Veteran journalists and media practitioners stressed the need to teach media literacy among the youth and fight the proliferation of fake news in a forum held at the Pinoy Media Congress, which was attended by thousands of students and was held last March 5 at the College of the Holy Spirit Manila (CHSM).
ABS–CBN Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo (BMPM) head Rowena Paraan gave tips to the attendees on avoiding falling victim to fake news and explained BMPM’s media literacy campaign, done in partnership with the Department of Education, which promotes the responsible use of technology and social media and analyzing information. “This goes beyond fake news, this is for developing a generation that can think critically and analyze issues as they come and not just how they see it,” she said.
Journalist Inday Varona, meanwhile, said that she believes Filipinos should be taught about media as early as kindergarten, noting that today’s children are exposed to media at a very young age.
University of the Philippines professor Clarissa David, who has appeared for the Senate hearing on fake news, also discussed the importance of media’s role in fighting fake news, while ABS-CBN head of futures, standards, and ethics Chi Almario-Gonzales talked about the self-regulatory mechanisms used by ABS-CBN that are designed to uphold the quality and accuracy of every news story it publishes.
Apart from them, other subject matter experts also shared their knowledge with 1,200 delegates in CHSM and Cebu Technological University via interactive broadcast.
ABS-CBN news and current affairs head Ging Reyes and Manila Bulletin executive editor Pinky Colmenares also acknowledged the impact of technology and social media on news gathering and reporting and shared the evolving newsroom practices that allow them to experiment with innovative storytelling methods.
Reyes shared, “The new normal has its downside too. The transition from traditional to digital at first had its challenges. The process required agility. We wanted something new while retaining efficiency in a culture of change. This desire for change to do things differently to always do things as pioneers, started in the early 2000s when we started to expand digitally and even widening our news bureaus.”
The first day of PMC also featured celebrities such as Bianca Gonzales-Intal, who talked about using social media for social good to provide concrete positive output for the community, while Bela Padilla shared anecdotes about taking on different roles in media through her experience as an actress, screenwriter, and author.
A partnership between ABS-CBN and the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE), PMC aims to help prepare the next generation of communicators through imparting knowledge and wisdom from seasoned media practitioners.