The Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese, Dr Peter Odetoyinbo, yesterday challenged Nigerian journalists to focus on reports that would bring about hope and peace amid despair of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.
Odetoyinbo made the call in his address on the commemoration of the 54th World Communications Day, which was made available to newsmen in Abeokuta.
The bishop equally warned against bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media, noting that it could lead to chaos and destruction.
He submitted that with the world battling the socio-economic effects of COVID-19, the media should not amplify the situation by painting stories of hopelessness across the world.
He acknowledged the power of the mass media in shaping how people perceive the world, and leaders, both political and religious.
Odetoyinbo said, “What will our stories be like at the end of the current world crisis? Will it be like Jesus’ story? Would we have re-enacted the Good Samaritan episode? Would we still care for the handshake and hugs, the visits and long conversations? Or would love die in us? Would we show the earth more care and tenderness or continue to exploit her? Would we rewrite our stories for good? Definitely, we will re-write our story and love and care for each other better, and the earth and heavens will rejoice at humanity come together.
“I also charge all media men and women to continue to disseminate stories that are good and promote harmony, unity and peace, shunning all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media.”
He explained that the World Communications Day was set aside to celebrate the progress and achievements of the communication media and focus on how it can be annexed to promote the gospel, peace and harmony in the world.
He applauded media practitioners for their tireless efforts “in ensuring that all people are well-informed and carried along in the fight against coronavirus’’.