLINE

Privacy of individuals is one of the main important considerations and should be taken seriously by everyone. Good judgement and care are required when updating profile or using personal details.

  • Photos and videos should never be posted without the express permission of the person being photographed or filmed or their guardian.
  • The same applies to people outside CFCA that the community engages with – speakers, sharers, priests, etc.
  • Where possible, photographic releases should be signed, and permissions should be sought from all who appear in photographs or videos before being tagged or posted.
  • For events that will be recorded or where photographer(s) be present, organisers should inform everyone where these will be used. Anyone who is uncomfortable about their photos being used can inform the organisers.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Although the Media Office has members that monitor and support the use of these platforms, we should acknowledge that leaders and members alike are responsible in ensuring that we all adhere to this policy.
  • We are reminded that social networking should never replace authentic human relationships, but rather enhance them.
  • The Media Office continues to explore new avenues and will provide guidance and training where needed so we can fully utilise these resources.