Religion and the media have been described as veritable tools for fostering peace and justice; therefore, Christian and Muslim media practitioners in Nigeria have been advised to use the two for the common good of humanity.
The advice was given by the National Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); Padre Mike Umoh, in his presentation at the one-day interactive workshop jointly organized by the Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN) and the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, held recently at the campus of Veritas University, Bwari, Abuja.
Describing the theme of the workshop: Peace Building and Promotion of Religion Tolerance, as very relevant in the present Nigerian situation, Padre Umoh commended the organizers for the initiative of the workshop and expressed the hope that the programme will be a continuous collaboration between the two religious organizations for the promotion of the much needed dialogue for the promotion of justice and peace in the country.
Speaking specifically on the topic: Social Media as a tool for Peace and Dialogue; the CSN Director described the social media as an invaluable means of communication, at all levels of human endevours, if positively used. He noted the impact of the modern day information technology has turned the whole world into a global village and that the social media is a vital player in this perspective.
Using the 2019 World Communications Day message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, titled: We are members, one of another, from Network Community to Human Community; as inference of the effects of the social media for positive and negative use; Fr. Umoh noted that the media as the fourth Estate of the Realm, should use all means of communications, including the social media positively to promote peace, justice and equity.
The speaker outlined the factors that influence both positive and negative use of the social media on the society, the nation and the world; and urged his audience that since Christianity and Islam are religions of peace and love; practitioners of the two religions should follow the tenets of the religions to promote dialogue for peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians, using the social media positively and educating the society to do same. He added that this will go a long way to ensure, peace, justice, equity, unity and development for the common good. The CSN Director’s presentation was delivered by Otunba Babajide Fadugba-Pinheiro, the Administrative Secretary of the directorate.
Other speakers included: Professor Armstrong Idachaba, whose paper centred on Media as A tool For Social Change, Cohesion and Development; Professor Taofik Azeez, Professor of Communications and Imam, University of Abuja who spoke on Fake News VS National Development: Media Professionals to the Rescue and Hajiya Aisha Kabiru Yusuf, former Editor, Media Trust Nig. Ltd, whose paper was on Let’s Reclaim Our Humanity.
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