30/11/2013 09:17

Catholic Church in PNG to offer religious education to journalists

By Fr. Giorgio Licini
Catholic Bishops Conference PNG & SI
Secretary for Social Communications

29 NOV 2013. The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea needs to wake up to the reality of media communication and see how she can be more present and active where modern culture and behavior is shaped and promoted. There is not only a need to promote new radio stations, printed materials or television programs; but to accompany and educate the public, especially young people, making them aware at the same time of the possibilities and risks offered by social media, advertising and the Internet. We also need to engage with secular media and accompany Catholic communicators in their professional experience.

These considerations came about as sixteen Certificates of Participation were handed over at the end of the First Basic Media Course held at Divine Word University in Madang from 18-27 November. It was organized by the Commission on Social Communications of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands and included training and awareness in all main areas of media: print, radio, TV, social media. It also gave an opportunity to the participants to better understand the relationship between Church and Media. Seven dioceses (out of 19 in PNG and 3 in SI) and seven religious congregations were represented along with a handful of lay people working mostly in Catholic radio stations.

The participants went further suggesting additional formation courses in the fields of radio programming and broadcasting, printed layout, and religious education for journalists in secular media. Beginning with the year 2014 activities will be held on the 24 January, Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of authors and journalists, on 25 May, World Communication Day, and 29 September, Feast of St. Gabriel the Archangel, patron of communication workers.

Around that time the Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops Conference will offer a two-day workshop in Port Moresby to all interested journalists on Church organization and teachings. It will come at hand for the upcoming first Synod on the family scheduled a few weeks later in Rome and expected to arise wide international attention. (giorgiolicini@yahoo.com)