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Catholic Bishop Urges Journalists To Side With Truth, Advance Virtues Of Unity, Love, Peace

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The Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese of Delta State, Michael Odogwu Elue has urged journalists to always be on the side of truth.

The cleric who spoke on Sunday, enjoined journalists to communicate the gospel by advancing the uncommon virtues of unity, love and peace as they go about their daily job.

Bishop Elue gave the admonition in a homily during a Holy Mass at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Asaba, as part of activities marking the 2021 World Communications Day.

The programme with theme ‘Come and See’ was 55th in the series.

Represented by Rev. Fr. Steve Mario Isioma, and assisted by the Director of Communications in the diocese, Rev. Fr. Charles Uganwa, Bishop Elue urged newsmen to avoid the temptation of hearsay in the discharge of their duties.

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“Do not seek opinion by what you hear only. Do not judge people by what you hear only. Always strive to know the truth because a lot people depend on you for the authentic information.

“So, be on the side of truth always, not on the side of government because of pecuniary benefits. There are risks in investigating stories but telling the truth is the job satisfaction in journalism,” he said.

In his message to the church which was read during the mass, Pope Francis urged journalists across the globe to deepen investigative reporting by confronting realities.

The Catholic Pontiff adviced journalists to move beyond the complacent attitude of “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,” he said.

Pope Francis said the theme of the 2021 celebration was an “inspiration for all communication that strives to be clear and honest in the press, on the internet, in the Church’s daily preaching and in political and social communication.

“‘Come and See!’ This has always been the way that the Christian faith has been communicated, from the time of those first encounters on the banks of the River Jordan and on the Sea of Galilee.”

In a remark, President of Catholic Media Practitioners of Nigeria (CAMPAN) in the state, Felix Igbekoyi said journalists would continue to do their best to unveil truth for societal growth.

Igbekoyi thanked the church for encouraging media workers across the state.

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