CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/2 May) — Two major universities here have joined the worldwide observance of Press Freedom Day on Saturday, May 3.
The schools—Mindanao University of Science (MUST) and Technology and Xavier University XU)—have invited journalists to talk about the importance of press freedom in promoting good governance and the free flow of information during disasters.
MindaNews and the Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD) have also lent support to the event which will take place at the MUST ICT AVR (Building 9) at 8 a.m. and XU AVR 5, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Red Batario, CCJD executive director will lead the panel of speakers that will include Mindanao Current publisher Ed Montalvan and JB Deveza, Mindanao Safety Officer of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
The three speakers will talk about the Freedom of Information Bill, the cybercrime law, updates on the Ampatuan massacre trial, and the state of the Cagayan de Oro media industry at MUST in the morning.
Herbie Gomez, editor-in-chief of Gold Star Daily; Grace Cantal-Albasin, editor-in-chief of Sunstar Cagayan de Oro; and Sozina Alamban, producer of GMA7 will join them in a roundtable discussion on free flow of information during disasters at Xavier University in the afternoon.
“We are celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom together with the local journalists and their colleagues worldwide,” said Ma. Theresa M. Rivera, associate professor of Xavier University Center of Communication and Development and Development Communication Department.
Rivera said the discussions will center on how a free and responsible media will help citizens make informed actions across a range of issues pertaining to the environment, climate change and peace.
“This event will also be a jump-off point for a joint meeting between academe and media,” she said.
The celebration of Press Freedom Day will also be held simultaneously by journalists and communication educators in the cities of Zamboanga, Malaybalay, General Santos, Cotabato, Butuan and Davao on May 4 and 5.
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance is spearheading activities in Bangkok, Thailand and other key Asian cities on Saturday, May 3. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)