• Hazel Buctayon

2nd Speak Up: Novice urges vigilance in campus press

Speakers in Saturday's "Speak Up" series reiterated the call for campus journalists to be critical and vigilant in presenting information to the public.


Entitled "The Social Media and Campus Journalism Connection," the second of four online talks featured four speakers who educated campus journalists on social media as a tool for presenting issues and how they could use it wisely.


Lianna Barro, journalism professor at Far Eastern University, urged the campus press to report with accuracy and speed that the social media can give.


"You don’t need to sensationalize a story. Because in the first place, in campus journalism, we are not selling anything," she said.


She added, among others, as she advises her students, to "never do single-source stories."


Social media being only a fraction of reality, Dubai-based content creator Abeer Acero, meanwhile, said everyone should be responsible of everything they say online.


"Take responsibility in whatever you write. Just be very careful. And before publishing it, research, research, research. You want to tell a story, but at the same time make sure that your story, at the end of the day, you can back it up," she said.


Marvin Idos, current editor-in-chief of The CSU Communicator, Cagayan State University-Andrews, also urged his fellow campus journalists to write what is newsworthy to their student audiences by contextualizing national issues.


"Campus press can delve into national issues, but campus press should localize the issue," he said, adding that they should be "more discerning of information they provide to the public."


Meanwhile, cartoonist Marx Fidel said he feels accomplished whenever he receives negative and conflicting comments from the cartoons he posts online.

"The fact that that’s happening, ibig sabihin, I’m able to touch another bubble, another echo chamber. The fact that I’m attracting audiences that are not as [similar-minded as me], I feel successful and I feel happy when that happens," he said.


The talk also involved panelists who were former staff members of Saint Mary's University's student publication, The MARIANIvory Decena, former EIC; lawyer Stephen Humiwat, former associate editor; and Philippine Star photojournalist, Michael Varcas.


Humiwat also said that while they cannot regulate what student journalists may write, "we can tell them what not to write about."


"Journalism in the campus must be where they should hone their skills and be aware of their legal, their moral, and their ethical responsibilities when it comes to writing. Because where the right of one starts, the right of another ends. Although there is freedom of expression, it is never absolute," he added.


The third of the series will air on Saturday, November 14 at 7:30 p.m. and will cover topics on fact checking, establishing integrity online, and "credibility in anonymity."


Watch the full episode here: