His legacy lives on

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The board of trustees, members, and secretariat of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) are saddened by the passing of media icon and seasoned newspaper man Amado 'Jake' P. Macasaet who was a long-time chairman-president of the PPI from 1996 to 2012.

He represented Malaya in the board as publisher. He was conferred chairman emeritus in 2013, the first and only recognition so far bestowed by the institute to a former chairman.

"He is a great loss to the industry and will be missed for sure," noted Al Pedroche, PPI's current chairman.

Sir Jake was instrumental in making sure that the 54-year old organization sticks to its mandate and "not be used by anyone or any politician or organization".

Ariel Sebellino, PPI executive director remembers Sir Jake as straightforward. "He doesn't like so much or many frills in our events. When I introduced some, he would say, 'Anong kaartehan na naman 'yan, Ariel. Pero maganda naman.' These are just some of his unforgettable lines," Sebellino reminisced.

He worked with him for 16 years, preparing reports for him and 'coaching' him spiels for his remarks in PPI's big events.

Sir Jake was a staunch advocate of decriminalizing libel, among other matters that sorely affect the media.

Allan Mediante, PPI vice-president also recalled his fondness for Sir Jake. "For the first time during his time, we were able to do our board meeting and oathtaking as officers outside Metro Manila. At first we thought, he did not want to fly. But he agreed that we hold it in Cagayan de Oro," Mediante said.

Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Jesus 'Jess' Dureza mused that during the turnover of chairmanship to him by Sir Jake in 2013, the latter declared during the annual membership meeting, "you're in good hands".

PPI staff also had funny moments with him. "Nakakatuwa siya. Malakas lang talaga boses niya pero maalaga. Favorite niya ang ginataang tilapia pag board meeting namin sa office," Nemy Joquiño said. She usually calls Sir Jake to remind him of PPI events.

"Sir Jake's legacy wil live on. I will always remember his reminders to me, usually during pep talks as we puffed together," Sebellno added.

The Philippine Press Institute condoles with the Macasaets.

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Digging Stories That Matter (Surigao and Baguio Leg)

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DIGGING STORIES THAT MATTER. The seminar-workshops in Surigao City (first photo) for Mindanao leg and Baguio City (second photo) for Luzon-NCR leg on January 2018 complete the media training series on covering the extractive industries organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in partnership with the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) Secretariat. Fifty-nine journalists from PPI-member publications and other media outfits and platforms attended all three workshops that kicked off in Cebu City in December 2017 for the Visayas leg.

The second phase of the partnership will be submission and approval of story proposals with corresponding grants amounting up to P20,000.00. (Photos by Kier Labrador and Rogine De Mata Rogelio/PPI)

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FINAL SALVO: Let’s Get Real on Fake News

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FINAL SALVO. Silliman University in Dumaguete hosted the last of the seminar series on "Let's Get Real on Fake News" and led the signing of the covenant in the fight against disinformation. A total of 170 attendees from various schools packed the audio-visual theater of the university's College of Mass Communication. The communal thumbs down opened the program and the signing closed it. The Philippine Press Institute (PPI), also known as the national association of newspapers conducted the seminars with support from Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) in line with its scholastic outreach and civic journalism programs. Vera Files provided the presentation on fact-checking. (Photos by Kier Labrador/PPI)

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Digging Stories That Matter (Cebu Leg)

PPI-DOF photo after seminar

Print and broadcast journalists from all over Visayas participate in the first of the workshop series and media fellowship on covering the extractive industries titled "Digging Stories That Matter" in Cebu City from December 6 to 9 organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in partnership with the Philippine Extractive Industries Initiative (PH-EITI) Secretariat. The last two workshops will be conducted in January 2018 in Surigao City and Baguio City. (Photo by Kier Labrador/PPI)

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PTFoMS backs OSG move to appeal CA ruling on Reyes

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MANILA -- The head of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Thursday said it supported the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in initiating an investigation to find the “stench” with regard to the Court of Appeals’ (CA) decision to release former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes from detention due to insufficiency of evidence in the Ortega murder case.

