Smart Communications, Inc. | Apr 26, 2012
[26 April 2012] The future of campus journalism is digital and it’s here right now
[26 April 2012/ Puerto Princesa City] The future of campus journalism is digital and it’s here right now.
This was the message presented to more than 1,500 high school paper editors, advisers and communication arts supervisors of the Department of Education (DepEd) as they attended the journ.ph plenary session of the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) supported by Smart Communications (Smart). The session was the highlight of the longest running national campus journalism event of DepEd.
The NSPC is the annual gathering of about 5,000 campus journalists and advisers held to recognize outstanding group and individual performers in campus journalism from all over the country. It includes group and individual competitions, plenary sessions and awards programs for outstanding editors and advisers both in the secondary and elementary levels.
The Journ.ph plenary session included lectures on Digital Literacy by Darwin Flores, senior manager for community partnerships of Smart; Online Publishing by Roby Alampay, senior manager for New Media at TV5 and editor-in-chief of the network's online news portal, InterAksyon.com; and Max Limpag, business editor of Sun.Star Cebu and an award-winning technology blogger.
Journ.ph is the online campus journalism program of Smart. Under the program, school publications are given trainings and access to a free online platform (journ.ph). Introduced three years ago to tertiary schools, it was later implemented as a pilot program in the secondary level in Western Visayas, in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency.
This year, said Ramon R. Isberto, public affairs group head of Smart, the program will be expanded to include more schools with the introduction of the program in the ranks of the NSPC, particularly in keeping with the conference theme, “Promoting Digital Literacy through Campus Journalism”.
Flores, in his talk, emphasized the need for student editors to ”understand, evaluate, use, analyze, create and communicate information using the digital technology, which he said, allows the utilization of smaller, faster and cheaper devices that contains more massive amounts of data.
He expressed hopes that with online journalism now within the reach of student editors, information will be delivered faster particularly that the Education Department, in its information technology thrust, has made Internet connection available to about half of the around 7,500 secondary schools in the Philippines, with the figures further increasing.
At the same time, Flores reminded the prospective young online journalists to use their craft as accurately and responsibly as possible and informed them of the technological advances Smart are developing in keeping with IT growth and expansion.
“I am looking forward to the use and application of Journ.ph and other technologies Smart is introducing,” said Isaac Tambunting, an incoming college freshman who just graduated from PAREF Southridge School at Ayala Alabang in Metro Manila.
Limpag underscored the value of good and readable design through the blend of aesthetics and context in online reporting, which Alampay shared as he showcased the value of attractive visuals taking the place of words in TV5’s InterAksyon.com, the network’s online news portal. The InterAksyon editor-in-chief reiterated the value of interactive strategies to capture and sustain reader attention in online journalism.
Enriching the participants’ knowledge was the Online Journalism discussion during the plenary session by acclaimed writer and critic, Dr. Isagani Cruz, former education undersecretary and a fellow of De La Salle University. Dr. Cruz discussed, among others, the value of digital literacy in a technologically developing society.
Advisers and editors were encouraged to sign up for prospective membership in the program.
Two mentors expressed great satisfaction over their exposure to the he Journ.ph program and the session on digital literacy.
“What you conducted is a dynamic program and I found it valuable listening to experts on digital literacy It was a two-in-one experience for us – the opportunity to enhance our knowledge and skills in online journalism and also to explore the amazing world of computers,” said Lolit Cabahug, a grade school paper adviser from Bacolod City.
Dr. Visminda Valde of the Education Region IX Office in Pagadian City, asked if the program can be replicated in her area. “I salute the generosity of Smart for sharing the technology with us and I look forward to your sharing the expertise with us down to our regional and local levels,” she said.
Reiterating the relevance of Journ.ph and the plenary session on digital literacy, DepEd NSPC Secondary Level Coordinator Anasol Reyes said, “These are helping us, indeed, as we move toward digitalization in our national campus journalism program.”
Darwin Flores, senior manager for community partnerships of Smart, discussing digital literacy
to students and teacher advisers.
Campus journalists sign up for Smart’s journ.ph online campus journalism program.
Smart together with partners provides trainings and free use of journ.ph,
an online platform for news publishing
Sunstar.ph editor and award-winning blogger Max Limpag shares insights on
good design for online publishing.
TV5 and InterAksyon.com’s Roby Alampay reiterates the value of interactive strategies to capture
and sustain reader attention in online journalism.