TICKLE ME PINK: Press freedom and other concerns PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 May 2014 11:16

BY BETTY ELAGO

 

I would like to thank Frencie Carreon for inviting me to attend “An Open Forum on Post World Press Freedom Day 2014,” organized by the Voice of Mindanao in partnership with the Ateneo De Zamboanga University, MindaNews, and the United States Embassy in Manila, last 7th of this month, at the Com. Laboratory, LRC Blg., Ateneo de Zamboanga University.

Maria Frencie Carreon, formerly the Zamboanga Today Editor, will one day acquire her Doctorate’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies for Peace Journalism at the University of Sydney, Australia, and also happens to be the chairperson of NJUP, Zamboanga City. This is the reason why for a time, she had been in and out of Zamboanga City. Good luck, my friend! She briefed us on Press Freedom and other concerns. Ethics in journalism is important. We have to know how to approach problems, find the truth, be accountable to what we report making sure it’s transparent, and practice fairness. She touched on the envelopmental practice by some journalists, which, she said, is sometimes unavoidable, because publishers don’t really pay well, and journalists have families to support. I admire the frankness of Frencie.

Ms. Julie Alipala spoke on the “Updates of Media Killings in the Philippines.” Julie writes for the Phil. Daily Inquirer Newspaper.

Leah Mariel L. Reyes witnessed the killing of her father, a radio commentator in Dipolog City, who suffered trauma while growing up. She wrote “The Warmth of Peace” which won 2nd place in a 2008 Mindanao-Wide Feature Writing Competition. We were privileged to hear her written piece directly from her last May 7.

Ms. Maricar Corina Canaya, who was the program coordinator for Voice of Mindanao spoke of Peace Journalism and Media reporting on the Sabah conflict, which I guess we already knew through tri-media! One of the resource speakers was the chairperson of the Mass Communications Department of the Ateneo de Zamboanga — Ms. Monabelle Blanco Delgado, who spoke on Journalism as a future career and direction of the Mass Communication student. I guess this was also an important topic as there were MassCom students present that afternoon. Yes, I believe that not everyone who will graduate from Mass Communication will be enticed to work in media because of its low pay, unless it is one’s vocation. Others do it as a part-time job and find other jobs, or go into business, to be able to support their families. In my case, I do it just so I have something worthwhile to do by sharing my thoughts, and keeping my mind busy.

What really stuck into my mind that afternoon was when Ms. Delgado mentioned that nobody has ever written anything about the blackouts in our city except to lambast and criticize Zamcelco. Personally, I can only say that we can’t blame people for being mad because we are all suffering. The only way people do is to direct their insults to the management of Zamcelco. I sympathize with Mr. George Ledesma, as he just inherited the shortcomings of the former management. Our electric allocation from the Mindanao Grid has gone lower, and Zamcelco is trying its best to distribute it amongst the residences and business establishments. We only hope and pray this matter can be resolved immediately as our city is in an alert status and criminals will be on a rampage with their criminal activities.

Aside from the MassCom students present that afternoon, present also were; Fr. Sebastiano D’ Ambra, Fr. Angel Calvo, PNP spokeperson AlexMabalot, Noel Tarrazona, and Dante Corteza.