Forum on Media Role in Good Governance Draws Big Audience

Sept 10th 2009

T he participation of people in governance is the foundation of democracy. Media plays a crucial role in bringing this about.” This was the opening statement of Reynaldo Hulog, Executive Director of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), during the Communication Foundation for Asia’s media forum held last August 27, 2009 at the CFA Lagerway Hall in Sta. Mesa.

The CFA Auditorium packed with forum participants from different schools and socio-civic organizations. Click the image for full view.

The CFA forum on the theme Media, Society and Good Governance was attended by a full-capacity crowd of around 130 participants from different schools including Angeles University Foundation, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), De LaSalle University-Dasmarinias, Siena College (QC), Immaculate Heart of Mary College (Paranaque) and representatives from such groups as the Lay Columban Missionaries, Public Affairs Ministry, St. Hannibal Empowerment Center, Dioceses of Cubao and Antipolo, Movement for H.O.P.E. and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility.

Rey Hulog, Executive Director of Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) answering the question on infomercials.

The diverse audience soaked up the personal stories and insights of media and communication professionals such as Mike Enriquez of GMA-7, Jean Paul Varela of Catholic Media Network Manager, Atty Howard Calleja of PPCRV, and educator Elizabeth Diaz. The open forum that followed each talk gave the participants an opportunity to ask questions and dialogue with the speakers.

In his talk, Rey Hulog explained the limits of broadcast self-regulation, especially in light of the fact that not all stations are members of KBP. In reply to questions from the audience, he explained that it was the COMELEC, not KBP, who could deal with the question of political “infomercials”.

Atty. Howard Calleja, Legal Counsel of the Parish-Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting who spoke on behalf of the PPCRV chair Ambassador Tita De Villa, sharing his perspective on the role of media in good governance.

Atty. Howard Calleja, Legal Counsel of the Parish-Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting who spoke on behalf of the PPCRV chair Ambassador Tita De Villa, warned that if people want good governance, they need to participate actively towards change. For our nation to achieve clean, honest, accurate, meaningful and peaceful (CHAMP) elections, the people should remain vigilant and the media should serve as a watchdog. He encouraged the youth to use their great numbers in order to make a difference.

Mike Enriquez telling his personal story as a radio and TV news anchor.

Mike Enriquez, Senior Vice President of the GMA Radio Network, talked of his own experiences within the Philippine commercial media system. He vividly described the radio station formats in the late 1960’s and how media has changed in the recent years, with the advent of new technology. He also recounted how competition sharpened the creativity and production quality of his own network.

Mike recalled his personal story as news anchor, which proved that it is harder to fool people these days as they demand trustworthy and credible media and journalists nowadays. This will only be possible if media networks and practitioners go back to their core values and recognize that media is not just a lucrative business but a vocation. He stressed: “The audience today are more mobile, educated, more informed…more exposed to media ( traditional and new media)…more vigilant more demanding not only in their media…they become more demanding of their institutions— government, church, schools…they expect more and demand more and that is good, that is where media comes in today.”

Jean Paul Varela, Network Manager of the Catholic Media Network (CMN), giving an overview of the Church’s role in media and society.

An overview of the Church’s role in media and society was offered by Jean Paul Varela, Network Manager of the Catholic Media Network (CMN). He described the membership of CMN and their efforts to keep afloat despite limited funding and growing competition from other religious sects. He explained that CMN is the official media partner of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Varela reiterated the pronouncement of the Holy Father on the role of media in the modern world and in the Catholic Church as the roundtable for the dialogue of humanity.

Prof. Elizabeth Lorezana-Diaz, a former UP professor and advocate of public broadcasting, engagingly discussing the value of development communication and its vital role for democratizing communication.

Prof. Elizabeth Lorezana-Diaz, a former UP professor and advocate of public broadcasting, gave the final talk on the value of development communication and media education. She stressed that public broadcasting is an example of development communication, and it is vital for democratizing communication. Public broadcasting is “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The talk on Public Broadcasting was preceded by the launch of the Genaro V. Ong Lecture Series on Development Communication. A 5-minute video on the late GVO was shown to introduce participants to CFA’s first Managing Director, who passed away in 1978. A certificate of appreciation was given to Genaro V. Ong’s children for the legacy of his ideas and his unwavering commitment to the cause of “devcom”.

Even after the lively open forum, participants continued to share their reactions through CFA’s website. Rexner Rubio of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) probably reflected the sentiments of his fellow students when he commented that the forum will serve as an eye opener to young people to do what is right and moral because despite the differences, all have one desire and that is, to have independent and responsible media and the participation of the people in social action.


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