INFORMATION officers from national government agencies and local government units (LGUs) collaborated with news media outlets in Cebu in a knowledge-sharing webinar on public information development on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Central Visayas, the organizer of the webinar, invited journalists from three media outlets to share their inputs and insights on news writing, social media management and infographics design in a Webinar that carried a theme “Refocused Development Communication Towards Engaged Information Officers in the Digital Age.”
It was attended by hundreds of Information Officers from the Regional Office, DILG-Central Visayas’s sub-regional offices, national government agencies and from the local government units (LGUs) in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.
The webinar, which was conducted as part of the nationwide celebration of the 29th Local Government Month, aimed to help improve the government’s information drive, education and communication programs and maximize the digital platform, especially during these trying times.
“This Webinar is a collaboration of the media, the national government agencies and LGUs in connection to the development of information dissemination,” Regional Director Leocadio Trovela said in his opening remarks.
“DILG-Central Visayas is proud to have this webinar today with three giants in print media in Central Visayas— the CDN Digital, The Freeman and SunStar Cebu,” continued Dir. Trovela.
Nickolas Earl Tubo, multimedia editor, SunStar Publishing Inc.; Morexette Erram, multimedia reporter, CDN Digital; and Joeberth Ocao, online editor, The Freeman shared their valued expertise to the participants.
“One of the important lessons that we’ve learned as we are going through this pandemic is that our works (government and media) are very much connected,” said Ocao, who shared his knowledge on social media management, news writing, among others.
For his part, Tubo underscored the importance of accuracy and facts in writing news stories and press releases especially in this digital age, where people have easy access to information thru the internet.
“News can’t be fabricated, you can’t write information based on assumptions. Tell the story as it is,” he said.
Erram, meanwhile, shared details on how to create effective infographics that can easily be understood by the public.
Former media practitioner and photojournalist Iste Sesante Leopoldo, who now heads the Public Information Office (PIO) of the Municipality of Cordova, said the webinar was very informative and useful, especially to the members of their PIO team who don’t have any journalism experience.
The webinar would not be possible without the support of the Philippine Information Agency-Central Visayas led by Director Fayette Riñen.
In her message of support, Riñen emphasized the importance of information officers in disseminating information on the government’s development projects and community building.
“To the IOs: you learn, grow and be more productive. Go beyond informing, educate and empower people, make a difference in your community because this is the essence of development communication,” she said.
DILG-Central Visayas’s Information Officer Michael Braga hoped that this exchange of relevant information will pave the way to another partnership between the information officers and the media practitioners.
“As stewards of truth, let us continue to work and battle against fake news. We urge you to take advantage of the digital platforms to educate and inform the public and help the government in making its presence felt at the grassroots level,” said Braga. (PR)