Increasing Media awareness of COVID-19 and the Environment

-       Abigail Seta

 

Madang: Eighteen students of the Communication Arts Department of Divine Word University have raised awareness on COVID-19 and the environment through short films and jingles. 

 

The students from the second, third and fourth year were a part of a three-day Media Education Seminar held from 15th to 17th July 2020. The seminar was facilitated by representatives from the Social Communications Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with Caritas Australia and Radio Maria. 

 

The first day of the seminar dwelt on the ‘New Normal’ and Risk Communications which was facilitated by Caritas Australia representative, Robin Lesley. He spoke on the COVID-19 precautionary measures and how to communicate the messages in an informative, entertaining and shareable way. 

 

Following this session, video basics was dwelt upon where the students created 20 second videos on the six key messages. The 20 second films are:

1.     Clean hands – Clean friends

2.     The elbow cough

3.     Social distancing and disinfecting surfaces 

4.     Avoid touching your face

5.     Stay at home

 

The sessions continued with audio and creating jingles where Fr Martin We-en, Director of Radio Maria PNG recorded jingles of the students on COVID-19. 14 jingles were produced in English and Tok Pisin. 

 

For the second day of the seminar, the sessions focused on the environment Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, Social Communications Secretary gave an informative session on Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ where he challenged the students to care for our common home – ‘Mother Earth’. Charlotte Vada, Caritas Australia representative also spoke on climate change. 

 

The students were then given time to plan their short environmental films. The participants created storyboards and a storyline, acted out their scenes and shot their films. They produced five films which are:  

1.     Plant a tree, go green, no regrets

2.     Let’s stop the Plastic

3.     Wara dai – water mismanagement 

4.     All about Attitude

5.     Trash to Treasure

 

Addressing the participants Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb, encouraged the students to unleash their talent and their creativity and produce video clips with powerful messages. “Your video clips should be a product of your reflection and an expression of your mind and your heart. It should invite people to bring about a change of attitude and behaviour that will be for the common good of all people”, he said. 

 

All throughout the seminar there were moments of personal and group prayer. The students realized the importance of reflection and the need to have a clean mind and heart to ensure that the productions were for the common good of all. 

  

The three-day program concluded with a presentation of the 10 short films and 6 jingles on Friday, 17th July. Following the screening, the students were given certificates of participation. The seminar was hosted by CBC SOCOM in partnership with the Divine Word University, SIGNIS International, MISSIO, Caritas Australia and Radio Maria. 

 

Comments from participants:

“I am grateful for the opportunity to create powerful messages that will inspire people. I enjoyed the moments of reflection during the time of prayer” – Simon Sobaim, 4th year CA student.

 

“All my expectations for the seminar were met. All the participants have been enriched and it is now up to us to share what we have learnt with our companions” – Jessica Oata, 4th year CA student.

“I enjoyed the three-day seminar. It gave me a chance to learn something new and work together with my peers” – Pricilla Ragu, 2nd Year CA student.

 

“The seminar has inspired me to be a responsible person toward others and nature. Media is a powerful tool for advocating this and other social issues” – Elijah Chapok, 4th year CA student.

 

“I will cherish the prayer moments and the student interaction that we all enjoyed. Working in collaboration with very gifted and creative minds we are able to open avenues for ourselves and provide pathways for the common good of all people” – Colleen Berghumer, 4th year CA student.

 

“I really enjoyed taking part in the seminar, not only for the part that we got to short videos and record jingles, but especially to strengthen our spirituality and our faith” – Cathy Warupi, 3rd year CA student.

 

“I liked the seminar because it was not just about the media, but involved teaching of serious relationships, the fight against social issues, the environment and COVID-19. Above all we had more time to talk with our Lord and God” – Daniel Undaba, 3rd year CA student.

 

“The sessions were simple, fulfilled and informative and I have learnt a lot during all the sessions. Besides learning practice skills in media, it also taught us about life” – Pethra Gawi, 2nd year CA student.

 

“I realized that with time management we could do a lot of things using less time. It has motivated me to raise awareness of issues in PNG and bring about change” - Bradley Asa, 4th year CA student.

 

“I loved everything about the seminar, but mostly the night sessions where we were encouraged to keep the sacraments” – Kerrianne Siromare, 2nd year CA student.

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