Journalists and media executives came together to champion media literacy for future industry practitioners, teaching students how to spot fake news, fact-check the elections and emphasize the core principles of journalism at the Pinoy Media Congress Year 13 mounted by ABS-CBN and the Philippine Association for Communication Educators.
Students and professors from all over the Philippines listened to ABS-CBN head of news and current affairs Ging Reyes, broadcast journalists Karen Davila, Chiara Zambrano and Migs Bustos, ABS-CBN News head of Futures, Practices and Standards Chi Almario-Gonzalez, and ABS-CBN News public service head Rowena Paraan talk about various issues, practices and learning in the Philippine news media industry.
Reyes and Gonzalez talked about the importance of a discerning and critical eye for information amidst digital technology and social media while staying true to the standards and ethics that ABS-CBN News continues to live by.
"Ensuring accuracy, accountability and transparency, independence, and having a strong sense of public responsibility set us apart from those without the necessary experience, training, and background,” Reyes said.
Davila talked about how fake news and social media can affect the way people perceive and receive information, and the impact this has on society today. She reminded students to be responsible, accountable and truthful when engaging in and sharing content, especially news stories, online.
Paraan stressed the importance of fact-checking anything one sees online, especially during election season. “Verification is the essence of journalism. It’s a necessary skill for everyone, not just professionals and journalists,” she said.
Zambrano, on the other hand, shared her experiences covering the war and conflict beats and the Marawi conflict, which she told through various platforms including TV, digital and social media. She reminded students of their main duty to bring information to the public.
“There are many ways to tell a story. You’re still a journalist, whatever kind of platform you choose to use, and at the end of the day, your main obligation is to tell the truth to the people,” she said.
In a forum on multiplatform journalists, Zambrano, Preen. ph managing editor Jacque de Borja, Youngstar.ph editor Gaby Gloria, and Bustos discussed with students the various skills needed to be a journalist today and the new challenges brought about by media’s digital shift.
UP College of Mass Communications professor Rosel San Pascual also shared the results of her study that showed how civility in online discussions affects netizens’ engagement, while Mark Yambot of ABS-CBN Books showed that print media is, in fact, thriving.
Meanwhile, Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. president and cofounder Rina Lopez-Bautista shared how media has been and can be used for social good. ABS-CBN Lingkod Foundation Inc. chair and ILOVE Foundation founder Gina Lopez also inspired the delegates to spark change as she spoke about her Quest for Love project.
The media congress took place on March 7 and 8 at the College of Holy Spirit Manila and University of San Agustin in Iloilo City through an interactive live broadcast and was hosted by Gretchen Ho on the first day. (Story/Photos by: Kane Choa)