The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), through the BANTALA: UPV Media Excellence Awards, introduced the Western Visayas Journalists’ Guide to the media, including bloggers, based in the region, at a press conference held at the UPV, Iloilo City campus, on Sept. 4.
The said guide is an output of region-based media and bloggers, along with Communication and Media Studies lecturers and students of UPV, who participated in a seminar-workshop held last June, jointly hosted by the Iloilo City Media-Citizens Council (ICMC) and BANTALA, with support from the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and Hanns Siedel Foundation.
Present during the press conference to answer questions from the media and bloggers were Chancellor Clement Camposano; Dr. Zoilo Andrada, Jr., faculty member of the Division of Humanities; Information and Publications Office Director Gerthrode Charlotte Tan-Mabilog; and Mr. Francis Allan Angelo, ICMC Chairman and PPI Regional Trustee for the Visayas.
The production of the guide seeks to help address the shift from traditional media to digital media, of which the latter is susceptible to becoming a platform of disinformation as it is conveniently accessible to the general public.
Camposano said, “the University has always been a strong advocate for press freedom,” adding “Our defense of freedom of the press should also be accompanied by efforts to, of course, improve the quality of journalism.”
The Chancellor also noted that information in public spaces isn’t only easily accessible, but also fed to digital consumers through content that are tailored based on their online activities.
Set to be launched on Sept. 16 at the UPV Auditorium, Iloilo City campus, the guide contains topics on online reporting, safety and security, ethical considerations for multi-platform reporting, and newsroom practices.
For his part, Andrada said the shift to digital media has caused a disruption in news delivery, which was more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, as concerned media practitioners in the academe and the industry, he, together with Angelo and Tan-Mabilog, came up with the idea of holding the seminar-workshop to craft the guide to address the concern on media disruption.
According to Tan-Mabilog, copies of the guide will be given to media outlets and academic institutions that offer mass communications-related programs in the region.
Andrada and Tan-Mabilog edited the guide, which she said is “holistic” as media members from the print, radio, TV, and online from various areas in Western Visayas were part of its crafting.