Paulines Communicators Assembly 2018

By Sr. Lou Ranara, fsp “Who started fake news? Basically, it’s the serpent in the Garden of Eden” says Mr. Edwin Lopez, the Regional Manager of EWTN, Asia Pacific Region, quoting Pope Francis message for the 52nd World Communications Day as he addressed the Sisters of the Daughters of St. Paul on the Pauline Communicators Assembly focused on the theme: “Unmasking falsehoods in media with the truth of the Gospel,” held in Manila last April 20-22, 2018. Mr. Lopez then proceeded to develop his topic: “Fake News and Journalism for Peace” citing superstitious belief as fake news deeply rooted in the Filipino Culture, that no amount of Catechism can vanish it. He cited as example the belief that the rosary of the dead person placed inside the coffin has to be cut so no one will follow. ‘Who can break this belief when it is handed down by the elderly from generation to generation?’ he asked. Fake news is also applied to advertisements to entice more consumers. It has become more popular this time because it is now placed in social media and can lead more people to either misinformation or disinformation. As Mr. Lopez gave some tips on how to deal with people to avoid conflicts, he also added: ‘While it is true that we have no control over the attitude of other people, we can always change our attitude towards the problem to promote peace. We can watch out the tone of our voice, avoid arguments, show appreciation to people who do something good and make them feel important. Save face, don’t embarrass people, be gentle, available and smile.’ During the workshop, he allowed sister-participants to tell personal experience as effective means to evangelize others. In the afternoon of the first day, the sisters reported to the assembly their pastoral involvement of their community or a sample of their radio/TV production for evaluation of the whole assembly. On the second day of the assembly, Mr. Israel “Ayra” Subardiaga, the Senior Program Officer of Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, taught the Sisters to produce short videos for social media using smartphones and handheld devices. Ayra, as he is fondly called, discussed the topic: ‘Tech 4D Gospel: Opportunities in Social Media Platforms’, informing the sisters of the latest trends in the field of communications technologies. He likewise talked about the Power of Content Creation from pre-production to post production. He cited the challenges that the Industrial Revolution is continually posing especially to the working population. During the workshop, the Sisters were divided into four groups for the video production. Ayra expressed his joy and excitement seeing in the Sisters’ eyes the re-kindled hope and enthusiasm as creators of media contents with whatever means they have at their disposal. The 3-day gathering was concluded by an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and a film showing.