Student publications rekindle campus journalism at BayLayn 2023

Ang Pahayagang Plaridel (APP) highlighted the importance of traditional media and the youth’s role in truth-telling amid rampant disinformation in Para sa Bayan at Lasalyano (BayLayn) 2023 through a series of talks, workshops, and competitions for campus journalists across the country last March 25 at the Manila campus.  

Philippine Star news reporter Elijah Felice Rosales and campus journalism educator Wilmor Pacay III discussed how facts have been distorted due to the expanding range of accessible yet inaccurate information, which also contributes to the growing distrust of the general public toward traditional media. 

Rosales warned against media groups influenced by political and commercial sources that students rely on, adding that their data may be modified for personal gain. He advised students to ensure that the facts they gather are impartial and truthful through proper fact-checking and responsible widening of  sources of information. 

He also posited that journalists tend to deliver a “biased objective truth” to the masses, representing their personal moral compass on what they believe is right and wrong.

“Regardless of your biases, [the journalist] cannot leave out the view of the opposition. You have to make an effort to reach out,” Rosales said in Filipino.

Meanwhile, Pacay urged campus journalists to uphold their editorial independence amid the prevalent dangers within the sector, including attempts by powerful individuals to restrict press freedom.

May malinaw na gagampanin ‘yung mga mag-aaral at mga tagapayo ng pahagayang pangkampus na sa level ng mga paaralan na pagsikapan ang tama yung hinahanap at tama ‘yung ipinalalaganap,” Pacay stated.

(Students and campus journalism advisers have a clear role in ensuring the truthfulness of what they look for and what they publicize.)

The event also gave an opportunity for participating publications to hone their craft through various workshops and individual competitions. 

In a news writing workshop, business reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer Tyrone Jasper Piad discussed the importance of critical thinking beyond stating facts in news writing. He detailed that explaining the “so what” —effects—of an issue is crucial to making news more effective. 

Column writing judge and APP Senior Editor in Chief Kyla Feliciano enumerated “paninindigan”, or conviction, and “katapangan”, or courage, as the two qualities columnists must have. 

Kailangan nating humingi ng pananagutan. Kailangan ng mga kolumnista ngayon na iparating sa mga tao kung ano ang isyu at malinaw na ilahad sa kanila kung bakit kailangan nating kalampagin ang mga nasa kapangyarihan,” Feliciano opined.

(We need to seek accountability. Columnists must inform the people clearly as to why they need to rattle those in power.)

BayLayn also recognized the publications through numerous distinctions for their print publication entries and their overall performance during the event. 

San Jose Academy’s publication, The Josenian Tribune, bested 38 other competitors in claiming the Pinakamahusay na Publikasyong Pangmag-aaral (Best Student Publication) award. 

The one-day event became an opportunity for many participating publications to rekindle their passion for campus journalism after the two-year remote setup during the pandemic. 

Napahingahan kami, halos three years. Two years kaming halos walang contact sa mga bata. Pero ‘yung experience ko ngayon, may nabuhay muli sa akin,” shared Jezaline Argamosa, chief adviser of Gumaca National High School’s student publication Ang Muog.

(We were at a halt  for almost three years. We did not have much contact with the students for about two years, so this experience really sparked something in me.)

With reports from Nash Laroya

Christopher Go

By Christopher Go

Carl Joshua Mamuri

By Carl Joshua Mamuri

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