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday said the appellate court's decision to clear Reyes of charges for allegedly ordering the murder of radio host and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega “stinks” and that he would conduct an investigation to “find out where the stench came from.”

In a Palace briefing, PTFoMS executive director Usec. Joel Sy Egco said the task force shared the same sentiment.

He pointed out that the OSG was one of the member agencies of PTFoMS, an inter-agency task force created under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 1 (AO 1) for the purpose of monitoring all cases of media killings and mobilizing all member agencies in order to attain justice for the family of slain journalists and media workers.

“The PTFoMS will do all within its powers and will perform all legal and appropriate actions and ask our media partners ... for support in order to find out where the stench really came from with regard to the release of former Governor Reyes to the detriment of a slain journalist,” Egco said.

He said the belief that the decision stinks was also shared by the Ortega family and their lawyers during their meeting following the CA decision.

Their belief is rooted on the previous Supreme Court decision upholding the jurisdiction of the lower court in determining probable cause, and that the CA justices who voted for the release of Reyes may be held administratively liable for going against the SC.

"So ito iyong nakikita namin na possible. I’m not saying that this is going to happen. But it depends on the interested parties, in this particular case specifically the family. Kung gusto nilang mag-pursue, may interes sila sa kaso. They may do so. But we are of that belief," Egco said.

In the meantime, the Palace official said the CA decision is an “unwelcome development,” calling it “a nightmare from where we all should wake up.”

“It sets a bad precedent to cases of similar nature. It sends a chilling effect not only to the families of victims but even to us, to those at the frontline against the problem of media killings,” he said.

“Natatakot ako dito, ako personally. We are on the frontline of the fight against media worker killings. Napakahirap maghanap ng witness, ang hirap mag-file ng kaso, ang hirap magpahuli ng suspect, ang hirap mag-monitor ng kaso sa Korte, ang daming kung anu-ano. And then sa isang iglap biglang mawawala. What about the other more than 100 cases that we’re handling? So that’s my, kumbaga iyong primal fear,” Egco said.

As such, the head of the task force on media security said that he had already prepared a formal request for Calida to take charge and find way to effectively reverse the CA decision.

“We give our full trust and confidence to the office of the Solicitor General to effectively seek a reversal of this nightmare… of this, according to (Presidential Spokesperson) Secretary (Harry) Roque in the past few days, which is a travesty of justice,” he said.

“Hindi lang ano, kailangan ma-reverse ito. Because as I said, for me this is a nightmare and kailangan pagtulung-tulungan natin ito otherwise natatakot ako na bumagsak iyong ibang mga ganitong klase ng kaso. Hindi magandang example,” Egco said. (PNA)

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UP to hold the 5th National Communication Research Conference

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The Department of Communication Research of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) is holding the 5th National Communication Research Conference in Baguio City on 22 to 25 November 2017. This year’s theme is “Filipino Communicative Experience,” in time for the country’s 120th Year of Independence next year.

Over 600 communication and media students, faculty members, and professionals are expected to participate in the two-day main conference on 23 and 24 November 2017 where seven plenary speakers, ten competition papers, and 66 parallel session papers will be presented at the University of Cordilleras Main Campus (UCMC). Two parallel pre-conference workshops on research reporting will be held on 22 November at the UCMC and two post-conference workshops on research design will be held simultaneously on 25 November at the University of the Philippines Baguio (for students) and at the University of Baguio (for graduate students and faculty members).

Hon. Mark O. Go, Representative of the Lone District of Baguio City, will give the Opening Keynote Remarks. Professor Maria Cecilia Gastardo-Conaco, PhD, 2017 Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Guro awardee of UP Diliman, will talk about Filipino values and social media during her keynote marks at the Closing Ceremony.

Interested parties can contact the NCRC2017 Secretariat at ncrc@up.edu.ph or visit https://www.facebook.com/NCRCPhilippines/ for information about the conference.

The onsite non-refundable registration fee is P500. It covers the conference kit which includes the Book of Abstracts, a conference ID, the certificate of attendance, a pen, and a small notebook.

