He noted the challenge of media accessibility and affordability for many people in Africa, especially those in rural settings.
“Newspapers are for the elite and again affordability is an issue. For those in towns who can access the newspapers, they will have to debate whether to spend on the newspaper or a packet of flour,” the Kenyan-born UCAP President said and added, “These are the kind of gaps, which going forward we may want to see how best the media can fill them.”
In a bid to keep the faithful updated, Mr. Sunguh encourages journalists to cooperate with their respective parishes and come up with accessible and affordable ways of passing information such as through parish newsletters that can be circulated among the Christians.
The Kenya-based UCAP leader went on to bemoan the limited media attention given to the church on the continent despite the “big role” it plays in the society saying, “If today you took a copy of the dailies for instance here in Kenya and did an audit on the stories that are appearing, very few stories come from the church.”
“The church is not getting its due share in our media; it’s politics which is number one,” he said, adding, “We need to give the church the special place it deserves in our society.”
To enhance the church’s visibility, Mr. Sunguh indicated that UCAP is considering having a “deliberate training” for journalists who are going to specialize in church coverage, noting that it is a common mistake for journalists to refer to church leaders using the wrong designations.
“People like us should go out all the way to identify people who already have an interest of covering the church, to be formally trained just as we have journalists trained to cover business, sports, education and other aspects of news,” Mr. Sunguh said.
The June 26 webinar scheduled to start at 12.00 noon GMT will have a keynote presentation and a moderator guiding deliberations by five panelists drawn from Anglophone Africa. A similar virtual session for Francophone Africa has been slated for next week, Friday, July 3.
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