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Stop contributing to Nigeria’s problems, Catholic Bishop urges media

The Chairman, Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh, has urged…

The Chairman, Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev. Denis Chidi Isizoh, has urged the nation’s media to stop the compounding the challenges facing the country.

He made the appeal on Sunday at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Abuja, at this year’s ‘2021 World Communications Day’ and Holy Mass with the theme “Come and See”.

According to him, the nation’s media should change from putting the nation in perpetual violence and negative trend at the expense of many other positive developments happening in the country and for the media to stop contributing to the problems.

This is as the Director of Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Rev. Fr. Mike Nsikak Umoh, said that most nations are being judged and accessed not only on the type of their leadership but only on the type of the media they have and which make or mar the nation building.

“Give us peace in your reporting. When you report bad news always, people react to it and become sentiment. We want Nigeria to stay together and we want peace. We want people to work together. So, report in such a way that there would be room for people to work together and have solutions to the problems. Journalists should not contribute to the problems,” Bishop Isizoh said.

He recalled that on Sunday, 7 May 1967, two years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI celebrated the First World Communications Day, to “give full credit…to the contribution made by the press, motions pictures, radio and television as well as the other instruments of social communication…, to recreation, mutual knowledge and understanding among peoples”.

“Since last year the Coronavirus pandemic, with the restrictions imposed on us, has brought about a new communication culture: masking of our faces and observing social distancing, and greeting with elbows when we meet one another. We have been forced to live in isolation, being contented to relate with others outside family circles virtually.

“The invitation to “come and see” and “to hit the road” is an encouragement to meet people in their actual context of life. It is an invitation to move away from reporting events that are speculative, third-hand, unverified and sometimes fictitious. It is a call to meet people face-to-face, first-hand with a touch of “freshness and vitality”. The Pope is drawing attention to the great value of physical closeness,” he said.

He said that there are those who misuse communication instruments to spread falsehood, fake news, and hurtful messages, promoting hatred and violence in society and that some of them also do fraudulent things and give us all a bad name.

He therefore urged with them to use their talents to do good for the country and the world.

“On the Nigerian situation, we turn to God from whom all good things come and beg him to give us the courage to hit the road in search of our brothers and sisters, those of them living well and happily but not yet ‘discovered’, and those living in abandonment, poverty, misery, hopelessness, danger, and so on,” Bishop Isizoh said.