By Alexander Johnson Adejoh
St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, was a full of activities, last Sunday, May 16, as the Awka Catholic Diocese, through the Social Communications Department, joined their counterparts across the globe to celebrate the 55th World Communications Day in a unique way.
The theme of this year’s celebration was, “Come and See” (John 1:46) “Communicating by Encountering People Where and as They Are”.
The event which started with a Concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration presided by Reverend Fr Dr Martin Anusi, Communication Director of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, also had Very Rev. Fr Dr Matthew Attansey, Cathedral Administrator, among others priests who graced the Holy Mass.
Fr Attansey, who in his homily spoke about the message of Pope Francis to media practitioners which centered on encountering the people, exhorted media practitioners to be objective in their reportage and also engage in investigative journalism.
An interactive Zoom session followed later in the evening after the Mass, with Dr Henry Duru, lecturer in the Mass Communication Department, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, presenting the keynote paper. The session was anchored by Fr Anusi.
Addressing the online participants, Dr Duru in his presentation, which formed the basis of the discussion, noted that the message of the Pope called for reexamination of how people communicated to ensure that what was intended was duly communicated. The university don warned against false self-presentation, which, he noted, was rampant on social media.
He also harped on the need for journalists and other communication experts to be passionate about their jobs and consider the profession an instrument of transformation which should positively impact society.
The communication teacher stressed the need for journalists to be creative and versatile by embracing fully, the trends of social media, noting that by so doing, they would be generating traffic, as well as being useful to their media outfits.
For his part, the Director of Fides Media said the celebration was an annual event celebrated globally. He urged the media practitioners to be wary of the dangers inherent in spreading unconfirmed reports, thereby challenging journalists to always “Come and See”.
He thanked the audience and lead speaker for agreeing to speak at the event, saying that as journalists, their publications should not cause more harm than good.