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  • Writer's pictureCaceres Media

BACS holds first Journalism Summit

By Eljean Trillanes

Photo courtesy of the Bicol Association of Catholic Schools Facebook Page

The Bicol Association of Catholic Schools (BACS) under the leadership of Fr. Wilmer Joseph S. Tria and the BACS Youth Officers hosted the first Journalism Summit at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, Naga City on March 1 to 3, with the officers of BACS and teachers of Pili Parochial School headed by School Principal Fr. Enrico Paglinawan, as organizing committee.

The dynamic three-day camp aimed to empower young individuals as bearers of love and truth in the realm of media and communication. With the theme “Youth in Mission: Bearers of Love and Truth,” the summit instilled in the participants a sense of responsibility and commitment to ethical journalism while promoting the values of compassion, integrity, and social justice.

The topics were in line with the advocacies of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) tagged as JEEPGY which stands for Justice and Peace, Environmental Integrity, Engaged Citizenship, Poverty Alleviation, Gender Equality and Youth Empowerment.

In attendance were Catholic educational organizations from the 6 provinces of Bikol: from Camarines Sur, CEACAL or Catholic Educational Association of Caceres and Libmanan; CEAL (Legazpi), CEAS (Sorsogon), CEAD (Daet), MACEA (Masbate) and CEAV (Virac). In the spirit of synodality, some non-sectarian schools also participated.

The participants engaged in workshops and interactive sessions focused on enhancing their journalistic skills and fostering a deeper understanding of their role as media practitioners. Guided by experienced journalists, educators, and industry professionals, participants delved into topics such as News writing, Feature Writing, Photojournalism, Radiobroadcasting, Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Column Writing, Science and Health Writing, Headline Writing, Copy Reading and Writing, and Evangelization in Journalism considering the importance of upholding truth and accuracy in journalism.

The plenary sessions were formative as the summit aimed to develop character and not only skills. Fr. Rex Luis Hidalgo spoke on “Leadership in Love and Truth.” CEAP Deputy Executive Director Mary Ann Cruz discussed “Soul of Campus Journalism. Justin Balane, co-convenor of The Alliance of Youth against Charter Change (TAYO) discussed “Youth empowerment against Charter Change.” Fr. Tria challenged the participants with his presentation on “Critical Thinking, Good Governance and Responsible Campus Journalism.”

Caceres Archbishop-emeritus Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD celebrated the Opening Mass. Fr. Francis Tordilla, rector of the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, welcomed the participants.

The summit provided a platform for students to explore the intersection of faith and journalism, emphasizing the Catholic Church’s call to promote justice, peace, and the common good through media engagement. Discussions and reflections on the principles of Catholic social teaching and the teachings of Pope Francis served as guideposts, inspiring participants to use their talents and platforms to advocate for the marginalized and voiceless in society.

One of the highlights of the summit was the opportunity for students to put their new found skills into practice through hands-on activities and real-world Journalism Engagement. From covering and analyzing current issues to criticizing them with key stakeholders, participants gained valuable experience in the field while receiving constructive feedback and mentorship from industry professionals.

As the summit concluded, participants emerged as empowered agents of change, committed to using their voices and platforms. With their newfound knowledge, skills, and sense of purpose, the youth of Bicol are poised to make a meaningful impact in the field of media and beyond, embodying the theme of the summit and living out their mission as bearers of love and truth.


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