by Rex Godinez Ortega
Conflict-sensitive reporting contributes to reconciliation and peacebuilding.
With this conclusion in mind, and driven by the felt need for this to be practiced not only in the journalism profession but also in other occupations and vocations, the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) opens today a three-day course that aims to integrate the concept in communication-related programs.
The Seminar-Workshop on Integrating Conflict-Sensitive Journalism in Communication-Related Programs: The Philosophy and Practice will run from October 24-26 in two venues inside the MSU-IIT campus – the IPDM Kalinaw Hall and the Amphitheater of the College of Education.
It targets around 100 students and 28 teachers from various schools and universities in Region 10 and the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, and Malaybalay, including Marawi of Lanao del Sur.
IPDM conducts the activity in partnership with the Forum Civil Peace Service or forumZFD.
The forumZFD is an association of various German peace movement and non-profit organizations aimed at creating and strengthening the instruments of civilian conflict resolution by non-violent means.
The forumZFD is supporting the seminar-workshop with a 200,00-peso grant, while MSU-IIT provides the venues and hosts the participants’ three-day stay.
Resource persons for the activity come from the forumZFD and the PECOJON or the Peace and Conflict Journalism Network.
The PECOJON is an international network of journalists and media practitioners, photographers, filmmakers and academicians who develop, promote and implement high quality reporting of conflict, crisis and war.
IPDM officer-in-charge Prof. Mark Anthony J. Torres, PhD, in an interview, lays down the four objectives of the seminar-workshop:
Facilitate learning among communication teachers and students on the philosophy of conflict-sensitive journalism, and the need for integration in the curriculum vis-a-vis media realities;
Recall the role of journalism in empowering people and dealing with issues in Mindanao such as the Bangsamoro peace process and other conflict issues;
Introduce conflict analysis tools for journalistic practice; and
Identify entry points of integration in specific communication subjects.
The seminar-workshop opens with a dialogue on the theory and practice of conflict-sensitive journalism; the role of journalists in providing a peace lens to their reports; and the nuances and differences between conflict-sensitive journalism and peace journalism.
Torres says that at the later part of the three-day activity, “the program will give way to an in-depth training on conflict analysis tools, which can be used by communications teachers in their subjects”.
Earlier in the year, MSU-IIT’s Office of Publication and Information (OPI) and the Department of English holds the lecture, Culture-Sensitive Reporting: the Muslim, the Lumad, and the Media at the CASSalida Theater.
The April 8 lecture was given by Dr. Victorio N. Sugbo of the University of the Philippines-Visayas as part of the conference: Current Issues and Trends in Language and Literature: Globalizing the Local.