Youth journalists analyze media reporting in Zamboanga

Posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 and is filed under Community, Lead Stories, PhilSouth Media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

ZAMBOANGA CITY/26 February 2014 by Vanessa Fate Mora, Francis Sadaya, Pristine Janielle Padua, and Franco Rivas Cananea—In a training participated by youth journalists on peace journalism, voids of media reporting in Zamboanga were brought to light.

Fifteen (15) college journalists from Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Western Mindanao State University are undergoing a three-day intensive Peace Journalism Training and Internship.  On its second day, a group discussion was conducted during the training wherein student journalists identified several loopholes in the reportage of media practitioners in the city. These include the lack of academic background, depth in their news coverage, and adherence to media ethics.

The course objectives of the peace journalism training are (1) to hone the capabilities of collegiate journalists in peace journalism, as well as to (2) strengthen the relationship between the local media outfits and the city’s Public Information Office, in promoting peace and security in the locality.

The said training started on Saturday, February 22 and is sponsored by USAID Engage Project in partnership with the City Government of Zamboanga on 22-24 February 2014.

Engaged Journalism

Jules L. Benitez, Municipal and Community Engagement officer of USAID-ENGAGE, expressed his thoughts as to why there is a need to conduct this training on peace journalism. He emphasized, “The mass media is oriented to doing war journalism. In the meantime, there is an emerging field of study which is peace journalism where mass media can better perform its role in peace building. So to infuse peace journalism with media, we decided to train young journalists who might work in the mainstream media in the near future. That way, they can apply what they learned in peace journalism. Also, we presume that professional media practitioners have already been trained.”

Not only is this a peace journalism training but one with a long-term goal of helping the city. Benitez is optimistic with how this seminar may aid in the local government’s efforts to rebuild Zamboanga after the siege.

He said, “This is an avenue to help the local government bring about peace in the city, build cultural relations and address environmental issues. We are hoping that what our trainees will learn will help media tackle issues in the open in a way that is not conflict-promotive [sic].”

The Executive Assistant of the Office of the City Mayor, Christian Olasiman, believesd that this training is very fit for young people especially budding journalists. “I think it’s actually a good investment because if we train young people… that’s [sic] promising, then the next wave of journalists will be practitioners in the actual field of reporting are actually equipped and skilled in (the) basic orientation on peace journ,” Olasiman said. He added that the city government is hopeful for the next generation journalists to adhere in this field of journalism.

Participants on Peace Journalism

Hindi ko sasabihin na magiging peace journalist talaga ako pero sana ma-apply ko ang peace journalism sa pagiging disc jockey ko (I won’t say I have plans of being a peace journalist, but I hope I can apply peace journalism in my being a disc jockey),” Alexis Asuncion, a Communication student of AdZU said.

Another participant, Rominalyn Sayson, expressed that peace journalism motivates her to be objective and critical of all the parties involved and also the training encourages her to pursue peace through journalism. (Vanessa Fate Mora, Francis Sadaya, Pristine Janielle Padua, and Franco Rivas Cananea)

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