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Born and bred: Lasallians in media

Over the years, DLSU has continued to produce graduates who have gone on to have successful careers in media, taking on positions and roles that play no small part in the information discourse in the country.

A Lasallian education undoubtedly instills critical thinking and fact-checking, skills that prove to be useful after college but more so for media practitioners, whose jobs revolve around lifting the veil of misinformation over citizens.

Becoming media practitioners

Chi Datu-Bocobo (AB-CAM, ‘96)

From the onset, Chi Datu-Bocobo (AB-CAM, ‘96), a TV host for local news channel One PH, has always set her sights on a career in journalism. “I would often mimic the TV news anchors and reporters even in my pre-school years,” she says. Adding to that, right after her graduation, she immediately applied for a position in ABS-CBN News and ABC 5 News and Public Affairs, eventually accepting the offer from the latter.

Chesca Buencamino (AB-OCM, ‘15), a social media producer for CNN Philippines, did not want to think of work right off the bat once she graduated. After taking an eight-month break, she decided to challenge herself in the field of media, despite her initial unfamiliarity.

“I thought the media industry was gonna be perfect for that because, honestly, I was not media literate, but at the same time, I wanted to familiarize myself with the country’s political landscape,” she recalls. Relinquishing the opportunity for a career challenge, Buencamino then applied for media companies, and it was CNN Philippines that called her back.

The value of Lasallian education

“I consider [Communication Arts] a valuable training ground for a career in media and broadcast journalism,” Datu-Bocobo asserts. Throughout her undergraduate learning, she shares that she learned photography, voice, and on-camera skills. Furthermore, the opportunity to develop documentaries during college allowed her to tell stories effectively before she started working.

Meanwhile, Buenacamino is grateful for the experience she gained from her student organizations at DLSU. Being a former officer of both Team Communication and Samahan ng mga Lasalyanong Pilosopo, she points out that her extracurricular work from both organizations honed her marketing and public relations skills.

Advice from professors is something that Buencamino carries with her everyday, reminding herself to “know all the facts” when backing up her projects and presentations and to “always be punctual”. “[These] could make a big difference in work and in life,” she says.

Pandemic difficulties

Chesca Buencamino (AB-OCM, ‘15)

Currently co-hosting a legal education show titled Usapang KapaTed, Datu-Bocobo laments that it has been challenging to broadcast the show from home during a pandemic because of technical and connectivity issues.

“Balancing the stories [is difficult] because there is such a thing as information overload amid the coronavirus crisis,” Buencamino shares. Because of this, she looks for feel-good stories and even scientific breakthroughs. Such stories include the discovery of a new butterfly subspecies in Negros Island and Comet Neowise. According to her, these stories still deserve attention, calling them “a breather in the middle of the pandemic”.

Another difficulty, Buencamino adds, is the lack of proper communication within the government, expounding that if the government releases wrong information, the credibility of the press will be affected as well.

Looking onward

Amid the political attacks toward several media companies compounding the ongoing issue of misinformation, Datu-Bocobo hopes that Philippine journalism in the future will be “devoid” of corruption and sensationalism.

“I pray for press freedom, but at the same time, I look forward to intelligent and credible reporting amid the growing power of social media and all these digital platforms,” she expresses.

As for Buencamino, she hopes that “[the] media [should] think of having more heart [in making] stories. At the same time, find balance in stories.” She advises journalists to “always think” of their audience. “When putting out stories, make sure that you have them in mind and not anyone else’s gain, no one’s agenda. Our job is public service.”

By John Robert Lee

By Lauren Sason

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