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Symposium to explore truth, fake news

John L Allen Jr shares a light moment with Pope Francis aboard the the papal plane. Photo courtesy John L Allen Jr

Catholic Media Services Ltd (CAMSEL) will be hosting a symposium next Saturday (November 18) at St Dominic’s Pastoral Centre in Diego Martin, 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. The symposium emerges out of the practice of the Catholic News in educating its readership, through print and through seminars and symposia. The theme, in this year of the 125th anniversary of the Catholic News, is The Pursuit of Truth in the Age of Fake News.

General Manager of CAMSEL, Lucille Nathu said that as social media is sometimes used to spread fake news, “the Church must not be afraid of using this tool to speak truth…we as media have a responsibility to share ‘truth’ especially as we struggle as a nation with the many negative realities we experience.”

The keynote speaker is John L Allen Jr, editor of the online news site Crux, which specialises in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. He is also the senior Vatican analyst for CNN and the author of ten books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs with his most recent being The Francis Miracle: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church.

Other presenters are Prof Emrita Bridget Brereton on an historical perspective of the Catholic News; Bishop Clyde Harvey, ‘Religious Voices in the Caribbean’; and Digital Media Manager at CAMSEL, Tracy Chimming-Lewis, ‘Carving a Place for Church in the Digital Age’.

Chimming-Lewis’ presentation will focus on “envisioning the future and remaining relevant while strengthening faith formation in the digital world”.

Nathu expressed the hope that the symposium “gives all journalists, writers in general, and media houses the opportunity to examine the responsibility we have in impacting on and influencing the behaviours of all people”.

The symposium is free of charge and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Attendance is by invitation only. For registration/invitation call 623-6093 or send an email to Registration closes November 11. –SD