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Journalistic responsibility, social media activism explored in BayLayn 2021

Para sa Bayan at Lasalyano 2021, an inter-school journalism competition and press conference hosted by Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, was held last May 15 via Zoom and Facebook live. GMA News and Public Affairs Senior News Producer Raffy Tima, Kabataan Partylist National Spokesperson Raoul Manuel, and content creators Gab Campos and Yani Villarosa discussed the current state of Philippine media and the youth’s role amid the pandemic.

Giving recognition and appreciation to various campus journalists using Filipino in the field of media, the event recognized various high school publications for their exemplary work. Among the winners was Holy Child Catholic School’s publication, Vision and Voices, which bagged awards for Pinakamahusay na Publikasyong Pangmagaaral, Pinakamahusay na Koleksyon ng Dibuho, and Pinakamahusay na Paglalapat.

A strong foundation 

A former campus journalist himself, Tima recounted how he began his career in the field, highlighting how the constant search and delivery of truth serves as the foundation of good journalism. Having a weak foundation in journalism, he furthered, may lead others to misconstrue or misinterpret their insights in the articles they write. 

Along with this, Tima mentioned how even he had experienced being offered a bribe and receiving threats while working on controversial stories. While he admitted that it is not uncommon for such cases to happen within the media industry, he credited his campus journalism experience for strengthening his integrity and morals. 

Kapag matibay ang pundasyon mo sa pamamahayag, mas magiging madali ito (having integrity) sa iyo,” he stressed.

(If you have a strong foundation in journalism, maintaining integrity will come easier.)

Tima also pointed out that the introduction of the internet and social media to the field of journalism has given rise to misinformation and propaganda. He maintains that it is a journalist’s duty to remain vigilant and ensure that the truth remains heard. 

Tima emphasized that this fundamentally is what it means to be a journalist. “Ito naman talaga ang pinakabasic na trabaho natinang magbalita nang totoo,” he concluded.

(This is our most basic job—to report the truth.)

Stepping up in social media

In the second part of the program, Manuel, Campos, and Villarosa shared their insights on how the youth can use social media to educate themselves on different issues and promote various advocacies.

Manuel asserted that the youth should aim to create value-adding content and not solely focus on social media engagement. “Ano pa ‘yung additional information or mas malalim na pag-unawa ang ating maibibigay sa ating audience?” he asked the online crowd.

(What additional information or deeper understanding can we provide to our audience?)

Language and tone are important when making online content, Manuel explained in Filipino. “We don’t want to be misinterpreted on social media as if we are imposing an idea or as if we’re too angry…The goal is to encourage our audience to learn about issues and be able to educate other people.”

Campos, meanwhile, maintained that initiating conversations to foster political engagement is important. “I want my tone to be conversational,” he told the audience, noting how essential it is to present credible sources and listen and evaluate counterarguments.

Villarosa echoed Campos’ sentiments, adding that the youth should not be “hostile” to adults who are dismissive of activism. “Pakinggan natin sila kasi itong mga matatanda na ‘to, they were once the youth,” she reasoned. 

(Let’s listen to these adults because they were once the youth.)

Nevertheless, she emphasized that the youth should “reassure” adults that activism today will bring about change, reminding the audience that the advocacies they fight for extend beyond social media. 

By Julianne Cayco

By John Robert Lee

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