The NCRC is being staged together with the College of Arts and Communication of the University of the Philippines Baguio, the University of the Cordilleras, and the Philippines Communication Society. The Philippine Press Institute is NCRC’s press partner.

Now on its fifth year, the NCRC is the geographical expansion of the Communication Research Student Conference, first held in 2008. It is the first time that NCRC is being held outside the UP Diliman campus.

The NCRC is endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and its organizer, the Department of Communication Research is a CHED Center of Excellence in Communication. It has received a Quill Award on Communication Training and Education from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

 

For more information contact:
Contact Person
Fernando Paragas, PhD, Program & Publicity Team Head
National Communication Research Conference 2017
Email fcparagas@up.edu.ph
Phone 981-8500 loc 2671
(PPI as official media partner)

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JASCOR Gets a Quill

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Stories that made the cut in the 2014 and 2015 Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction, otherwise known as JASCOR, were collectively recognized at the recently concluded 2017 Philippine Quill Awards for Communications Skills — Publication Category.

Holcim Philippines, the building solutions company that funds JASCOR and a member of LafargeHolcim Holcim Group, a global leader in the construction materials industry, received the Philippine Quill award from the local division of the International Association of Business Communicators during the 15th Philippine Quill Awards held at the Marriott Hotel in Manila.

The Philippine Quill is considered the most prestigious award in business communication in the country.

JASCOR is a joint undertaking of Holcim Philippines and the Philippine Press Institute, the country’s biggest national association of newspapers. It  aims to recognize stories from the print media that help generate increased public awareness of the concept of sustainable construction and relevant issues.

One of JASCOR’s winning stories — which bagged the annual competition’s 2015 grand prize in the national newspaper category — is an inspiring piece, “Strong, cheap homes for ‘Yolanda’ victims,” penned by Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent Mozart Pastrano, that gave the nod to the “wisdom of vernacular architecture”.

Take that to mean — in the case of some of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan), which packed winds exceeding 300 kph and toppled just about every structure in its path — new and sturdier homes that leveraged indigenous innovations, making “passive cooling, natural lighting and ventilation” possible. The structures, built where old and typhoon-shattered ones used to stand, were designed to withstand winds up to 250 kph and are a “pioneering community-driven approach to recovery and rehabilitation.”

Nanay Marina, the proud owner of one of these structures, beamed with pride on seeing her newly minted house for the first time, a collective achievement of a community of survivors who put their hands together to build their homes, assisted by UN Habitat.

Gone are the scraps that made up what had been her home for close to two decades until it was levelled to the ground by the 2014 super typhoon. “Now we can go on with our lives,” said the then 69-year-old  resident of Barangay Baybay, Roxas City, in the Capiz Province, one of the areas ravaged by the typhoon.

In her winning story, Business Mirror correspondent Marilou Guieb, sharing top honors in the national newspaper category with Pastrano — described, in great detail, one of the remaining “pockets of green and spiritual spaces” in the City of Pines, now hobbled by a slow but steady shift from the once chilly air to “concrete island heat (and) pine-clad open spaces to traffic snarls.”

In her piece, titled “The Maryknoll nuns’ Earth House provides calm in a city of chaos,” the Baguio City-based journalist talked about an ecological sanctuary that is at the heart of the Cosmic Journey, a guided tour organized by the religious order, comprising 14 stations that “go back in time, featuring “pathways strewn with flowers and ferns and shaded by towering pine trees.”
The ecological stroll winds down at the Earth House, an interesting and innovative “mix of old architectural wisdom and modern construction,” showcasing sustainable construction.      

The builder, neither an architect nor an engineer, and admittedly “totally naïve about construction,” was given free hand by the directress of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary,

Emma Villanueva, who lived near the Maryknoll compound and whose kitchen cafe that she personally designed impressed the Maryknoll nuns, embarked on her own creative journey when she was tapped by the latter to build and design the Earth House.

Among others, she experimented with clay soil, sand, and straw until she came up with the right formula for creating bricks that remained intact even when dropped to the ground. The resulting mud bricks reinforced the bamboo slats that formed the walls. Shards of used wine bottles and discarded jars — featuring an array of colors — were tucked into the bamboo weaves, letting natural light in while enhancing the aesthetic look of the entire structure.

