By Meleasie Goviro – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Every year on the Sunday before Pentecost, the Catholic Church celebrates the achievements of communications media and reflects on how best it can promote positive behaviour in societies.
Each year the Pope issues a message in a theme. This year’s theme -Journalism for Peace: “the truth will set you free”- put a spotlight on “fake news” and elements that fuel its popularity in society.
Catholic Churches around the world recognize today (MAY 13) as World Communication Day. The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) in Port Moresby, marked the day yesterday (MAY 12) by inviting journalists to an open discussion; The topic –Fakes News.
It is a matter that has caused division and from the highest of authorities to grassroots in PNG societies; and provoked chaos and confusion among people.
The conversation was cantered around Pope Fransis’ message condemning fake news as “snake tactics” used to mislead societies.
“We need to unmask what could be called the “snake-tactics” used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place” said the Holy Father of the Catholic Church.
“Be it by way of print, audio, visual or conversation, there are some people who can lie with a very straight face” Father Ambrose said
Journalist at the conference, were very vocal about the how fake news also challenged their day to day pursuit of news article. Bishop Rochus Tatamai, President of the Bishops Conference of PNG & SI, who also publishes articles of his own independently, said he could empathize with challenges they faced.
“You are all doing your very best and you all want to expose the full truth, but this is something we lack in PNG” Bishop Rochus said.
Archbishop Kurian Mathew Vayalunkal, Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, appreciated the journalists for their commitment to spread the Truth. He thanked them for highlighting the many events of the Catholic Church in the recent weeks.
Father Ambrose closed the conversation encouraging journalists to inspire peace through their articles and focus on matter that were constructive to society rather than destroy it.
Present for the occasion were journalists representing the different Media outlets in Papua New Guinea. The well-presented interactive session was held at the Emmaus Conference Centre and concluded with tokens of appreciation to the journalists.