MindaNews reporter is one of 10 fellows at Asian Center for Journalism

Walter Balane, Malaybalay City-based reporter of MindaNews who earlier served as its Marketing Chief, and later, Davao City reporter, is one of three Filipinos among the 10 Asian fellows. Balane will be 32 next month.

MindaNews photo contributors Ruby Thursday More of AKP Images and Bernard Julian “BJ” Patino, who teaches at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao, were also awarded fellowships by the Center, for Diploma in Photojournalism.

Balane’s fellow fellows in MA Journalism are Ma. Lira Fernandez,  inquirer.net reporter; Wilfredo Rodolfo III, reporter of Business Mirror; Hong Chen , Chief correspondent, China Daily in Shenzen; Philip Golingai, Editor, Asia News Network (network of Asia's biggest newspapers); Md.Khawaza Main Uddin, Correspondent, New Age (English newspaper, Bangladesh); Aleksey Motovilov, News bureau chief, UCA News, Central Asia; Samiaji Nusantra, Editor, Aceh Feature Syndicate; Jane Ritikos, Senior writer, The Star in Malaysia; and Panyasith Thammavongsa, Assistant editor and writer, Vientianne Times.

Balane, former editor of the Bukidnon weekly paper, Central Mindanao Newswatch  is the fourth Mindanawon journalist to have been awarded a fellowship in the MA Journalism program.

The first was MindaNews’ Carolyn O. Arguillas who graduated in March 2007 and joined the faculty in the second semester of 2007-2008, teaching “Reporting about Conflict and Peace.”

The second and third Mindanawon fellows are Germelina Lacorte, associate editor of davaotoday.com and Debbie Uy, editor in chief of Mindanao Insider. The two started their fellowship in June last year.

Arguillas, Lacorte and Uy are all based in Davao City.

As of March 2008, some 60 working journalists from Cambodia, China , India , Indonesia , Malaysia , the Philippines and Sri Lanka had earned the degree first offered in 2003. The ACFJ also offers diploma programs in photojournalism and radio journalism.

For Diploma in photojournalism, six photographers have been awarded full scholarship. Together with six others, the six men and women from the Philippines and Indonesia form Batch 5 of the diploma program first offered in 2006.

The ACFJ has awarded three full scholarships while the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Country Programme headed by Klaus Preschle is sponsoring three others. The scholars are Lino Guardian Escandor II, Ruby Thursday More, Candice Anne Lucas Reyes, Jake Carreon Salvador from the Philippines and from Indonesia: Oscar Pardomuan Siagian, and Rony Zacaria.

The scholars are granted a full coverage of their tuition and miscellaneous fees, travel and lodging allowances during on-campus sessions, and book allowances.

Three have been awarded financial grants covering tuition and miscellaneous fees, among them Patino.
The seven-course Diploma in Photojournalism was developed jointly by ACFJ and the World Press Photo, a media NGO based in The Netherlands. It seeks to raise the bar for photojournalism in Asia by providing comprehensive training to working photojournalists.

As of March 2009, 26 Asian photojournalists and media workers have finished the program, among them six Mindanawons — Froilan Gallardo of MindaNews and Charlie Saceda of Philippine Star (Batch 1); Keith Bacongco of AKP Images and Toto Lozano, photo editor of SunStar Davao (Batch 2); Rene Lumawag, then of SunStar Davao and Rommel Rebollido, bureau chief of the Philippine News Agency in General Santos City (Batch 3); and MindaNews contributor Gandhi Kinjiyo of General Santos City and lawyer Glocelito Jayma of Butuan, formerly with LRC, now in private practice (Batch 4). Kinjiy
o is the lone Moro fellow. (MindaNews)