Current advanced technology facilitates the distribution of digital video content via wireless handheld devices such as video cell phones, iPods and PDAs. Through highly advanced versions of these wireless handheld devices, all the pornography on the internet is available to many Americans, including our children and teens. There are no filtering or monitoring devices available at this time. This means many children and teens will be able to access such material, unless their parents are aware of this threat and take action to prevent it.
The technology itself is not dangerous. The danger lies in the fact that there are currently no safeguards or regulations in place to protect children and teens from being exposed to unwanted, seductive and explicit content that is downloadable through these wireless handheld devices.
In recent decades, television has spearheaded a communications revolution which has profoundly affected family life. Today television is a primary source of news, information and entertainment for countless families, shaping their attitudes and opinions, their values and patterns of behaviour.
This year, on the occasion of World Communications Day, I would like to invite you to think about the cinema as "a communicator of culture and of values". As you certainly will know, during the current year celebrations are being held around the world to commemorate the first centennial of this special and widespread medium of expression, now so easily accessible to all.
This year, the theme for World Communications Day, "The Media: Modern Forum for Promoting the Role of Women in Society", recognizes that the communications media play a crucial role not only in promoting justice and equality for women but in fostering appreciation for their specific feminine gifts, which elsewhere I have called the "genius" of women (cf. Mulieris Dignitatem, 30; Letter to Women, 10).
As the present century and millennium draw to a close, we see an unprecedented expansion of the means of social communications, with ever new products and services. We see the lives of more and more people being touched by the spread of new technologies of information and communication. Yet, there are still great numbers of people who have no access to the media, old or new.