Thursday, June 20, 2024

Journalists implored to listen more attentively to avoid misquoting their sources

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Ahead of the 2022 World Communications Sunday, Catholic Priest Fr. Lewis Mwansa Mutachila has implored the media and journalists to listen more attentively to the people as sources of information for solid, balanced and complete reporting.

Pope Francis has chosen the single word, “Listen!” as the theme for the 56th World Communications Day, which will be celebrated on 29th May, 2022.

In a written statement, Fr. Mutachila, the Chief Executive Officer of Radio Icengelo on the Copperbelt, said without listening with the ear of the heart, journalists risk misquoting people and thereby misleading the general public.

Fr. Mutachila said reporters should not rush to go and present news stories to the editors without listening attentively to news sources.

“As we commemorate this important day of communication, as the community of believers we are called upon to daily listen to God’s Word written and preached to get true instructions on how to be good agents of evangelization and witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day of communication invites all of us, Media houses and Journalists to listen more attentively to the people as sources of information for “solid, balanced and complete” reporting and dissemination of information. Without listening with the ear of the heart, we risk misquoting people and thereby misleading the general public. We need to listen with patience and not rush to go and present our stories to the Chief Editors of our institutions,” Fr. Mutachila stated.

The Priest further reminded Church and civic leaders to listen to aspirations, cries and needs of the people.

“Listening requires time and space as leaders both in the Church and the State, there is great need to listen to the aspirations, cries and needs of our people if we are to serve them better. To the elected Leaders, this becomes even more imperative because as we do our work we are representing the people who have elected us in the offices we occupy. By listening to them, we are allowing them to actively participate in the governance process and in this way they will hold us accountable over the “social contracts” we have verbally signed with them on how best they want to be ruled and governed,” he said.

“Today, Covid 19, has left many trails of destruction in terms of businesses going down or folding up, death of beloved ones, change in the manner of interaction and association as well education wise through interruptions of classes and graduations we have witnessed. As leaders at various levels, we need to accompany our people through active listening whereby we help them to come to terms with their sense of loss and on how to solve the problems emanating from this crisis created by the deadly pandemic,” Fr. Mutachila said.

He continued:”Parents, teachers, formators and elders as we celebrate the 56th World communication day, we are not exempted from listening to the needs of our children, pupils/ students and people in our communities. Every person has inherent “deepest desire to be heard” by the significant ones especially. This year’s celebration of the World day of communication comes at the time when there is an urgent call for young people to acquire wisdom from their parents, teachers, formators, and elders.”

“In Bemba; they say “Umweo wa muntu waba mukutwi.” The leaders in the making and future leaders need to listen for them to be good citizens of the State as well as the “City of God” who are able to contribute meaningfully to their development and the establishment. 4 Like young Solomon in the Bible (Cf. 1 Kings 3:16-28) they need to listen with proper discernment that comes from God especially to what they hear and read in both electronic and print spaces,” he said.

Fr. Mutachila concluded:”As we commemorate and celebrate the Solemnity of Ascension in our liturgical calendar, we are being instructed by the angels to “stop looking up” for Christ who has gone to take his place at the right hand of the Father after completion of his earthly mission but rather to begin where Christ has ended as the other- Christ to others and as his witnesses with the help of the Holy Spirit as the Principal Agent of Evangelization (Cf. Acts. 1:9-11). So, the theme of “Listening with ear of the heart” has come at the best time when we need to listen to each other in dialogue with great respect, patience and in the spirit of synodal Church which is all embracing without leaving anyone behind since we are partners in integral evangelization.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is the colonial mentality of thinking English is superior. Why is English our official language when we are not English. Can nyanja be made official language

  2. In Zambia the advice the priest is giving only solves half the problem. The Zambian reporters may listen but can’t communicate. They can’t properly put into words what they have heard. Nowadays even untrained reporters can publish even if their story breaks all the rules. Where is PAZA? This could be the death of journalism

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