Archbishop Adewale Martins of Lagos Archdiocese on Sunday challenged the media to engage more on investigative journalism to advance human development.
Adewale celebrated the 54th edition of world communications day with a Holy Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral in Lagos.
He explained that effective communication tends to uplift the society while the reverse fraught with fake news destroys the society. The theme for the day was “Come and See”.
The cleric, while explaining Pope Francis’ message to the world for the world communications day; charged journalists to always base their writings and reports on their encounter with the people.
“Communicating by encountering is the invitation to “come and see”, which was part of those first moving encounters of Jesus with the disciples, that form the basis of impactful communication.
“It is also the method for all authentic human communication in order to tell the truth of life that becomes history.”
Martins also quoted Pope Francis as saying, ” Communications day is necessary to remind pen pushers to move beyond the complacent attitude that we “already know” certain things.
” Instead, we need to go and see them for ourselves, to spend time with people, to listen to their stories and to confront reality, which always in some way surprises us.
“It will open your eyes with wonder to what you see, let your hands touch the freshness and vitality of things, so that when others read what you write, they too can feel the reality from it.”
The clergyman who expressed concern over what he described as the difficult terrain where journalists work to get information; asked the government to ensure the safety of journalists and advance polices such as the Freedom of Information Act.
The archbishop said such policies would make the job of the journalist easy while he decried the high rate of vices in the society.
He tasked state and non-state actors to abide by the theme of “come and see”, saying that it could serve as an inspiration for all communicators that strive to be clear and honest in the management of the society.
He said that every news purveyor was responsible for the kind of information he or she pushes out there either on the social media or through thec traditional one.
He described information as an essential tool in human life said that efforts should be made to ensure only accurate and value information are disseminated always.
He appealed to the Federal Government to ensure security of the citizens of the country, saying effective communications and mobilisation of the people could help in curtailing insecurity in the country.
He added that the high rate of distrust between the state and the people could be bridged through effective communication, and the despair felt by the people addressed.
The prelate also blessed journalists under the aegis of Catholic Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (CAMPAN) that marked the day with a thanksgiving session to God for preserving their lives. nan.