7 Mindanawons off to Sydney U for summer course on conflict-resolving media

The journalists who are attending the course on January 11 to 17 are Zamboanga City-based Julie Alipala of Philippine Daily Inquirer and Newsbreak; Amalia Cabusao, editor in chief of Mindanao Times in Davao City; MindaNews’ Koronadal and General Santos reporter Allen Estabillo; Edwin Fernandez, station manager of DXMS in Cotabato City; Jeoffrey Maitem of Philippine Daily Inquirer in Cotabato City; and Temujin Ocampo, GMA-Davao TV news anchor.

They will be joined by Romeo Montenegro, head of the Communications and Media Affairs of MEDCo. Montenegro is representing the government information officers and the Mindanao Communicators Network (MINDACOMNET).

The course will be handled by veteran journalists Dr. Jake Lynch and Annabel McGoldrick, who are both experienced international reporters and authors of several publications and books on peace journalism. Lynch and McGoldrick spent nearly two weeks in Mindanao last September, covering the communist and Moro insurgency and mining, among others.

Organized by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), though the Philippine Australia Human Resources Development Program (PAHRDF), the short course on Conflict-Resolving Media seeks to engage the journalist-participants in examining the influence of media in attempting to prevent or moderate violence in areas such as Mindanao.

“This is a clear demonstration of Australian Government’s commitment to promoting peace and development in Mindanao by engaging the media as indispensable partner to this noble endeavor,” MEDCo chair Virgilio Leyretana said.

This is the third batch of Mindanao journalists sent to Sydney University. Last year, the second batch was composed of MindaNews editor Bobby Timonera of Iligan City; MindaNews’ reporter and head of the video section, Froilan Gallardo of Cagayan de Oro City; Malu Cadelina-Manar of DXND in Kidapawan City; Babylyn Omar of DXGD in Tawi-tawi, Imelda Pareja of DXMM in Jolo, Sulu, Efren Elbanbuena of the Philippine Information Agency and MindaComNet and Rolly Inciong, then information chief  of AusAid. The first scholar sent to Sydney University was MindaNews’ Carolyn O. Arguillas, in January 2003.