Broken Italian tiles that sold for P40 per box, and which were cut to the desired sizes and shapes, formed the sink while natural dyes in their organic hues that gave the house an even more impressive look were extracted from plants — knowledge of which came in handy, thanks to village women familiar with these plants. Other notable features of the earthen house were cogon roofing fitted with sprinklers, and solar panels given freely by a local distributor, one of many who donated time and effort to building the house.

“If she can do it with just mud, sand and water, so can communities, and governments—and no one needs to be ever homeless,” concluded Guieb.

PPI-Holcim JASCOR Awards for FB

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“FAKE NEWS IS NOT NEWS”

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'FAKE NEWS IS NOT NEWS." The officers of the Negros Press Club (NPC) were among the 300 participants who led the signing of the covenant against disinformation and misinformation in the seminar on 'Let's Get Real on Fake News' at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNOR) in Bacolod City. This is the second to the last of the scholastic series organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) with support from Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) in collaboration with the local press club. The final leg will be in Dumaguete City.
Photos by PPI's Kier Labrador
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2 Asian Communication Icons Win AMIC Awards

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Two Asian communication icons—a theorist and a practitioner—will be given one of the highest honors in the field of communication in Asia by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) on Sept. 27 at Miriam College, Quezon City.

Shelton Dhavalasri Gunaratne, a former Sri Lankan journalist who is now professor emeritus of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), will receive the AMIC Asia Communication Award for 2016 in recognition of his “ground-breaking scholarship and intellectual contribution to Asian media and communication research.”

Gunaratne

Wijayananda Jayaweera, a Sri Lankan broadcaster who spent a lifetime developing broadcasting in Asia up to the end of his distinguished career as UNESCO Director of Communication and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), will be given the AMIC Asia Communication Award for 2017 in the field of institution Jayaweera

building.

The awards will be handed out at the 25th AMIC Annual International Conference Sept. 27-29 at Miriam College, Quezon City. Over 400 foreign and local communication scholars, educators, researchers, practitioners and students have registered for the conference.

About the Conference

This is the first time the annual conference is being held in the Philippines since AMIC’s transfer from Singapore to the Philippines in 2015.

Themed “Rethinking Communication in a Resurgent Asia," the conference includes sessions on Asian Communication Paradigms and Theories; Asian Philosophy, Religion, and Communication; Freedom of Expression in a Post-Truth Era; Communication and Culture; Communication Education and Training; Political Communication in Traditional and Online Platforms; Media and Information Literacy; and Children and Gender Issues in Communication.
“The theme forces us to question the seeming dominance of Western philosophies and paradigms in communication media in the Asia-Pacific. The event hopes to provide a platform for reasserting the pioneering contributions of Asians in communication as well as examine the impact of Asian philosophies and religions on communication paradigms, strategies, and practices, said Crispin C. Maslog, AMIC Board of Directors Chairperson.

Some “legends” and experts in communication and journalism education in Asia Pacific have confirmed their participation. Among them are John Lent, Shelton Gunaratne, Ronny Adhikarya, Ang Peng Hwa, Cherian George, Arun Mahizhnan, and Peixin Cao. They will be joined by Filipino communication scholars including AMIC Chairperson Crispin C. Maslog and Florangel Rosario-Braid.

About Gunaratne, communication theorist, 2016 Awardee

Shelton Gunaratne started his distinguished career as a journalist in Sri Lanka and went on to conquer new journalistic worlds in Malaysia, Australia and the United States. Go West, young man, he was told. He did, like many other Asian communication scholars of his generation, and eventually became the first Sri Lankan to receive a doctorate in mass communication from the United States in 1972.

He did come back to his roots briefly, to conduct pioneering research for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Minnesota, by studying the role of communication in rural development in Sri Lanka. The results were published by AMIC as one of its first research monographs in 1976.

