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Nov 08, 2019


The National Director of Social Communications, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN); Rev. Fr. Chris Anyanwu has expressed concern at the proliferation of the profession of journalism in the country, stressing that the issue should be addressed to sustain the integrity of the profession. Fr. Anyanwu’s admonition was contained in his address to the second Plenary of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Communications, held at the Jubilee Hotel and Resorts, Enerhen, Effurum; Warri, Delta State.

Disclosing the efforts of the Catholic Secretariat in this perspective, Fr. Anaynawu told the directors that the  directorate in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of African Culture and Communications (CESACC); Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA); has compiled a Code of Ethics for Catholic Journalists and Media practitioners in the country. He expressed satisfaction at the large turn of the directors at the meeting adding that: “it is a sign that we have come to appreciate the importance of coming together as a group of communicators with common ideals and goals.

He reminded the directors of the need for them to be more effective in their work; saying: “The Church in Nigeria needs to be more visible and better propagated for the people to understand and embrace her teachings.”

Speaking on the theme of the meeting; Communications Media and Security in Nigeria, the CSN director declared: “We must underscore the fact that as Communications Directors and Media practitioners, we have a role to play in the improvement of our national security.” Fr. Anyanwu then spoke extensively on the responsibility of the media in this respect, the dynamics of media impact on national security and ways journalists can contribute to national security; noting among other things that: “They must expose the lapses of government with regard to national security in line with government’s constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and properties of its citizens.”

In his welcome address, the President of the association Rev. Fr. Anthony Ijasan noted that the theme chosen by the host diocese for the plenary: Communications Media and Security in Nigeria, could not have come at a better time than now; considering the unfortunate and embarrassing state of insecurity in all parts of the country; including the general misuse of the social media vis-à-vis physical and social/Cyber insecurity in the society.

He prayed that the members of the association would be guided, directed and influenced by the knowledge that had been imparted on them through the lectures and the practical workshops. He remarked: “Beloved brothers and sisters, the ball is now in our courts; let us play according to the rules and guidelines for the good of the Church and our people.”

Fr. Ijasan added that the association’s Whatsapp platform has provided the opportunity for members to share live experiences, news and information from across the Arch/dioceses and Religious Congregations. “In spite of the few observed abuses, the platform has served to keep us together and share opinions and observations about what goes on around and about us,” he declared. The president also used the occasion to plead with the members to be their brothers’ keeper, always.

The president concluded: “I urge provincial bodies to take interest in what happens to and around members within their provinces. Look for those you do not see at your gatherings and meetings; let us celebrate and encourage one another in our apostolate. The Church looks to us to make the Good News available to the society, through the various means of social communications at our disposal, especially the social media.”

In his address, the host director, Rev. Fr. Benedict Ukutegbe, while welcoming the directors to the meeting, noted that the issue of security in the country is in the front burner of “our collective national consciousness”. He added: “There are reports of insecurity littered all over our communications media space on weekly if not daily basis.” He also noted the “insidious and treacherous threat to security that is growing maliciously especially among the youth”. 

He therefore called on the Church’s directors of communications to note that the future beckons on   Catholic communicators “not to distance ourselves as uninterested by standers, but take a stand to confront this evil headlong through our ministry of communications.”

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