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SIGNIS Africa Announces Continental Workshop for Young Catholic Journalists

A poster announcing the three-week workshop for aspiring citizen journalists in Africa.

Aspiring citizen journalists in all African countries are invited to apply for a video journalism workshop at SIGNIS-Africa, an official at the continental branch of the global Catholic Association for Communication has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa Tuesday, October 13, SIGNIS-Africa Head of Digital Desk, Fr. Reki Mashayamombe said the workshop will equip the Catholic youth with skills to tell stories of their home countries through short video clips.

“We are inviting citizen journalists who will tell stories which present Africans who do not allow themselves to be paralyzed by the present difficulties on the continent, nor give in to the gloom of sorrow and regret, nor morosely close in on themselves, or flee from reality,” Fr. Reki said.

He said SIGNIS-Africa is looking for journalists who can tell stories of people who are doing something simple yet extraordinary to keep the flame of hope alive in their individual and collective lives.

“The journalists will tell stories of people who show the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not by-pass suffering and death, but passes through them, opening a path in the abyss, transforming evil into good,” he said.

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The Catholic Communications organization, Fr. Reki said, seeks to empower, not just professional journalists but anyone with a passion to tell a story and in possession of basic work tools.

“Anyone with a smartphone that can take a video will be allowed to tell the stories of their home country to the rest of the world,” the digital expert said, and added, “Let the world know about young girls in Liberia who walk 10 kilometers to their nearest Church and their eagerness to meet Jesus.”

Participants must be baptized Catholics who are between the ages of 18-30 years and must have access to a functional PC and smartphone for the virtual workshop that will be conducted online next month (November), he said.

Additionally, proficiency in spoken and written English is required of applicants who must also possess some of the basic tools required for citizen journalism, including a digital camcorder, a smartphone and a basic audio-visual editing program.

Fr. Reki also told ACI Africa that the SIGNIS-Africa virtual workshop will train young Catholics to become Citizen Journalists of Hope (CJH).

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“This project is inspired by the thoughts of Pope Francis when he described the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the ‘Contagion of Hope’,” he said and added that the videography journalist will be trained to tell stories of hope in a world filled with despair.

The three-week workshop, the Cleric said, will provide participants with the knowledge of video journalism, including the techniques for capturing, editing and uploading audio-visual content to digital platforms.

SIGNIS-Africa has identified social media practitioners, videographers and youth with digital journalism skills who will impart the trainees with skills on how to use the new digital technologies to capture and tell stories of hope, Fr. Reki said.

According to the SIGNIS-Africa official, successful participants will receive SIGNIS-Africa Certificate and form the pool of citizen journalists of Hope from Africa.

The citizen journalists will be given specific assignments, which will be evaluated by experts. The best male and female producers will then be sponsored by SIGNIS-Africa to the World Congress of SIGNIS in South Korea in 2022.

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SIGNIS is a non-governmental organization that brings together radio, television, cinema, video, media education, Internet, and new technology professionals from over 100 countries.

A communique shared with ACI Africa indicates that the deadline for submission of the application is Friday, October 27 and that further details of the workshop will be sent to selected participants by the first week of November.