Communication major students, campus journalists, aspiring and professional media practitioners gathered at the Holy Cross of Davao College to express their solidarity in the the joint celebration of the 30th World Press Freedom Day and 57th World Day of Social Communications, Saturday last May 6, 2023, at the 7th Floor, Sedes Sapientiae Auditorium.

With the theme “How We Cover News”, ABS-CBN Senior News Reporter Adrian Ayalin, highlighted the importance of spreading public information through engaging news stories.

“Just remember ‘yung tatlo or five most important things that you remember about your coverage and ‘yon na, yung kailangan mong i-report,” he said.

Ayalin emphasized that the key to grabbing the attention of readers in a news story is the ‘hook’.

“Pag nasa field na kayo, you have to adjust and the key is you have to get the attention of your audience. Yung hook, it’s a key,” he added.

Moreover, former broadcast journalist and now Davao City Councilor Temujin “Tek” Ocampo, stressed that the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day is to acknowledge the vital role of the media in a democratic country.

“We must work together to ensure that the media remains a crucial and independent voice in our society. The press acts as a watchdog, delivering essential information to the public in holding those in power accountable, no exception,” he said.

Meanwhile, part of the celebration featured the  launching of Davao Citizens Media Council (DCMC), as spearheaded by the City Councilor.

“I am proud to say that Davao City has been a stronghold of press freedom and media independence, for the thriving media industry plays a vital role in our community. We must work together to ensure that the media remains a crucial and independent voice in our society,” he remarked.

The Citizens Media Council of Davao is a dynamic, highly credible source of information that write stories that will impact lives and herald of securing and maintaining industrial peace, with the mission to create an environment of peace, fairness and reliability in communicating and informing the public, and to link with other industries and individuals, without partiality, with the intention of offering alternative forum for discussion, sharing of opinion, data and information. 

Philippine Press Institute Executive Director  Ariel C. Sebellino said that the institute wanted to have local media citizen councils outside the National Capital Region to strengthen the work of journalists.

“Ang pagbuo o pag establish ng Media Citizen Council it comes at the most opportune time after [the] pandemic, and at some point when there is too much disinformation, infodemic, malinformation, and AI,” he added.

Sebellino expressed his hope that the community will understand that a media citizen council is tantamount to professionalizing the media industry.

The event was organized by the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Mindanao Times in partnership with the HCDC Center for Social Communications and Alumni Affairs headed by Derf Hanzel C. Maiz. The activity was also attended by HCDC President Br. Noelvic H. Deloria S.C., Mindanao Times Editor-in-Chief Amalia M. Cabusao, DCMC Interim Chair Mr. Antonio Peralta.

Aspiring journalists from University of Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University,  University of the Philippines – Mindanao, and Holy Cross of Davao College participated in the event.

With its mission from faith to truth, HCDC is firm to its commitment in promoting fair and authentic news as one of the mission of the Catholic Church in the evolution of media in the society.