TAGAYTAY CITY, CAVITE — On November 11, 2022, a journalism workshop with the theme, “We Are One in Peace and Unity through Good and Responsible Journalism” was attended by 107 campus journalists consisting of Grade 4 to 12 students from 11 schools in Cavite.
The event was held by Federation of Christian Schools Cavite Philippines (FCSCP) in partnership with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a non-governmental organization advocating for peace and cessation of war.
The workshop aimed to create a strong foundation for future journalists and raise the students as peacemakers and responsible communicators in their schools.
While in Cambodia, multi-awarded TV news anchor Mariz Umali gave an inspirational message through a video, “At a time and in a world where information is increasingly available and especially with the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation, journalism has become more important than ever to be able to sort through the noise, to find reliable sources of information that values truth, transparency and accountability.”
From South Korea, Alice Kim, Chief Manager of HWPL Asia and Europe Continental Public Relations Department, also highlighted the young journalists’ role as peacebuilders, “Depending on what we put on the tip of our pen, that is, if we practice peace in journalism, we can move the hearts of citizens and bring about change in society.”
The first speaker, Dr. Carl E. Balita, is an award-winning educator, entrepreneur, nurse, program host and columnist. In his motivational talk, he empowered the students and said he was “talking to the future” as they hold the key to a better society.
“If you’re made of right values, having faith, hope and love, and if you’re doing things for peace, you’re gonna fit. If not, you’re gonna sit by the side and watch the evil flourish…The future belongs to you. If you don’t help, if you don’t inspire for change in the future, we don’t lose anything, we will be ashes by then but you will be alive,” he said.
At the end of his talk, he opened a contest for the campus journalists to write about “Journalism and the Future of Peace”. The winner will receive P5,000 whose entry will be published in his column on BusinessMirror.
The second speaker, Ryan Lao, is the Executive Producer and Program Host of “El Pueblo Publico”, a news, commentary and public service program of DWIZ 882. In his talk, he shared his experiences as a broadcaster and former TV segment producer, and emphasized the importance of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity and impartiality in reporting.
“Ang broadcasting, dapat nakaugat sa katotohanan… Kahit sino ang nasa balita, mayaman o mahirap, sikat o hindi, dapat objective lang ang balita. (Broadcasting should be anchored in truth… Whoever it is in the news, rich or poor, famous or not, the news should be objective.)“
The third and last speaker, HWPL Communications Head Rica Feliciano, shared her journey as a former political activist who became a peace advocate while working for a nonprofit. She discussed peace journalism, an emerging concept in the world of media.
“Journalists are at the forefront of conflicts. Where there is conflict, there is news,” she said. When writing about conflicts, she emphasized that “it’s not about finding the bad guy, it’s not about finding who should win or who should lose, but you have to see the human in these two sides of the conflict.”
Using the elements of peace journalism, she also taught the campus journalists on how to examine a news article whether it is balanced and truthful or based on a claim or allegation.
FCSCP plans to hold a journalism competition for the attendees next month. ##