Editorial: Communicating with purpose-A A +A
Sunday, September 29, 2013
GRADUATES with heart.”
That’s the challenge Sun.Star Superbalita editor-in-chief and Sun.Star Cebu executive editor Michelle P. So gave to Mass Communication undergraduates and teachers during the recent Cebu Press Freedom Week.
In the election of officers of the newly formed Cebu Association of Communication Educators (Cace), two trends were observed among local Mass Communication graduates.
Many enroll in the course, expecting to be famous in careers aligned with entertainment. A preponderance of graduates also chose to work in business process outsourcing companies.
Heart for service
While the choice of college courses and careers are heavily influenced by the need to earn and attain economic independence, the preference of many Mass Com graduates to pursue careers outside of newsrooms should galvanize the academe and the industry to revitalize the youths’ passion to serve as reporters, editors and broadcasters.
For decades, the Mass Communication programs of Cebu City academic institutions train undergraduates to acquire the skills required for work in the traditional portals of print, radio and television, with new media as a recent addition. This academic preparation inculcates in students a code of standards and ethics emphasizing professionalism and social responsibility.
Standards- and ethics-based academic training and professional newsrooms contribute to making Cebu media an exemplar in media self-regulation and a model for the provincial and metropolitan media.
The challenge is to sustain the local academe as the training ground for those aspiring to be journalists. Despite corporate competition, the complexity of reporting in converged newsrooms, and perceptions that journalism is a risky and stressful occupation, local schools and newsrooms must cooperate and coordinate to win more hearts and minds for a career that retains, at its core, a heart for public service.
Cace president Nestor Ramirez welcomed their formation to give more opportunities for communication educators to learn from each other and improve their teaching, reported Sun.Star Cebu’s Kevin A. Lagunda last Sept. 21.
Many retired and active members of the local press teach or lecture in schools’ Mass Communication or Communication Arts programs.These practitioners ground and keep academic teaching in line with the news industry’s realities and directions.
Such networking must be sustained, including the academe-industry tie-ups institutionalized during the Cebu Press Freedom Week held in time for the week of Sept. 21, the anniversary of martial law.
More formal exchanges will enable the industry to deepen the academe’s grasp of the complexities and challenges of journalism, especially in the age of news convergence and corporatization. The academe can also contribute through research and extension to the news media’s fulfillment of its social responsibility.
Newsrooms and media associations can contribute references to build up journalism archives, libraries or learning centers. A habit of reading good books improves writing skills, Cebu Daily News publisher and acting editor-in-chief Eileen Mangubat noted during the oath-taking of Cace officers.
Updating oneself with current events, through radio, TV, newspaper or news websites, must become a habit among communicators, whether they are teaching or being taught.
Current events not only infuse reality in classroom abstractions but remind each one of the invaluable contributions of a professional and ethical press to inform citizens and uphold democracy.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2013.