In the battle between fake news and the truth, a local prelate called on Church communicators to discernment in the use of the language of Christian joy and humor during the 4th National Catholic Media Convention (NCMC) held at the Mergrande Ocean Resort, Davao City last August 7, 2018.
“Social communicators in the Church must not be just doing pure reporting,” Davao Bishop Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D. said, “but must also help our people develop the skill of discernment so as to distinguish fake news.”
The Bishop, who is likewise President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), shared his thoughts on what makes a Social Communications Ministry work and how its members should dispense their tasks.
He cited Pope Francis’ pronouncement that “the best antidote to falsehood are not strategies but people.”
With this, he said that a Social Communications Ministry should give prime attention to the communicators themselves, stating that, “They should be given the opportunity to be close to the One Who said, ‘I am the Truth,’ through formation.”
Addressing his audience, he added that the dialogue of Catholic Communicators “should use the language of mercy and compassion” because they “are participating in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.”
Earlier in his talk, the bishop gave an overview of Davao’s Catholic media that comprise the Catholic radio station DXGN or 89.9 Spirit FM; the Davao Catholic Herald in print; and its online counterpart davaocatholicherald.com.
He related how the radio station has survived challenging times. Airing first in 1988, it stopped operations for eight years and was revived in June 2016 with his full support. Fearful and reluctant at first, Bishop Valles revealed how several people–both from the Clergy and the Lay–collaborated to make this happen.
“Lo and behold, it is operating very well today and we are in the black, not red and all because of the lay, the faithful getting involved, like our reporters come from the different parishes as well as the BEC (basic ecclesial community),” he said with pride
The NCMC 2018 is a four-day gathering of communicators from the different dioceses of the country with the theme “Ako ni, bai (It is I)” that started August 6, 2018. It is spearheaded by the Catholic Bishops Conference Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP ECSC) and is attended by representatives from various dioceses and Catholic Media outfits in the Country like TV Maria, Radio Veritas, and EWTN Asia Pacific. (~Lulu Reclusado-Nario)