t is not difficult to see the value or appropriateness of Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s philosophy of the news media. He emphasizes unceasingly the mission and "right way" of media whenever an opportunity arises.
Rev. Moon does this because he has upheld the philosophy of "Love God, love humankind" from the beginning of his media organizations. He also says that the voices of people are "the voices of Heaven (God)," and his insight into the importance of truthful communication is both deep and penetrating.
Often, media companies are started as strategic stepping-stones for existing enterprises and conglomerates to increase their public stature, or create a protective fence or expand their base. But the media activities that Rev. Moon carries out across the globe show a dynamic determination to confront the traditional dysfunctions of media. He gives equal value to freedom and responsibility of the media. He declares that freedom unaccompanied by responsibility negates honesty and trust, two key themes that media must live up to. Responsibility and trust are like a needle and thread. Only when these two core functions are combined can the media act with integrity.
While some global media conglomerates have formed media empires based on sensationalism and deliberately distorted or misreported public opinion, Rev. Moon has consistently promoted honesty and integrity and the proper role of the media in expanding the logic of peace. He has rejected all promptings to exploit his media network. He has consistently emphasized the right path for the media. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Rev. Moon views the media as instruments that God can use for His purpose. It is a sacred territory that must not be abused.
This lofty perspective on media is shown in his inaugural address to the World Media Association in 1978: "My ultimate goal and purpose are the establishment of world peace, peace-building based on a true value system," he said. "This goal can better be achieved through the work of the media than by the use of military force."
During the 1980s, when the communist and democratic worlds were in a fierce clash amidst the Cold War, Rev. Moon initiated a long journey to promote the spirit of peace around the globe. It seemed like an impossible task. Then, in 1990, Rev. Moon, the premier global anti-communism activist, met with Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union. Their encounter was amazing and miraculous.
In his talks with Gorbachev, Rev. Moon emphasized the inherent human dignity and unadulterated inner nature of human beings, transcending politics, religion and nationality. At the same time, he predicted the decline of the Soviet Union and urged Gorbachev to initiate a soft landing through glasnost and perestroika (policies of openness and restructuring).
Experts on global issues have stated that shortly after this meeting, the Cold War climate between East and West changed. This is an important fact that must not be dismissed. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Rev. Moon and Gorbachev have remained on good terms.
Rev. Moon has founded daily, weekly and monthly newspapers in many of the world’s major cities. The flagship of this media network is The Washington Times, published in Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States and a nexus of international politics.
In a very short time, the Times grew to become one of the top newspapers in the United States. As the leading conservative newspaper, it has a decisive influence on U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Rev. Moon’s vision for the news media lives and breathes in The Times.
Rev. Moon established three keynote principles for the news media: right path, truthfulness and integrity. This created a model with the authority and dignity to attract the attention of the international community. His resolve that the media never be merely a means of making money is the operating principle for all of his media companies. He demonstrates his philosophy of the mass media through actions that no other moguls would attempt to imitate.
Rev. Moon does not have a strand of secular ambition. He already has all the conditions, including wealth and fame, that guarantee security and comfort for his remaining years of life. He has a wife who is dedicated to assisting him in all things and children whose hearts are filled with filial piety. He has an ideal environment and lacks nothing. There is nothing more he could wish for.
Nevertheless, the pain in his heart is deepening because he believes that his mission is not completed until a true value system permeates every corner of the world. Therefore, he continues to walk his chosen path.
I do not attempt to follow the lifestyle of Rev. Moon. Moreover, I have no courage to approach the soaring world of faith that he embodies. He is far too lofty and distant for me, a common fellow, to emulate. We hear so many things about this man. Some of them are accurate, and some of them are not. However, there is one thing that I can say with confidence: Rev. Moon is such a great man that no one can imitate him.