By Gabriel Adrapi & Daniel Amule
The over 50 Catholic social communicators in Uganda who have gathered for the Social communications week meeting and workshop in Nebbi Catholic Diocese have been tasked to be aggressive in fighting fake news.
Bishop Santus Linus Wanok ordinary of Nebbi Catholic Diocese made this appeal, during the official opening ceremony of 2018 social communications Annual General Meeting and workshop in Nebbi town.
Bishop Wanok noted that the world is taken up by fake news, which tends to threaten peace and sets one group against the other, and tribes against tribes.
Referring to the recent accident in Nebbi some few weeks ago, that killed three students of Oringi SS, Wanok blasted the media, for broadcasting exaggerated figures on the number of the dead, without verifying the facts.
He said, it’s the duty of the social communicators to aggressively challenge fake news on both the mainstream and social media.
“I am delighted to welcome you to Nebbi Catholic Diocese for the social communications week. This year’s theme talks about Truth: What is the truth? Don’t take this question lightly if you don’t want to continue with the business of fake news”. Bishop Santus said.
Bishop Joseph Franzeli ordinary of Lira Diocese and also the Bishop chairman communications emphasized the importance of the annual general meeting of social communication.
He said the country is dominated by lies and challenged the social communicators to live the spirit of a family and communicate the message of the good news to the world, through the various media plat forms.
“We are here to live this week as a family. Let us become more one because this is the spirit with which we are called to this meeting. We are here to communicate the truth because we live in a country and world were there are many more lies than truth being said,” he noted.
Fr Hercules Odokodit the communications secretary of Nebbi Catholic diocese we welcomed all the 50 participants for social communications annual meeting and workshop in Nebbi Catholic diocese as far a Kenya.
He thanked the Bishop chairman Franzeli for always being amidst the social communicators and also welcomed to Bishop Santus for the meeting.
Fr Phillip Odii, national coordinator of social communications cautioned against the misuse of technology in communication.
According to Fr. Odii this is the 52nd world communications day instituted by second Vatican Council with the theme: the truth will set you free: Fake news and journalism for peace. He called upon the Social communicators to learn how to detect fake news and fight it.
Fr Odi stressed that social communicators should make a difference with other communicators by detecting fake news and broadcasting news that is authentic.
Gerald Businge a Ugandan Multimedia Journalist, Trainer, Communication Specialist, researcher and Entrepreneur who is facilitating the workshop on online journalism urged all catholic organizations to ensure effective communication and allow
no room for fake news. He urged the communicators to communicate among themselves to help in reducing the cases of fake news.
Participants in the workshop attributed the rise of fake news to inability by responsible authorities holding different offices to communicate official information on time.
Others attributed the increasing fake news to the drive by media organizations and practitioners to be the first to break important news and make money through dissemination of fake news, which sells faster than the good news. End