Bishop of Karonga Diocese His Lordship Right Reverend Martin Mtumbuka Saturday said that embracing catholic social teachings would help catholic journalists in the country to fulfil their mission of reporting the truth.
He said this during the annual general meeting of the Association of Catholic Journalists (ACJ) held at Fish Eagle Cottage in Salima.
“Catholic journalists need to understand the theological, hierarchical principles and teachings of the church for them to engage in accurate and truthful reporting.
This would help you to explain better why the church takes certain positions on some issues,” Mtumbuka suggested.
The Bishop, who was the guest of honour at the meeting, said the world is now living in a jungle of ideas and issues in which some journalists are failing to manage information properly.
This, he added, has in many times seen the media in their news presentation often choosing sensationalism over truth.
“There is a tendency to be mean-spirited and engage in personal attacks at the expense of truth through in-depth reporting. All too often, the media seem to seek the destruction of individuals when they are caught in scandal.
This is not what the law teaches us and this is what catholic journalists can teach secular media how to report scandalous and divisive stories in a spirit of love and mercy,” the Bishop said.
Mtumbuka encouraged journalists to adopt the guiding principle of speaking the truth in charity which entails situating the reporting of dark and depressing stories in the spirit of love, grace and mercy.
He appealed to ACJ members to support the Catholic Church through fair and accurate presentation of issues involving the church.
“We are not asking you to be blind defenders by covering up bad things that happen in the church. But you should do that with humility and civility.
“Humility comes from the realisation that none of us have all the facts of the story, there are always other perspectives beyond our own. Committing to civility means moving away from positions of defending or attacking that discourage dialogue to take place,” Mtumbuka said.
The three-day meeting, which started on Friday and ended on Sunday, attracted catholic journalists from the three of the four regional chapters of the association.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :