Education Secretary Leonor Briones challenged campus journalists – and learners in general – to always consider the matter of ethics especially at a time when journalism, honesty and integrity are “put to a test.”
“Please take into consideration ethics in journalism – the matter of truth-telling, the matter of determining what the public should know and has the right to know vis-a-vis all the gossip and speculation especially in this time of heightened expectations for the coming elections,” Briones said during the opening program of the 2021 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) on Wednesday, Aug. 11.
For the first time, DepEd is holding the NSPC virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country. The event is scheduled from Aug. 11 to 13.
“Right now, as you know, we are faced with many challenges in setting up our traditional events in the department because especially in NCR [National Capital Region], we are now under ECQ [Enhanced Community Quarantine] as with three other local government units while the others are in varying degree of moderate and strict prohibitions because of the onset of the Delta variant,” Briones said.
Despite the challenges, Briones noted that the NSPC 2021 “shows to us how DepEd is responding to the crisis brought out by the pandemic.”
Briones said that DepEd has to postpone many of its important events. “We have to wait until the health situation is better before we go back to face-to-face whether partially or in full,” she explained.
“Every day is always a challenge, there’s always something to adjust to and there’s always a surprise coming from COVID itself,” she added.
Despite this, Briones reminded the learners and all other participants to the NSPC that “all these things will come to pass.” Anchored on the theme “Pahayagang Pangkampus: Kaagapay sa Paghilom at Pagbangon ng Sambayanan,” the 2021 NSPC focuses on Campus Journalism in the 21st Century.
Among the conference activities include the training workshops on documentary film (investigative report, science discovery, advocacy journalism); mobile journalism; online publication; development of instructional materials on campus journalism; research on campus journalism; TV scriptwriting and broadcasting (English and Filipino); radio scriptwriting and broadcasting (English and Filipino); editorial cartooning; editorial and column writing; informercial; news and feature writing; sports writing; photojournalism; and orientation on the search for outstanding campus journalism project.
Before the opening of NSPC, DepEd asked each region to determine their own official participants and pre-register both student delegates and the school paper advisers.
Meanwhile, Briones reminded the student participants to “have fun virtually” and listen to the distinguished speakers “very carefully” during the three-day event.
“Listen to your special lecturers who will teach you not only the techniques but more important, ethics for journalism in the expected new normal,” Briones said.