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Catholic journalists urged to stand up for truth

Mumbai, 12 December 2013: A Catholic bishop has urged media persons in India to uphold the truth and stand up for the voiceless in an era of intense competition to get into the limelight.

“Media is powerful. It opens up great opportunities and great challenges before us,” said Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal of Indore, chairperson of the Indian Catholic bishops’ office of social communication at a function in Mumbai to mark the golden jubilee of the Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA).
Some 60 Catholic media persons from various parts of India attended the December 7-8 program held at Alberione Hall of St Paul’s Media Complex, Bandra, a Mumbai suburb.

The Divine Word prelate told the gathering that media persons have to “stand together as an organization, supporting and encouraging each other, to speak the truth as well as to give voice to the voiceless.” Bishop Thottumarickal urged the Catholic media persons to make sacrifices for truth as shown by Christ who made “the ultimate sacrifice for truth.”
The program also included a seminar on the theme, “The Press and Nation Building – Challenges for Christian Journalists.” The association gave away awards in various categories during the occasion. “The Catholic Church needs to be proactive and enter into the mainstream media,” said Josy Joseph, who was given ICPA Golden Jubilee Award for excellence in journalism.

A senior journalist associated with the Times of India, Josy Joseph was chosen for the award for his courageous efforts using the medium of investigative reporting for exposing corruption and bringing many a heavy weights to face the trial. He said receiving the ICPA award was a humbling experience as he was not even a member of the organization.

He, however, declared that his work as a journalist was firmly rooted in his Catholic faith and its value system. Joseph said an organization such as the ICPA has a great role to play in the Indian society, especially to stand up to the powers that be.
“Only a vibrant and independent media will shape into a vibrant and mature democracy,” he said after receiving the award.
The ICPA, during its golden jubilee celebrations also awarded John Henry Anand from Indore (MP) for his contributions to Hindi literature. Anand is known for translating the entire Bible from Hebrew to Hindi. He has several other books and articles to his credit. He said by honoring him, the ICPA has honored the national language, Hindi. He called upon more people to write in Hindi and support the cause of Hindi literature.
On the occasion, the ICPA gave special awards to two original member publications: The Examiner weekly from Mumbai and the Deepika daily from Kerala. Another award was given to the Indian Currents, a monthly from Delhi for its 25 years of courageous stand for justice and support for the weaker sections.
The ICPA, which was started in the year 1964 by Jesuit missionary Fr John Barret. Its vision was to bring together Catholic periodicals, journalists and writers under one umbrella, soon after the Vatican Council II and its document on Social communications, Inter Mirifica.
The association is now governed by an executive committee headed by its president Society of St Paul Fr Alfonso Eelengikal.
Source: MattersIndia


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