Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Responsible and independent journalism

April 24, 2006

THAT’S what we call the 12-part training module that we in the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) are now implementing in partnership with Xavier University’s South East Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute (Searsolin).

Last April 1st, our second batch of trainees successfully completed the second part of the 12-part course which was developed with technical assistance from the AusAID-funded Philippines-Australia Governance Facility (PAGF). This international standard module on "Responsible and Independent Journalism" was initiated by the COPC to train journalists in fighting corruption, especially in government and media.

The project was started during the tenure of past COPC president Herbie Gomez in response to the sensationalism, arrogance, inaccuracy and unethical behavior of some media institutions and media practitioners which has been eroding public confidence in the press, primarily as a result of corruption in government, the private sector and the media itself.

The Training Module aims to: 1) Promote the understanding of the role of media in civil society; and 2) enhance the investigative journalistic skills, including research and reportage of freelance journalists and those in government, non-government organizations, as well as campus journalists to better equip them to perform the tasks of their profession, especially in reporting corruption and development issues.

Upon completion of the module, the trainees are expected to be able to write and publish/broadcast high quality reports to empower the public take an informed and public role in public dialog on issues/concerns that affect their lives, and be able to hold their leaders accountable for their actions.

Due to the length of the 44-session, 132 hour training module, it is being offered in four parts of six days each. Participants will be cloistered in Searsolin to maximize their access to learning facilities and tools, as well as immerse them in a milieu undisturbed by daily routines that could adversely affect their focus and assimilation.

The third module has been scheduled for June 19-24, 2006 and will include the following topics: Investigative Reporting, and Regional and Global Development Issues.

This early, the COPC and Searsolin are already inviting participants especially those who would benefit most from this particular module such as media affiliated journalists from locally based print and broadcast institutions; communication officers from cause-oriented and advocacy groups like Heritage Conservation Advocates, Task Force Macalajar; Mindanao Peaceweavers, Bishops-Ulama Forum; and especially those who wish to acquire or hone their investigative reportage on regional and global development issues such as poverty and income distribution, population and responsible parenthood, globalization and free trade, and most especially graft and corruption.

Inquiries and early registrants can call or fax Searsonlin at any of the following numbers : (88) 858-8062; (8822) 72-40-96 or 72-29-94 or email: searsolin@xu.edu.ph. You may also visit the COPC office at the 2nd floor, Press Club Bldg., A. Velez cor. A. Luna sts., Cagayan de Oro City or call/fax us at tel. (8822) 72-47-79.

On behalf of the participants and training staff of the second batch, may I extend our thanks and appreciation to the Searsolin staff under the able management of Director Dr. Anselmo "Boy" B. Mercado, Ed.D. for their hospitality and expertise which helped make our first two trainings a success. We wish to especially cite Training Officer Liza Gonzales and Lito from the Library. Daghang Salamat!

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