In line with our internship program, PIA-Cordillera asked us to go to the Journalism Seminar held at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) AVR at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Baguio City. I and 13 of my fellow interns attended the said event, and thankfully we did because it was a once in a lifetime experience. We were supposed to have a class today for Journalism 109 (Laws on Mass Media) but our instructor cancelled it yesterday, so there we were, in a whole day seminar together with friends from Mining corporations’ info officers and other interns from other media outfits. SICE and BCBC members were also there in the event.

The said event was composed of 7 segments, each having a designated speaker from various media outfits in Baguio City. The first lecture was from Sir Sly Quintos of Baguio Chronicle. He lectured about the basics of newswriting: its elements, types, parts, and news gathering as well. Also, he gave us a brief discussion of Writer’s block and what causes it. He also shared with his companions when it comes to writing, and he also gave usa brief and interesting lecture about politically-correct words.

Ms. May Anne Cacdac of Sun.Star Baguio followed after and talked about Feature Writing. She discussed what feature writing really is and how to differentiate it from advice columns. She also imparted her experiences regarding writing. She also taught us how to write a feature story and substantiate it. Questions were asked at the end of her talk and when she was asked regarding the use of some words that may not be understood by others, she told us that we also have to give writers an ‘artistic license’ in terms of writing.

The Sportswriting lecture came next with Sir Roderick Osis of Sun.Star Baguio as well discussed how sports article is made. He mentioned that some people may consider it as one of the hardest topics to write about but with thorough practice, one can definitely say that it may be the easiest writing assignment one could write about. He emphasized that to have a good article, one must be fair in reporting, just like in news. Also, he mentioned sports lingo, which might be deceptive but through careful analysis and practice it will improve along the way. He also taught us how to write a sports lead and how to structure the body of the article.

Facebook Advocacy and Iphone Photography came next after lunch. For Facebook Advocacy, the speaker taught us how Facebook has helped promote advocacy and become an agent of change, especially for the people of Baguio. Different movements were made successful through online advocacies and it’s also becoming a trend these days. Different opinions were heard regarding whether Mining Corporations should consider Facebook as a platform to voice out their statements and their explanations that Mining has in fact helped people because they were ‘scared’ of the consequences they might face online. Ms. Pryce Quintos of PIA suggested that they ‘kill that fear’ instead and use social media to voice out their side because that’s where the masses are found and reached. 

In the iPhone Photography lecture, we were taught about the basics and wonders of photography using smart phones. Several participants showed the photographs they took and the speaker gave them pieces of advice on how to improve it. Also, he showed us how we can use our smartphones to capture images and tell a story for journalistic purposes.

Richard Balonglong, a photojournalist and correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer taught us regarding Videography. He showed us the basics of using video editors and some of his works as well. Audiences were amused as he lectured regarding composition and lighting in photography and videography as well, and samples of his work which were really eye-catching. One thing we learned from him that we should plan our ideas carefully beforehand and it takes patience and courage to get the results we want to get. 

Lastly, regarding New Media, Pryce Quintos of PIA-Cordillera discussed ‘Twitter Journalism’ as a new trend in social media. She first discussed what Twitter is and what it is composed of, and also how it works. She also discussed ‘live tweeting’ or ‘tweeting as it happens’ as a form of journalism. She mentions that Twitter is a ‘virtual notebook’ and that in just a tweet, one can inform a lot of people in 140 characters or less. She also gave us tips on do’s and dont’s in tweeting, as well as the purposes of hashtags to create a community. She also asked us to create a hashtag to be used for the seminar and our group won. Actually I had that idea but I didn’t want to share it to them because I don’t think it’s witty enough and not all people can understand the pun I intended. Anyway, the hashtag was #PressWithBenefits. 

The seminar was overflowing with Journalism discussions from the conventional newswriting up to the emerging form of Journalism in Social Media. It was a very interesting seminar and I hope we could attend more. Thank you to DENR, SICE, and BCBC for that wonderful event, we learned so much and we hope we were also able to impart our knowledge to you guys as well. 😉