On #Linangan2014 and Campus Journalism





     When I saw this ad posted at the FB PNU site, It was like I had my “Eureka” moment.  As a former SPA of our school paper (still in its infancy and no published school paper yet), I instantly clicked “Going” to the event. Though this school year I’m no longer the school English Journalism coordinator, I still support our student pen pushers in the hope of getting some of the spotlight during the Division School Paper Conference and Contests for their efforts in this field. In my three years as English SPA, I admit that my knowledge is not that extensive. I teach and train our school campus journalists based from what I have read and learned from the seminar-workshops I have attended. But for the past two years, our Division has not held any seminar-workshops (probably it’s financially broke). So this Linangan2014 was like an answered prayer.

     Problem is, the school MOOE surely won’t finance me and my colleagues. I had to shell out from my own broken pocket. (insert sighing sound)

     Since my two colleagues could not join me, I had no choice but to attend the seminar all by my lonesome.

     I have my reasons for attending Linangan2014. First, it’s updating myself on the Editorial Cartooning category (my favorite and my expertise) and second, it’s all about JOURNALISM. i like writing though I’m not that good at it. I like Journalism because it rhymes with Freedom. (never mind the comparison. Moving on…)

     Campus Journalism is still in its infancy in my school, when I was given responsibility to train and manage a group of clueless Grade Six pupils how to WRITE. Way back in 2011, I asked the batch if they like reading newspapers, they said they were not really that exposed to reading newspapers, but can you write for the newspaper? They said that they would love to, but they were not confident on their English. I knew then that this would take time to turn them into seasoned writers, but alas, they graduated on March. So I have to train another batch. Another problem was that, I am a grade three teacher so I had no link whatsoever with the Grade Six.  I would just pick from those recommended by the Section One adviser for training for contests. 

     I thought  that by attending this seminar, I would be learning a lot, this time, from the practitioners in the field. The big leagues, I mean. Not that the facilitators from the seminars held in my own Division are not experts, but then, their bylines (meaning these facilitators at Linangan2014) appear in a blog, or in a paper of national circulation, or in a website.

     The keynote speakers were Mr. Tonyo Cruz, a blogger and The Manila Bulletin columnist. He was an engaging speaker, using Taglish in his talk to the audience, mostly composed of college students. I think 30 – 40 percent of the audience were SPAs like me, (Hey, correction myself, I’m no longer an SPA, I’m a trainor na lang.) He talked about journalism per se, what a campus journalist should remember… Ask questions, question everything. Don’t forget the Two Torches (he was not referring to the campus paper of PNU, The Torch), the power of the media and the changes through the years; he even talked about the plight of our education,,,he even expressed his support for the teachers’ clamor for salary increase. 

     The next speaker was Ms. Arlene Burgos from ABS-CBN News Digital Media and News and Current Affairs and Journalism Lecturer from Ateneo de Manila University. She talked about the New Media and the power of the Social Media. She said that Social Media is Mobile, is Young, She discussed how Mobile Media affects and influences the minds of the people using mobile technology. 

     After the 40-minute lunch break, the participants were advised to attend which category he/she prefers since two lectures of the categories will be held simultaneously. Ang hirap huh! Being all by my lonesome, I had no choice but to attend the lectures that I deemed important. (Actually, they are all important, but there were ten topics to be discussed from 12:00 to 5:00p.m! 

     I attended Feature Writing lectured by Ms. Janess Ann J. Ellao. I attended this topic because I had a hard time training my former writers in this category. Next was the Campus Paper Management lecture by Mr. Jesus (I call him Sir Jess, not Robredo hehe) Valencia Jr. I enjoyed his lecture because HE really is a teacher. He even showed a video that touched our hearts. Next was the Editorial Writing by Prof. V.R. Fumar of PNU. Next was Editorial Cartooning by freelance cartoonist Mr, Bladimir Usi, in which I learned so much; and Photojournalism by Mr. Pher Pasion which gave an interesting and more extensive talk on the topic.

     I enjoyed the whole day affair that I realize I didn’t fall asleep during long talks (which I do, hehe), Despite being alone (but not lonely) at the Linangan2014, I learned a lot, and for sure, I would be sharing a lot to my colleagues and my cartoonist come training time.  Thank you PNU Torch Alumni Association, Inc. for coming up with seminar-workshops like this one because it’s like a refresher course on Journalism for SPAs and trainors. And thank God for the opportunity to return to my sometime Alma Mater where I earned my Education units and MA units. 

     Until next Linangan!



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