Honiara (Fides Service) – Putting the media at the service of peace, promoting truth, justice, freedom and love, was the commitment taken after a third annual Media Education Seminar at St. Peter’s, Gizo diocese, Solomon Islands from 9th to 12th May, 2003. “We have realized that we are all part of the media and we need to pass on information and the truth about equal rights using the means of communication available to us” stated John Rabao from Kukotin village, Wagina Island. “As teachers we shall utilise what we have learnt in our school activities”, was what Everlyn Tango had to say. “I have received an understanding of the importance of the Media and its role in evangelisation and inculturation” stated Rio Tebitara. “We need to use the media to speak truthfully about issues that concern our society” was what Joshua Loko, Police sergeant had to say at the end of the Seminar. The 34 participants hailed from the different parishes of the Diocese of Gizo together with representatives from other Churches, teachers, women, police and the medical field were also present for the four-day seminar.
Bishop Bernard O Grady OP, Bishop of Gizo was happy to welcome the Participants: “We need to spread and use what we learn’, urged the bishop the participants. As part of the Seminar a Media Forum was held on 11th May on the theme: “Media at the service of authentic Peace” and dealt with truth, justice, freedom and love. The speakers Georgiana Sogotee, Catholic Communications; Aloysius Ora, Provincial commander the Western Province; John Rabaua, Wagina Island, Fr. Lawrence Samani, Auki and Fr. Joseph, Anglican Church raised issues affecting the present situation in Solomon Islands. The participants also had an opportunity to clarify points raised. The Media Education Seminar initiative is co-ordinated by Joseph Lalaubatu, Media Coordinator Gizo Diocese with the help of Bishop Bernard O’Grady of Gizo and Auxiliary Bishop Chris Cardone OP. Thanks also to SIGNIS, Church in Need, AusAID, Catholic Communications and the many others who believe that the Media has great potential to influence lives and contribute to the building up of Peace. PS (Fides Service 16/5/2003 EM lines 29 Words: 373)