CAC Essien Regional Headquarters holds Media Seminar for media practitioners

By Abosede Bankole 

In her quest to further enhance the effectiveness of her media personnel, the Media Department of Christ Apostolic Church, Essien Regional Headquarters held a Media Seminar on Saturday, September 25, 2022.

The programme which was part of activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the media department took place at the Regional Headquarters in Isale-Ake, Abeokuta with media practitioners from all assemblies under Egba DCC in attendance.

The first lecture of the seminar was delivered by the Minister in Charge of the English Assembly of the headquarters, Pastor Ayobami Oduronbi on the topic "Social Media: Effective Tool for Gospel Propagation" taking his text from Matthew chapter 24 verse 15, chapter 28 verse 18 to 20 and Proverbs chapter 11 verse 30.

Pastor Oduronbi said social media evangelism is gradually facing out the conventional means of evangelism, saying the church and individuals should not leave the media space to the devil for his mission.

He noted that social media is a veritable tool for evangelism, stating that the involvement of technology has put a mandate on the church to adapt to the new trend.

The Cleric further said this should position the church to strategically reach out to people where they can find them. 

"Social media as a tool for evangelism will help us to reach out to more people with the gospel, break the barrier of distance, race and culture, and break some restrictions (eg. government and religious policies), " he said. 

Citing our Lord Jesus Christ as a perfect example, Pastor Oduronbi said in propagating His gospel while on earth, Jesus Christ did not stay in a place, He went to where His targeted audience were (Acts 10:38).

He added that Jesus Christ leveraged on people (networking), and instruments (boat), noting that if He is physically present on earth now, Jesus would have made use of the social media more.

According to him, the current world population is put to about seven billion, stating the current response and distribution of the most popular social media below:Facebook-2.94 Billion, YouTube-2.48 Billion, WhatsApp-2 Billion, Instagram-1.44 Billion, TikTok-1.02 Billion, Messanger - 1 Billion and  Telegram-700 Billion.

Pastor Oduronbi added that it is estimated that each of these people uses about two hours and 30 minutes daily on social media.

The second lecture was delivered by the Senior Correspondent of CAC News, 'Gbenga Bankole who lectured on the topic; "Projecting Christian Values in a Changing World Through News Writing and Reporting."

'Gbenga Bankole said that since the creation of man, one of the major things God loves doing is passing information to man which can be likened to dissemination of information in the journalism field, saying that God's information to man is not devoid of 7Cs of communication which are Completeness, Concreteness, Courtesy, Correctness, Clarity, Consideration and Conciseness. 

"As Gospel News Reporters, we must imitate God by doing the ministry God has called us into diligently, not being hardworking alone. As we all know there is a difference between diligence and hard-work. If you are a diligent worker, you don't just bang away at your job; you earnestly try to do everything right. Little wonder the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 22 verse 29 that; 'Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men," he said.

On why christian values must be projected in a changing world, Bankole said it is the greatest commission from our Lord Jesus Christ; it is an act of love (John 3:16);the necessity is laid upon us (1 Cor. 9:16); we are imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1); reward awaits us in Heaven (Rev. 2:10) in order to be mouthpiece of Christ in this generation and in order to give people right perspective about Christian values. 

He stated that there are four sources of news which are documents, interviews, personal observations and internet. 

On the writing process, the former Energy Editor of Nigerian NewsDirect Newspaper highlighted three parts in a news story, namely the headline, the lead and the body or the remainder of the story.

He taught the media practitioners five headline casting rules, one of which is the usage of present tense for events that have happened in the past, explaining that; "headlines are always written in the present tense. The fact that the event has already happened is not stressed. You do this to ensure that the headline conveys a sense of freshness."

Describing what the lead is, the CACNews Senior Correspondent said; "the lead is the first paragraph of a news story. It is also called the intro, short for introduction. The lead is also the most important part of a news story. It summarises, in one sentence, the most important part of a news story. The news story is written in the inverted pyramid formula which starts with most newsworthy information, important details and other information or background information."

According to him, every news story must answer the 5Ws and H questions, which are Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. 

He listed the different types of "lead" as,Digest or Summary lead, Direct Appeal Lead,Circumstantial Lead, The Quotation Lead, Question Lead, Descriptive Lead, Suspended Lead, Tabulated Lead, Anecdotal Lead and The Punch Lead. 

Explaining the qualities of a good reporter, the professional news writer and expert photographer said, "to be able to perform effectively the functions of a reporter, you need to have or develop certain qualities without which your task as a reporter may be doomed. Some of the qualities you need to be a good reporter are: nose for news, memory of faces, ability to make friends, sense of responsibility, thrill of the hunt for news, freshness of mind, cool temper, ability to write fast and accurately and curiosity."

Speaking on the ethics of journalism, Bankole revealed that; "each profession has certain body of rules and regulations which guides the conduct of the practitioners. These rules and regulations embody certain principles and practices which practitioners hold as inviolate. They serve to guide the conduct of practitioners and set limits to their actions. They are meant to check abuses and excesses. The ethics of journalism as enuciated by the Nigerian Press Organisation include: truthfulness, freedom of the press, independence, accuracy, impartiality, fairplay, decency, courage, incorruptibility and confidentiality.

He concluded that the hallmark of a good report is that the report must meet up with ethical and international standard, adding that; "as good news reporters, our writing prowess will further enhance the effectiveness of transforming the world for Jesus through the media." 

The programme ended with questions and answers session, and a group photograph.

Photo speaks !

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