Catholic Journalists in Africa to Gain Skills in Planned “specialized reporting” Training

A poster announcing the SIGNIS Africa workshop on reporting on Refugees. Credit: SIGNIS Africa

Catholic journalists in Africa are set to gain skills in “specialized reporting” training that is to be realized in Uganda in July.

The training that the World Catholic Association for Communication, SIGNIS Africa, is spearheading in collaboration with the Africa Coordination of the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide) is to focus on media coverage of migrants and refugees.

In a statement to National Directors of Communication, National Presidents, and Coordinators of SIGNIS in Africa, the President of SIGNIS Africa says that beneficiaries of the July 10-16 workshop are expected to “acquire requisite skills for effective coverage and reporting of news about migrants and refugees.”

While “the reportage of issues concerning migrants and refugees is a form of specialized reporting,” Fr. Walter Chikwendu Ihejirika says that he finds it regrettable that such reporting “has not featured prominently among the thematic areas in specialized reporting.”

In the statement that ACI Africa obtained on Monday, June 5, Fr. Ihejirika outlines other areas that the training will cover, including effective media coverage of asylum-seekers, climate-displaced people, internally displaced people (IDPs), and victims of human trafficking.


“To actualize her mandate, the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development needs the input of the media professionals,” the Nigerian-born Catholic Priest says in the statement dated March 27.

Participants in the workshop are to help the DPIHD by sharing “relevant information and also project within the public sphere issues which can mitigate the plights of the vulnerable persons,” says Fr. Ihejirika.

The July 10-16 workshop, the SIGNIS Africa President says, is open to “Catholic media professionals and practitioners, both clergy, religious, and lay who are working in both ecclesiastical and civil media institutions.”

In a Wednesday, June 7 interview with ACI Africa, Sr. Adelaide Felicitas Ndilu, who is a board member of SIGNIS Africa said that the registration for the workshop is ongoing.

“We have quite a number of registration from all over as media practitioners are expected from Africa and we have also invited a few from outside Africa, including the sponsors of the event,” Sr. Ndilu said about the workshop whose opening Mass is to be held at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine, Namugongo, followed by proceedings at St. Mary’s National Seminary, Ggaba in Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese.

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The member of the Congregation of Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary added, “We are expecting about 70 participants from across Africa and even invited guests from Europe and the Vatican, particularly from the DPIHD which is the primary sponsor of the workshop.”

“Some Catholic ministers from Uganda including the Nuncio and some Bishops are also expected to address the participants during the workshop,” the Kenyan Nun who has been at the helm of the Commission for Social Communications of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) since February 2020 said.

The SIGNIS Africa board member who doubles as the Director of the Nairobi-based Waumini Radio added, “Besides targeting Catholic journalists, anyone willing to attend including journalists from secular media are welcome.”

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