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  • Nigel Akuani

Writing to Inspire Social Change

Port Moresby: A Writing Skills workshop was held from Thursday 11th – Friday 12th November 2021, had the engagement of 9 participants, all Communication Personnel representing the SOCOM, Wantok Newspaper, and Catholic Church Health Services PNG.

Writing, when perfected has the power to inspire and transform lives for long-term positive social change. The intuitive sharing was given during a Writing Skills Workshop facilitated by the Social Communications Commission (SOCOM) of the Catholic Bishops Conference PNGSI.

Sessions presented focused on the essential skills and techniques necessary for effective writing of News Stories, that varied from: Writing and Framing Articles, Photography Skills, to Newsletter Layout and Review. As a way of rejuvenating the spirits of participants, also held were Interactive Energizers, Devotion, Reflections and group sharing, complimented by a morning Eucharistic Mass celebrated by Bishop Otto Separy of Bereina, on Friday 12th November, in the CBC Chapel.

Facilitator and SOCOM Secretary, Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, said that writing was more about expressing a message of inspiration to bring into effect social change in individuals, families and communities. “When we can write to capture a message of inspiration and hope that causes change on an individual level, only then can it then have a ripple effect in society that will ultimately influence policy change at the level of government,” he stressed.

He reflected on the workshop’s outcome and admitted that the workshop served as an important reminder of the necessity of choosing words carefully when drafting articles. “The participation was excellent, but as Communicators and Writers, we need to be more careful about the types of words that we use in our articles and in the way in which we frame our story that ensures a specific and clear angle,” he emphasized.

Rosa Koian, Editor of Wantok Newspaper, expressed her appreciation for the workshop’s simple presentation of the writing and photo sessions that were backed by practical applications of what was learnt. “How photos tell stories, creating powerful videos without words, the simplicity and practicality of the workshop’s sessions made it easy for us to easily grasp the concept behind the sessions,” she said.

Final-Year Linguistic Student from the University of PNG, Helena Solien, doing her Job-Training with Catholic Church Health Services, told of how the workshop broadened her understanding in Effective Writing and said she was grateful to be a part of the program. “This was an opportunity to learn and educate myself on writing articles especially in making sure your message is clear, and how it can be used to create awareness in societies. I hope there are more workshops such as this to help young aspiring writers and journalists,” she added.

Isabella Saleu, Media Officer of CBC SOCOM, said the workshop reminded her of her responsibility as a Catholic Communications Personnel and the need to always find and share the truth for the benefit of all. “This experience is a reaffirmation for me to stand in promoting my vocation, and the criticism given throughout based on our products was a chance to assess ourselves, to build and become better at what we do. My only recommendation would be that there should have been more days for the workshop with more sessions,” she suggested.

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