IN THE effort to strengthen media's capacity to report about conflicts in Mindanao, the first home-grown "Conflict-Sensitive Journalism Teaching Guide: Philosophy and Practice" was presented during a launching event on March 2, at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City.
With insights and examples coming from the Mindanao and Philippines context, the Teaching Guide will support teachers in their efforts to equip aspiring media practitioners with theory and tools for accurate, balanced and impartial reporting.
Media influence conflict dynamics through their power to mold public opinion and national decision-making.
Conflict-Sensitive Journalism (CSJ) was developed as a framework to employ news as a means for peaceful resolution of conflicts, instead of contributing to their escalation.
The innovative Teaching Guide was born out of years of collaboration initiated by forumZFD with the Commission on Higher Education (Ched)-Davao, Peace and Conflict Journalism Network (Pecojon) Philippines, and the Media Educators of Mindanao Inc. (MEM), for integrating CSJ in education institutions in the region.
"By integrating CSJ in education, it goes beyond being a framework that contributes to high quality journalism. It makes students, as current media consumers and future media practitioners, aware of their potential role in creating lasting peace in Mindanao," said Raul C. Alvarez Jr., Ched-Davao Director IV.
During the launching of the Guide on March 2, more than 70 representatives from higher education institutions, various government agencies, such as Ched, DepEd and Opapp, journalists, and peace building organizations listened to a round-table discussion on the added value of CSJ in the education, media and peace building field. Speakers included, among others, renowned journalist Karlos Manlupig, Marianne Afrondoza (vice-president of the MEM network), and Sophie Schellens (Project Manager Davao of forumZFD).
"The Teaching Guide brings together international insights on peace and conflict, Philippine realities of journalists, as collected by PECOJON, and the experiences of communication teachers, contributed by the MEM network. This is a unique combination in one publication," said Ed Karlon Rama, author of the Teaching Guide and National Coordinator Pecojon.
Hard copies of the CSJ Teaching Guide were handed out during the launch. A soft copy will be available on the forumZFD Philippines website. (PR)