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  • Fidelma Urakupa

Empowering Youth Through Media Education

Port Moresby: The Media Education Seminar program commenced on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024. Seventy-one students and twenty-three animators and teachers from Catholic institutions participated in the first session of the Media Education Seminar from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The seminar opened avenues for listening, participation, learning, interaction, inspiration, and presentation to the participants of the different Catholic institutions at the Catholic Bishops Conference, Waigani.


The program began with an opening prayer and welcome remarks by Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB, Social Communications Coordinator for the EAO Region, followed by a warm-up session facilitated by Miss Patrina Kaboanga. Fr. Ambrose then introduced the message of the Holy Father Pope Francis on World Communication Day 2024 dwelling on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the wisdom of the heart. He highlighted the fact that as human beings, our beliefs, and values are being challenged by AI. He helped the students understand the dangers of personal data being used online, as we skim through the internet, how it is used to manipulate the human mindset, and the need to use devices to help individuals and influence others through our positive and inspirational posts.


Then three sessions were conducted and presented by two volunteer facilitators and a representative from the Catholic Bishops Conference SOCOM Commission.

Miss Patrina Kaboanga presented “Posters with a Message,” emphasizing how to create posters and the reasons why we create them. She explained that posters can be used to promote awareness, advertise, educate, advocate, and inspire. They must be attractive, grab attention, convey information effectively, advocate for change, and deliver inspirational messages that motivate and impact people. She elaborated that posters must be creative by having a theme that conveys a specific idea for the audience to act while promoting a cause with a combination of text and images to create powerful visual impacts. “The goal of these posters is to grab the viewers’ attention and convey a memorable message,” stated Miss Patrina. She ended her presentation by assigning an activity to the respective institutions to create a ‘poster with a message’ reflecting the theme of the Media Education Seminar, “I have a DREAM.”


Miss Lucy Napitalai emphasized logos, summarizing the importance of an emblem, small design, or symbols in depicting public recognition of an entity, organization, product, or brand. She highlighted the importance of using different colors, shapes, images, texts, or combinations in logos but stressed that they must be memorable, simple, and relevant. She added that every design or production on the logo must have meaning or tell a company’s story, and establish an effective and emotional connection with the audience. “Always remember, logos must be memorable, simple, and relevant to your product,” stated Miss Lucy. Her activity was to identify key elements of the World Communications Day message and design a logo for MES 2024.


The final session was led by Ahisha Mangot. Miss Ahisha began her session with a question: “Who among you love taking pictures?” she questioned. Students who raised their hands gave a word that related to photography. She elaborated on how photography works, its uses, tips, and elements. “It is important to always take note of the three Ss: Safety, Steadiness, and Spotlessness”, she said. She emphasized the need to use the strap for safety purposes while holding the camera steady at each shot and having a clean mind, clean heart, and clean hands, as they all contribute to quality or clean photographs. She concluded her session with a takeaway message; “Photography is an art that you use to communicate, and it documents moments in time!” stated Ahisha.


After a break, all the participants and animators proceeded with the presentations of Posters with a Message, logos for WCD 2024, and photos to inspire. Participants from each school explained their inspirational posters and photos that sparked imagination and curiosity. “Follow the principles and guidelines to achieve your dream,” stated a Marianville Secondary School student. Another participant, Richard Pao from La Salle Technical Secondary School, said, “There must be teamwork to make the dream work.” A participant from Jubilee Secondary School added, “Don’t sleep on your dream, wake up and chase it.”


Positive responses were echoed by the students at the evaluation. Hubert Moi from Don Bosco Technical School expressed his joy at what he had learned. “I have learned the importance of teamwork, communication, and interaction with participants from different schools. How to create posters with a message to inspire others and implement what we have learned in our school,” he said. Another participant, Simeon Wentworth from Jubilee Secondary School, shared, “This is my first time to speak in front of all of you. It is a good learning experience for me to build my confidence.” A Sacred Heart Teachers College, Bomana, participant shared, “We learned to interact, inform, and work with time, and we will share what we have learned with our media club members.”


The program concluded with a closing prayer and gratitude by Fr. Ambrose and the animators, the team from CBC SOCOM and all the participants. “Your participation and support will have a significant influence on others. Work as a team, share what you have learned, be a person who sends out positive messages, and be committed to raising the media profile of your school,” he said.


The Media Education Seminars have recommenced after a break of a year. It is inspired and encouraged by the Salesians of Don Bosco, SIGNIS – the World Catholic Association for Communication, MISSIO and CBC SOCOM, together with the many who are dedicated to sharing the ‘Good News’ through the media. The next session on the print media will be held at St Charles Lwanga Secondary School, Gerehu on Saturday 23rdMarch 2024.

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