BY Prince Henderson-ECM Communications Officer

The Social Communications and Research Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) last week Saturday met executive members of the Association of Catholic Journalists (ACJ) in Blantyre with an aim of strengthening the association which has been dormant for some time.

ECM team, comprised the national communication secretary; Fr. Godino Phokoso, Communications Office; Prince Henderson and Audio-Visual Officer; William Mponda traveled all the way from the Capital, Lilongwe to Blantyre on a mission to understand how the association has been operating in the past years.

Fr. Phokoso, the team leader from ECM side said he was new in the office as the nation secretary thereby wanted to interact and learn from the executive members on what has been their role to the Church and the country as a whole.

“ACJ one of the Church groups was dully endorsed by the Bishops. This is a well-recognized group and Bishops would like to see it ticking and at the same time contribute positively to the Church, “said Fr. Phokoso.

He said it was sad to note that the association was silent hence the meeting was one way of finding out the challenges the association is facing so that they can be reported to the Bishops for their action.

“As the national office, we are committed to working with the current executive and the entire Catholic journalists’ community. We would however, like to see them organized and focused,” said Fr. Phokoso.

ACJ President, Deogratias Mmana said the meeting was timely and commended ECM for coming in to ensure that the association is vibrant from now onwards.

“We would like to commend the current national secretary and his team for coming to unite us and because of this meeting, we are going to move on,” said Mmana.

He said there were a lot of challenges that resulted to the dormancy of the association but now all is sorted out.

“Let me take this opportunity to invite all Catholic journalists elsewhere to come together and work for the good of our Church. Let the active ones be strengthen and those who would like to join us feel free and do so,” he said.

The meeting among others resolved to have an Annual General Meeting on April 29,2017 in Salima where the executive committee will present reports, amend the constitution, perform a Corporate Social Responsibility and have fun as one family.

ACJ is registered within the Laws of Malawi under Trustees Incorporation Act and among its objectives is to explore training opportunities for members both locally and internationally; collect information for the Catholic Church as required by ECM and also monitor developments and problems facing the Church in evangelization; and to promote and safeguard press freedom and the interests of journalists.

The association which fall under the National Communications Commission is also aimed at fostering cooperation with other national and international journalists’ organizations; ensure female participation in professional media work to bridge the gender imbalance; and to help one another deepen Catholicism faith and defend Catholic doctrine.

Membership for the association is voluntarily and automatically Catholic media houses like Radio Maria, Radio Tigabane, Tuntufye FM, Luntha Television, Montfort Media and Likuni Press form part of it.

The association also interact through a WhatsApp group which has Catholic Journalists from all media houses across the country.

The meeting was also attended by the Diocesan Communication Secretary for Blantyre Archdiocese, Fr. Frank Mwinganyama.

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