African media and communication professionals have been called upon to protect the integrity of the continent by publishing true stories and presentations that portray the positive aspects of life in the various countries of the continent to counter the negative presentations by foreign journalists which portray the continent in bad image. The call was made by the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Episcopal Chairman for Social Communications, Most Rev. Denis Isizoh.
Bishop Isizoh made the call in his address at the opening ceremony of the Signis Africa Strategic Meeting of Executive Delegates held recently at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) Resource Centre, Durumi Abuja. The programme, which was to initiate strategies to put the African body in good stead was attended by about 26 delegates and participants from 7 countries of the continent, was at the instance of the President of Signis Africa, Very Rev. Fr. Walter Ihejirika.
Making references to some negative documentaries produced about the continent by foreign journalists to buttress his point, Bishop Isizoh urged Catholic communicators and other professionals to defend the integrity of the Church and the continent through positive and truthful reporting, to counter the fake news being bandied by these journalists. He also urged them to publish the truth always to promote justice and peace. Bishop Isizoh also stressed the need for Catholic Communication professionals to positively maximize the use of the social media and other information outlets to reach out with the Good News of Christ.
While calling on the delegates to initiate practicable programmes that will enhance the activities of Signis Africa in their various countries; the CBCN Communications Episcopal Chairman declared: “Promote good and balanced report about the various countries of the continent and make the best use of modern communications organs, including the social media to achieve this objective and help your readers to follow events properly.”
In his own message, the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese and President of CEPACS, Most Rev. Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo commended the initiative of the strategic meeting and the zeal of the delegates stressing that “Such review for correct strategizing as this, is essential for any association that aims at progressive and qualitative existence.” He reiterated the desire of the Standing Committee of SECAM for a more visible, audible and cohesive collaboration of association of Catholic Communication professionals and practitioners with the Church in Africa.
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