Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon has long spoken on the importance of the media in global affairs. His father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, also worked to hold media conferences around the world for decades before many understood the influence that the media has over both global conflict and development.

In 2012, Dr. Moon was the keynote speaker at a media ethics conference held in Paraguay. In it, Dr. Moon encouraged leaders in the media to use a moral, ethical framework to guide the way the media would conduct itself.

He noted:

Self-governing nations need well informed, self-governing citizens and institutions. To that end the press should remain free to inform. It cannot be controlled or limited by special interests. However, we must not forget that with freedom comes responsibility. When responsibility is ignored, freedom dissolves into license, which solicits constraints for order. 

These words are particularly salient as we face a crisis of trust and confidence in media-related institutions around the world.

The media can be an integral part of building back trust in leaders and institutions through efforts to enact responsible, non-partisan reporting practices and policies. It can also push for more transparency and accountability in regard to local policies and programs.

Today, Dr. Moon’s words at the conference remain relevant as we work to navigate what is being called the “new normal”:

Times of great change bring both threats and opportunities. To meet them, we have to think beyond old ways. We must grasp a new vision for the future, and develop a new spirit of leadership that can match the demands of this emerging new era, steering it away from the shoals of conflict and decline, toward a world of peace and prosperity for all people, everywhere.

As we move forward, it is time to consider the moral and innovative leadership framework to realign priorities and goals, mitigate conflict, increase cooperation, and address the many challenges we face today as a global community.