VoM organizes World Press Freedom forum PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 10 May 2014 11:26

In observance of World Press Freedom, the Voice of Mindanao in partnership with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Communicationd Department,  MindaNews and the United States Embassy organized a half-day forum Tuesday, May 7 at the  ADZU Communication Complex.

The forum presented challenges of the free press, updates on media killings as well as discussed peace journalism and how media reported the 2013 Sabah conflict including future career directions for Mass Communication and Journalism students and graduates.

2014 candidate of a doctoral degree on Peace and Conflict Studies in Australia Frencie Carreon, Philippine Daily Inquirer Zamboanga correspondent Julie Alipala, 2014 Best Thesis winner in the ADZU Mass Communications Department and ADZU Communications department chair Monabelle Delgado led the list of speakers.

Carreon talked about the challenges of a Free Press. “There are three challenges dominating the lives of media in the Philippines:  first is enhancement of journalism skills; second is job security; and third is media economics.  The second concerns journalists, and media workers, while the last affects the media industry and specific networks and newspaper companies.”

Alipala expounded on the current statistics on media killings (168 deaths, 27 among which took place during the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III) — the utmost number that arrived during the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre.  7 of these reported media killings happened in Zamboanga City, (the late Rey Bancairin of RMN Agong), Basilan, Zamboanga del Norte, and the latest — Richard Najid from Tawi-Tawi.

Canaya shared about her thesis on the reportage of Manila Bulletin and Philippine Daily Inquirer on the Sabah Armed Conflict: An Analysis of Peace and War Journalism.

“Media is a very powerful tool. It is more powerful probably than guns and knives and bolos. So if we try to angle news in this kind of way, in war journalism, do we heighten the conflict? Or if we try to frame news in peace journalism and try to look on conflicts not only based on the elite game players of the conflict but as well of two are figuratively affected of the conflict, do we see that there is a difference? Do we see that we probably go on to the right way or probably in the wrong way? We don’t know that is why we have to study if there is a direct impact on conflict,” explained Canaya during the discussion of her thesis.

Delgado, for her part, discussed about the future career directions for Mass Communications and Journalism students and graduates.

“The problem is a complex one. The journalism and communication schools can only do so much. Before we can teach journalism, they have to want to become journalists first. And for that to happen, we have to attend to issues within the industry,” explained Delgado.

Among those in the audience were Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF of Peace Advocates Zamboanga,  Dante Corteza and Betty Altea-Elago of Daily Zamboanga Times, ZCPO Information Officer PO2 Alex Mabalot, Channel News Asia Correspondent Noel Tarrazona, and VoM-Mein College Project Coordinator Raymond Pecquit, 2Lt. Roselle Cuachin of Marine Battalion Landing Team 3, Universidad de Zamboanga’s Media Communications Officer Dianna Jean Cruz, Dulce Mie Pacquiao, Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, Althea Sanson of The PhilSouth Angle, Peacewrites editor-in-chief Rey Banagudos, Manicahan National High School school paper adviser Maria Erlinda Valesco-Arcillas, The Mindanao Examiner editor Joshua Alvia and other communication students. — Francis Sadaya