Educators Come Together for Journalism & Desktop Publishing Workshop

Sept 3rd 2009

A total of 22 educators from various parts of the country learned new and creative ways of producing school bulletins and newsletters at a recent Community Journalism and Desktop Publishing Seminar-Workshop conducted by the Communication Foundation for Asia (CFA). It was the first in the series of new CFA training seminars for Christian Living Teachers and Catechetical Formators, sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need, Germany.

The workshop, which was held at the CFA Computer Laboratory from August 17 to 20, 2009, was a quick but intensive course on digital journalism. Noel de Leon, CFA’s head of Publication and Sales, provided the overview and continuity for the various topics, the speakers for which all came from the CFA Publication Department.

On the first day of the workshop, the speakers breezed through the basics of writing and editing. Nato Vibiesca started the day’s sessions with the seminar on News Writing. This was followed by Rowena Angeles who gave a short talk on Proofreading. In the afternoon, Jerry Natividad discussed Feature Writing. The rest of Day 1 was spent in a News and Feature Writing Practicum.

The following day, the participants worked on their respective computers as they were introduced to the basics of digital media during Rocel Sienna’s session on Computer Graphics, Freehand, and PhotoShop. Their practicum at the end of the workshop required participants to create a newsletter logo using the software and applications introduced to them.

Day 3 of the Jourmalism Seminar-workshop was spent understanding digital photography, finding other sources of images, and learning basic rules in layouting. CFA’s Art Supervisor, Jester Edquilag, shared the most time with the participants during his sessions on digital photography using cellular phones and digital cameras, on composition and lighting. The participants were then divided into groups and given digital cameras so that they could put into use what they learned from the photography discussions. They took pictures within the compound and returned to the venue for evaluation of their shots. Mr. Edquilag, together with the participants, chose the best photo among the ones submitted by the groups. He then gave them a brief run-through of Image Manipulation Using Photoshop.

In the afternoon, Mr. De Leon returned to show the participants Other Sources of Images: Scanning, Clip Art, and the Internet. The last seminar on Day 3 was on the Principles of Layout and Design, with Jerry Natividad returning to discuss the said topic.

On the fourth and last day, Mr. Sienna also returned to teach participants the basics of the InDesign application in digital layouting. As a final project for the workshop, the participants were once again divided into their respective groups and they had to produce a two-page newsletter, integrating all the principles they had learned in the past four days. The final projects were then presented to the group for critiquing.

Participants had their “graduation” during the closing lunch program. They received their certificates of attendance from CFA officials headed by the president Fr. Filoteo Pelingon.

The Community Journalism and Desktop Publishing Workshop did not end with the delegates’ graduation. As a final activity, participants were treated to a tour of an offset printing press to view how actual newspaper production is done.

The participating educators expressed great satisfaction with the knowledge they received at the seminar-workshop. Ericson Razon, high school teacher from the Divina Pastora College in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, noted that the whole seminar was very compact. “There were no lulls in the discussions, unlike other seminar-workshops I attended where there did not seem to be any continuity among the various topics,” he said.

The rest of the delegates only had words of praise for the speakers, facilitators, and staff of CFA. Mary Anne Sedanza and Jaypee Cabataña, faculty members from the Liceo del Verbo Divino in Tacloban, Leyte had this to say: “Everything we got, everything we gained, all these memories will surely be shared with others in our continuing service to God and His people.”

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