Over 1,000 mass communication students from all over the Philippines gained a more informed and critical understanding of the Media in last February’s 11th Pinoy Media Congress (PMC), held at the St. Mary’s College Quezon City campus and beamed live via satellite to the Visayas State University.
With the theme “Media and Information Literacy: Understanding Media in Today’s Changing Society,” the 3-day annual media conference organized by ABS-CBN and the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) featured notable news and entertainment media practitioners who shared their expertise and experiences to the next generation of Filipino mass communicators.
In his opening remarks, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak emphasized the importance of media literacy nowadays, when everyone can freely disseminate information via social media. Katigbak encouraged students to use their voices in a positive way, and create content that is truthful, inspiring, and empowering.
“Explore, enjoy, tell stories, grab opportunities, and break boundaries with your new media playgrounds. But for the sake of the future generations, be responsible. Discern. Have discipline. Make the world better,” he said.
Katigbak also shared with them the three roles of media: to report and stay committed to pursuing the truth, to advocate and take a stand on fundamental issues, and to take part in nation-building through serving the country not only through news, stories and entertainment, but also through action. Citing ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation as an example of how media can make a direct impact on people’s lives, Katigbak reminded the delegates that to be a media practitioner is ultimately to be of service to the public.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN News head Ging Reyes also underscored the importance of media literacy, especially as mainstream media is said to be facing challenges they have never encountered before. Reyes said the media should react to disruptions and navigate through distractions constantly but should never lose sight of their mission to work for an enlightened public, which is the foundation of any democracy.
“As the world became more advanced, and more dangerous, so did our work as journalists. But this is part of our evolution. What should remain solid and constant is our courage, dedication, resilience and adherence to our values,” she said.
Focusing on the issue of misinformation online, ABS-CBN News Public Service head and “Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo” head Rowena Paraan also gave away tips in detecting fake news and encouraged students to develop the habit of fact-checking. She said, among the obvious signs an article is a fake news story are if the article is poorly-written and if there are no mention of sources.
Other communication experts that served as resource speakers were ABS-CBN News chief of reporters Lynda Jumilla, broadcast journalists Ted Failon, Ces Orena-Drilon, and Jeff Canoy, VERA Files Trustee Ellen Tordesillas, Ramon Tuazon of the Commission on Higher Education, and ABS-CBN News head for Futures, Standards and Ethics Chi Almario-Gonzales, PLDT vice president for Digital Marketing Strategy Carlo Ople, ABS-CBN head for Digital Media Services Dennis Lim, ABS-CBN Film Restoration head Leo Katigbak, renowned scriptwriter and book author Ricky Lee, “The Greatest Love” head writer Jerry Gracio, ABS-CBN International Sales and Distribution head Leng Raymundo, ABS-CBN head of Research for Channel 2 Liza Aleta, ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. managing director Mark Yambot, and ABS-CBN business unit head Ruel Bayani.
Students also had the chance to exchange views with ABS-CBN officials led by Katigbak, Reyes, COO for Broadcast Cory Vidanes, and head of TV Production Laurenti Dyogi, and enjoyed performances by Kapamilya artists like Elmo Magalona, Diego Loyzaga, Ylona Garcia, the cast of “Langit at Lupa” and boy groups Hashtags and and BoyBandPH.
On Saturday, the delegates also attended the Adober Studios bootcamp for aspiring online creators, the Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop for students, the BMPM Citizen Journalism workshop, film screenings of restored classic flicks “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” and “Magic Temple,” and tours inside the ABS-CBN Compound and in the “Pinoy Big Brother” house.
ABS-CBN’s PMC was given an Award of Excellence by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines’ Anvil Awards in 2008 and by the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines’ Philippine Quill Awards in 2007 for its noble purpose of shaping young minds and preparing future media practitioners. This year, PMC had its biggest turnout with almost 1,400 delegates, raising its overall total of attendees in 11 years to over 9,000.