An authentic websites devoid of fake information or news, initiated by the association of Catholic Media professionals and practitioners could positively effect changes that could meaningfully enhance the holistic structure of the Nigerian nation; the Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese, Most Rev. John Afareha has declared.
The Bishop made the remark in his homily at the opening Mass for the second 2019 Plenary meeting of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Communications, held at the Jubilee Hotel and Resorts, Enerhen, Effurum; Warri, Delta State.
Noting that the mass media in the country has been effective as seen from the several strides she has recorded, Bishop Afareha told the directors: “You could effect meaningful and impactful changes to the holistic structure of Nigeria: from security, formulation of economic policies, and gathering national statistics in all strata in Nigeria. This could be in form of developing an authentic websites similar to the Power Research Centre in America. An authentic website devoid of fake news.”
Using several documents of the Church to accentuate the invaluable role of communications in the life of the Church, nation and society; the Bishop Afareha urged the directors and all Catholic communicators to be consistent in truth stressing: “Jesus asks us to be faithful to the Gospel, in our thoughts and in our actions, and not exchange the truth for lie.” Noting that the vital role of the communication apostolate of the Church in this perspective cannot be controverted; Bishop Afareha urged the directors to use all available means of communication, including the social media to reach-out with the Good News of Christ.
The Bishop of Warri told the directors and other Catholic media professionals that; “Through modern means of communication, the social communication department could contribute her quota to nation building.”
In the communique issued at the end of the meeting, the Diocesan/Religious Directors resolved to, among others: “Take more seriously the issue of cyber security by training Church personnel on ways of responding to the challenge of cyber insecurity; invest in training young people in on-line realities, digital skills, software expertise and establish a credible data bank for the Church in Nigeria to provide credible information within and outside of the Church”.
Other resolutions were: to create and encourage valuable online presence and exploit the numerous opportunities for evangelization and business prospects; form and consolidate functional structures as a better approach to engage the youths profitably; work towards establishing media houses – television and radio stations to educate the populace and mound public opinion. The directors noted that: “Security being a public good, there is great need to approach the issue as a shared responsibility and partner with government at all levels. The communique was signed by Rev. Fr. Anthony Ijasan and Rev. Fr. Benedict Achi, National President and National Secretary of the associations, respectively.
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