Church in Papua New Guinea hosts training for journalists

Madang, Papua New Guinea, Dec 31, 2013 / 08:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The social communications office of the bishops' conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands recently held a series of seminars training Catholics involved in media about their role in evangelization.

“The Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea needs to … see how she can be more present and active where modern culture and behavior is shaped and promoted,” said Fr. Giogio Licini, head of the Papuan bishops' social communications office, told CNA.

Last month's courses, which were attended by representatives of seven dioceses, as well as by several religious and laymen, were held at Divine Word National University in Madang, on the north coast of the main island of Papua New Guinea.

The Melanesian nation consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, as well as numerous other, smaller, islands. It is located north of Australia and east of Indonesia. Nearly all its population is Christian; and 27 percent is Catholic.

Fr. Licini said that the seminars helped attendees see that their involvement in the media – whether print, radio, TV, or internet-based – is not just production, but formation and education as well.

“There's a need for a deeper closeness with secular media, for Catholics to help non-Catholic journalists with religious information” and understanding the Church, he said.

“There is not only a need for new radio stations, printed materials, or television programs, but to accompany and educate the public, especially young people, making them aware at the same time of the possibilities and risks offered by social media, advertising, and the internet.”

The week-long series of seminars will be followed up in the new year with several initiatives, beginning Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, who is patron of authors and journalists.

In September, the social communications office will hold a two-day workshop for journalists in the capital Port Moresby, explaining the organization and teachings of the Church.

A series of events will be launched in future beginning with the year 2014 on Jan 24, feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of authors and journalists.

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