The Catholic News Agency for Africa (CANAA) which is an independent news service for Pastoral, Socio-political, economic news stories, features, commentaries, analysis and multimedia content in Africa and beyond has challenged Catholic Communicators to tell real tell its own stories by promoting online journalism.
The Board Chairman for CANAA, Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, and Archbishop for Accra, Ghana made the remarks when he delivered an opening speech during a training workshop on online reporting about Church activities in Africa being held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Archbishop Buckle said CANAA exists to promote reconciliation, justice and peace in fulfillment of its mission hence advocates for respect of human rights and the dignity of the human person as such the Church through its communicators ought to tell such stories online.
“The Church has the mission also of engaging governments and civil leadership to be at the service of the citizens of this continent. As the many media houses seem to focus more on the negatives in Africa, a lot of good and positives by the Church and other religious institutions go unreported,” he said.
He said Africa is often times betrayed as a continent of gloom and doom and societal failure of ethnocentricism, violent conflicts, corruption, epidemics like HIV/AIDS and Ebola but despite many interventions and positive activities of the Church in Africa, that go unreported.
Coordinator for CANAA,Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla Ochieng said its high time the Church in Africa embraced the use of digital and social media to bring the good news of the Church in Africa to the continent and beyond.
Some of the topics to the workshop whose theme was “Online reporting: Telling Africa’s story on the web,” included: the ingredients of news; news formats and building the story; content production for web-based media; web-based news management; telling the African story on the web; addressing an international audience; interviewing skills; the use of audio and video; writing leads, quotations, and transitions; feature writing as well as legal and ethical issues in online news reporting.
It is expected that Malawi will mobilize its lay Catholic Association of Catholic Journalists to be active contributors of Church stories through the Episcopal Conference of Malawi’s Communications department to CANAA.
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