Peace, freedom, safety, and careers in the media world PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 May 2014 00:00

The Forum on World Press Freedom and Other Media Issues and Concerns held last Wednesday, May 7, at Ateneo de Zamboanga University was very informative. Organized by the Voice of Mindanao in partnership with ADZU, MindaNews, and the United States Embassy of Manila, it was attended by masscom and journalism students, media representatives from the different government and private sectors.

Discussion veered on peace journalism, press freedom, media killings, 2013 Sabah conflict, and future media careers. The best part I liked is the benefits and welfare of the local press people especially in the provinces. The reality is – the media career industry is not very lucrative (you are not paid high unless you work in a big multi-media firm with a high position) to live a comfortable life. For now, it is the dedication to find and fight for the truth, and the passion that fuels most media people to stay in this field. I hope the plan of the Zamboanga Press Club to study and assess the due salary and benefits for the local press will pushed thru.

I appreciate most is the topic of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Zamboanga City Chapter Chairperson Frencie Carreon who talked about peace journalism and media ethics. She quoted Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick that “Peace Journalism is when editors and reporters make choices – of what stories to report and about how to report them – that create opportunities for society at large to consider and value non-violent responses to conflict.” I requested Frencie for a repeat of this topic for our local media who missed this forum. She said Yes when she comes back from her PhD study in Australia.

I believe media must report conflicts to resolve, not to sensationalize, and not to make people (especially politicians) take it is as publicity opportunity. Remember the 2013 Zamboanga siege? National politicians took it as a chance to “shine” and “mud sling” others (sighed). Other media outfits sensationalized the situation and painted our city as a war-torn and dreaded place to visit.

Julie Alipala, National Director of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent updated us about past and media killings. Saddest reality of her presentation – there is increasing crimes against media but the criminals are hard to apprehend. Look at the Ampatuan case, she said, it is still being dragged in the court despite everybody knows who are the perpetrators. I told the audience honestly that even I don’t feel safe in our city.

The UZ crime tally board that is prominently being displayed at the city fronting city hall should change the board tag line, “who is next.” It is predicting that there will be another unsolved crime. Really, it is an irony for a university that produces police forces and with strong connection with police agencies could not solve the assassination of its own president until now.

Voice of Mindanao Program Coordinator Maricar Corina Canaya shared her paper about the 2013 Sabah Conflict. It won as the Best Thesis in the Ateneo Mass Communications Department last year.  Yen Blanco-Delgado, the chairperson of ADZU Mass Communications, gave an encouraging message about the future career directions for people in the media industry. She proudly shared that all mass comm and journalism graduates can always work in different capacities because of their talent and skills.

Galatians 5:7 “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 10:12