(From Abuja Bureau)
The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria under the auspices of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has commended Nigeria journalists for their contribution to national development, urging them to do more to promote unity amongst Nigerians.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev Denis Isizoh, made this known on behalf of the Bishops while delivering his speech during the Mass at St Gabriel Chapel in Abuja to mark the World Communications Day, with the theme: ‘Come and See,’ on Sunday,The Leadership Newspaper reports.
The Bishop explained that there was the need to give full credit to the contribution made by the press, motion pictures, radio and television, to the enrichment of culture, to the spread of various artistic forms, to recreation, mutual knowledge and understanding among peoples and also towards the spread of the Gospel message.
Isizoh explained that 55 years have passed since the inauguration of World Communications Day, adding that many happy developments have taken place in Nigeria.
He noted that since then, many new technologies have come to be used in the communications world.
“It has become easier and faster to communicate. More people have been able to reach out to others. The distance between different peoples of the world is shrinking, thanks to modern technologies that have significantly improved the way we communicate with one another. Millions of persons can be reached in the shortest possible time without barriers.
“This improvement in communication has reduced the need for physical closeness and has gradually helped create a world in which physical contact has become deemphasized.
Each year the Holy Father proposes a new theme for reflection.
“This theme could not have come at a better time than now. 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.
“There are those journalists who misuse communication instruments to spread falsehood, fake news, and hurtful messages, they promote hatred and violence in society. Some of them also do fraudulent things and give us all a bad name. I plead with them to use their talents to do good in the world,” he said.
The Bishop further explained that the invitation to ‘come and see’ and ‘to hit the road’ is an encouragement to meet people in their actual context of life, that it is also an invitation to move away from reporting events that are speculative, third-hand, unverified and sometimes fictitious.
“I send greetings to all the Directors of Communications throughout the country, those who help to disseminate news in our society: the gentle persons of the press, web administrators and operators, those who use the instruments of communication to promote the values of love, unity and peace among men and women of goodwill, in solidarity with those at the margins of the society.
“I greet those, though not professional journalists, who freely participate in reaching out to others to share information, promote friendship, and transmit enduring human values. To those who have died while trying to be the voice of the voiceless, I pray that God may grant eternal rest. We continue to remember them in our prayers.
“We salute those who use their communication skills and instruments to spread the good news of hope, faith, charity, peace, and joy. We acknowledge the contributions of those who have not lost hope in Nigeria and who are still searching for creative ways to uphold and sustain the collective will to continue to live,” the Bishop added.

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