Hope Amidst COVID-19 was the theme of a church-run media seminar held in Papua New Guinea’s capital of Port Moresby.
The Feb. 22-26 seminar was held at the office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea & the Solomon Islands in the suburb of Wagani.
The seminar taught 11 participants how to harness print media to communicate the ‘Good News’ by covering stories and events happening within and around their diocese.
Those attending the seminar represented the dioceses of Wabag, Goroka, Alotau, Mt Hagen, Lae, Kavieng and Aitape plus two staff from the National Catholic Church Health Services (NCCHS).
Among the range of things covered in the seminar were church communications, feature articles, diocesan newsletters, photography guidelines, layout and design applications.
The seminar was facilitated by the social communications secretary, Father Ambrose Pereira SDB, and seminar coordinators Abigail Seta, Nigel Akuani, Rosemary Yambune, and Jessica Oata.
Father Ambrose highlighted the importance of the media being a credible witness of the Gospel message. He spoke of the media objectives — to inform, to educate and to entertain. He stressed the need to inspire people, transform communities and bring about social change in communities.
Reuben Vagi, NCCHS information technology officer, said the seminar provided him with insights into writing and photography. “This training has definitely broadened my understanding, appreciation and the crucial role of the print media,” Vagi said.
Father Bibin Babu from Goroka Diocese thanked the facilitators for the sessions and said he would do his part to be a source of inspiration for others.
“We have built up our capacity as communicators and each of us ought to be active contributors throughout our diocese that strives to not just inform and educate, but also to inspire,” Father Babu said.
Godfrey Ambage, the social communication coordinator of Kavieng, said the training helped him better comprehend the concept of writing news for his diocese. “With the valuable knowledge I have gained in this week’s sessions, I am keen on writing proper stories on a constant basis for my diocese and to share my experience with others wherever I go,” Ambage stated.
Presenter and editor from Catholic FM in the Diocese of Lae, Snyder William, said the seminar was an opportunity for participants to sharpen their media skills.
A special Mass was held on the final day and was celebrated by Father Ambrose, and concelebrated by Father Bibin, Father John Bosco from Aitape, and Father Newman Kingi of Wabag.