Mr. Thomas McDevitt, Chairman, The Washington Times, USA
Mr. Thomas McDevitt is Chairman of the Washington Times; He has served in a number of leadership roles since joining the Times in 1994, including Business Director the TWT National Weekly, General Manager of TWT’s Magazine Division, Marketing Director, Vice President and President/CEO; former Senior VP of Marketing and Communication, Points of Light Foundation founded by President Georges H. W. Bush. Mr. McDevitt also serves as Chairman of UPF-USA and as President of UPF International.
Thank you, Rita. It is a special honor to join such an accomplished panel of media experts from Europe, the UK, Africa and the Middle East. And I’m delighted to once again see you and Juan Senor, who made such an impact at our conference in Seoul, Korea, along with Dr. Chidiac, who did the same in Albania. We launched the IMAP project and then the world turned upside down. The role of the media has become even more pronounced, which is why this virtual gathering and others like are so vital.
Ladies and gentlemen, our theme today is “Assessing the Role of News Media in the Global Covid-19 Crisis and Beyond.” Is there opportunity within this crisis? How can people find real hope? What is the role of media?
It does seem that our era is overcome with multi-dimensional critical challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc and suffering throughout the world. Social norms have been disrupted. As you all know, there are numerous other critical challenges facing every nation. There are big changes moving from the dominant Atlantic-centered civilization to the Asia Pacific civilization. Our world is experiencing huge disruption.
How we view these challenges is so important. As journalists it is vital to seek what is most essential, in order to report the news with accuracy, fairness and relevance.
New Perspective on Our Time
And we should seek to understand the grand currents that drive our time, this changing era. Peter Drucker, Know Thy Time; Fundamental change seems to be taking place. It is a “time for choosing” as former US President Ronald Reagan once said.
In my 47 years of learning from and working with Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon...their insights, guidance and scholarship on the nature of our historical era is singularly profound. For example, Rev. Moon predicted the end of the U.S.S.R. in 1985.
Speaking before some 80 Members of the US Congress in 2016, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon said, “We look at this world and see unspeakable, inarticulate misery happening all around the globe. This is impossible to solve with mere human power. What should we do from here on forward? We should start a movement that once again attends God as the original owner of the universe in our families, countries, and world. However, the reality is that, although our hearts are eager to attend God, it’s hard to practice in real life.”
In the face of so many critical challenges around the world, in our nations, communities, in our homes and even in our personal lives, I believe we are witnessing the phenomenon of a new global Great Awakening and that requires a new mindset, an enlightened grand strategy and new leadership, especially that of women.
As the evangelical historian philosopher, Os Guiness, likes to say, “contrast is the mother of clarity.” When the world seems so dark, the emerging light of a new view of life centered on the highest ideals of true love that transcend the barriers of race, religion, culture, and national boundaries is now becoming more evident with each passing day. This is a new view of reality that is beginning to take root. That’s the stuff we as journalists need to be watching for. To tell the world where we can find real hope and opportunity.
Role of Media and Launching IMAP
In 1978, the Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon spoke before a couple thousand journalists at the World Media Association Conference, “More than ever before the pen is mightier than the sword. I have always believed that the media must be free and that a free press must also be a responsible press, and that a responsible press is a moral press. What do I mean by a moral media? A moral media is society’s conscience.”
Stressing the important mission of the press as a defender of democracy, freedom and world peace, by virtue of its watchdog roles on the legislative, judicial and executive branches, together they founded The Sekai Nippo in 1975 and later other media outlets, including The Washington Times in 1982, which has become one of America’s most influential news media enterprises. (MRI/Simmons Research recently names TWT as the 5th most reliable and trustworthy newspaper enterprise in the United States.)
In 1978, they launched the World Media Association and presented their vision for an independent, trusted and vital media to reporters and journalists from major media outlets around the world. In 1989, they launched the Segye Ilbo, Times of the World in Seoul, Korea.
In February 2020, as a key aspect of the World Summit 2020 which attracted 520 journalists from 71 countries, the International Media Association for Peace, or IMAP, was organized under the banner of the Universal Peace Federation and its chapters in 190 countries, in part to commemorate the centenary of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon’s birth.
IMAP was launched, at Mother Moon’s behest, with the mission to address the current crises in media credibility, media standards and ethics, and the seemingly never-ending industry upheavals and innovations. IMAP also seeks to provide professional development and networking opportunities to media practitioners around the world.
IMAP will encourage development of a responsible global media industry that is highly trusted, independent and prosperous, and accessible to all people. And, as the “peace” in IMAP's name suggests, there is also a strong desire to encourage news media to shine a light on dialogue, collaboration, conflict resolution, and most of all, solutions -- as a way to promote human development, God-given human rights, social well-being, freedom and prosperity.
That’s why we invite you, in your own countries and regions, to participate with the International Media Association for Peace and to contribute your talent, passion, energy and wisdom to make a difference in the media profession for the sake of peace, unity, freedom and happiness for all people.
Thank you very much, and may God bless you and your family.