By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
As the world continues to battle with the coronavirus pandemic, the Catholic Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Olukayode Odetoyinbo has called on media practitioners to focus more on stories that will promote harmony, unity and peace in their respective domain.
He added that they should shun all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media, which according to him may lead to coarse and destruction.
Bishop Odetoyinbo, who made the call in his message for the 54th World Communications Day, charged “Media practitioners to focus more on stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together”.
He said, 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 added, “our stories should not be different; we cannot but weave it around love and the life of Jesus the Son of God.
“We should tell more of these stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love, stories that remind us of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to save the world”.
“In every of our experiences God always has a good story for us. One of our good stories in the experience of COVID19, is the opportunity given to the family (domestic Church) to flourish, many families can share from their rich encounters of Jesus in their homes”.
While appreciating media practitioners for their tireless efforts in ensuring that all are well informed and carried along in the fight against the coronavirus, portraying the good sides of this experience, in the care and concern of the government, families, Bishop Odetoyinbo charged 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.
Bishop Odetoyinbo noted that “our story before the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic was characterized by ingratitude and wastefulness, we exploited the earth and all its resources, we devalued human life and made a cheap commodity of it, our stories was not all good but it can be better”.
He encouraged media practitioners to tell stories of love, reach out to someone, and the need to sacrifice oneself in place of another, by so doing creating a beautiful love story.
He charged media practitioners to make their stories beautiful, that “we may tell generations to come, about our love stories and inspire them also to love like Christ, for that is the only way to understand that ‘human stories is in a certain sense a divine story”.
The Bishop queried, “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 to 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”.