He then switched to academe as a journalism educator for the next decade in Malaysia and then Australia. From there he went to the United States to teach at the Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) from where he retired as professor emeritus in 2007. All throughout his teaching career in the West, he continued his love affair with Asian journalism and communication.

After 2000, Gunaratne focused his academic energies on globalizing communication/journalism studies with his attempt to merge Eastern philosophies—particularly Buddhist and Daoist phenomenology–in his seminal book, TheDao of the Press, published in 2005.

Gunaratne argues in this book that the classic Four Theories of the Press, articulated by Fred Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm since 1956, and which had become standard textbook in communication and society courses in Asia as in the rest of the Western world since then, was based on Eurocentric history, theory and practice.

Gunaratne said he wrote the Dao of the Press as an attempt to de-Westernize communication theory. This new book interprets press theory from the perspective of Eastern philosophy—particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and Confucianism. Gunaratne proposes “a more humano-centric theoretical framework that reflects the marriage of Eastern ontology with Western epistemology.”

Dr Gunaratne’s development of a humano-centric theory of press freedom presumes a world system that reflects the characteristics of a yin-yang (libertarian-authoritarian) spiral-shaped continuum. Therefore, he argues, communication theory must concede the Daoist notion of diversity within unity (varying degrees of freedom in different countries) because it describes the reality of nature.

About Jayaweera, institution builder, 2017 Awardee

In his career of about 50 years in the communication media sector—starting as a production assistant in 1969 at Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation up to his distinguished career as UNESCO Director of Communication and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)—Wijayananda Jayaweera has either initiated or introduced “revolutionary” programs that are redefining communication policies, standards, and programs.

The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) 2017 Asia Communication Award recognizes Wijayananda Jayaweera for being an innovator in media development.

Jayaweera’s initial major contribution to media development was the establishment in 1984 of Mahaweli Community Radio, a pioneering Asian community radio project. This facilitated the relocation of nearly 60,000 families under one of the most ambitious resettlement projects implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka. Throughout his career, he has played various significant roles in institutionalizing community radio in many other countries including Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. These initiatives were under the aegis of UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development (AIBD), among others.

As an institution builder, Jayaweera led the reform process for the Paris-based International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), successfully reinvigorating it with renewed donor confidence as the main multilateral instrument to support the development of free, independent, and pluralistic media in the developing countries.

He was also instrumental in bringing safety of journalists and the issue of impunity to the Intergovernmental Council of the Press in Developing Countries (IPDC), and in making the Council a global oversight body on the issue by obliging UNESCO member-states to report on the judicial follow up of the killing of journalists in their respective territories.

During his tenure as Director, he led the crafting and introduction of Media Development Indicators, now regarded as the only set of internationally approved indicators to determine media development needs. It was also under his directorship that UNESCO set the standards for journalism education with UNESCO’s Model Journalism Curricula and criteria for instructional excellence applicable to media training institutions.

Among his other significant initiatives is Media and Information Literacy (MIL), now a major pillar of UNESCO Media Development Programmes. In this age of post-truth, hate speech, and fake news, MIL has evolved as a potent tool in empowering media users to be discerning media consumers and responsible and ethical content producers.

AMIC also acknowledges the strong partnership forged between AMIC and UNESCO during his incumbency as Regional Communication Adviser for Asia and, later, as Director of the UNESCO Communication Development Division and IPDC.

After his retirement from UNESCO in 2011, Jayaweera has remained passionate and active in promoting an enabling environment for free, independent, and pluralistic media in the Asia-Pacific and throughout the world as adviser in several communication programmes and projects.

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Statement on National Day of Protest

Print

Today, as declared National Day of Protest, is a grim reminder of the horrors of Martial Law.

Those harrowing years of abuses and violence inflicted on civilians, activists, and media would go down in history as one of our nation's worst periods.

How these have shaped our quest for democracy and freedom - and their restoration - are narratives worth telling and re-telling today and for generations to come.

While #NeverAgain is a mantra and a verbal protest through the years, we enjoin the public in keeping our democratic instutions in check by speaking to power if and when necessary and calling out abuses.

 

Photo Credit: Reuters

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