1Sahil B = ""We live in a time when the quantity of information has exploded in incalculable ways. Data flows in greater volumes, at higher speeds, over greater distances to larger audiences than ever before. And yet the result has not been greater understanding or enlightenment. In fact, it has often been just the reverse. One is reminded of T S Eliot's haunting question: 'Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?' Only as we reach beyond mere information and superficial knowledge can the spirit of Creative Encounter flourish."Again, it is the press which should lead the way -- not just newspapers and broadcasting outlets, but also the news service and press agencies which serve them and the organisations which support them. For centuries, the press has cast itself as the champion of understanding and enlightenment. And yet, even as the press has become more international, it has often left a trail of misunderstanding in its wake. Confident that more information is a good thing in and of itself, the press has often focused too much on the quantity of what it can deliver, and too little on the quality of what it presents. "But if the media have sometimes been part of the problem -- amplifying the threatening aspects of globalisation -- then the media can also be part of the solution. If a careless or superficial press can exacerbate the clash of cultures, then a more sensitive and studious press can accomplish the opposite. The same media which serves to distort or discredit old cultures, can also be used to re-validate them, and to help explain them to others.... "Without a proper sense of context, it is little wonder that those exceptional instances of Muslims theocratising Islamic politics are mistaken for the norm, and that the humanistic temper of Islamic ethics is overlooked. Among some observers, there is even a tendency to see political violence as a function of the faith itself -- when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. You may agree that all of this is regrettable. But I wonder how many of our news divisions, our reporting teams, our agency staffs, or even our journalism schools, include people who can recognise such distortions, much less set them right. When the educational background is so barren and when the rhythm of our learning -- as reporters and as readers -- is so often that of crisis, crisis, crisis, then deep misunderstanding will be the inevitable result. "I am not suggesting that every journalist must become an expert on Islam. But it would help greatly if more journalists at least were aware of when and where they need to turn to find out more. It should not be forgotten that journalists also have a broader educational role -- a responsibility to provide readers and viewers with a context in which to understand individual events properly. My concern about Islam is just one of countless examples which could be cited to make this point. I could also present a long list of examples growing out of my experience with media reporting on Africa." -His Highness the Aga Khan's 1986 Commonwealth Press Union Conference Keynote Address (Cape Town, South Africa)"