Media forum on violent extremism, peace process set

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 31 July) – The Mindanao Institute of Journalism (MIJ) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will conduct a forum on August 3 which aims to equip journalists in the Davao Region a working knowledge on the peace process and the phenomenon of violent extremism.

MIJ chair H. Marcos Mordeno told Kapehan sa Dabaw on Monday that the forum seeks to encourage journalists in the region to provide a proper context to their stories about events in the island.

He said the lack of proper context in most stories about Mindanao was evident in news items on the Marawi siege last year.

“Not only in Marawi but also in other coverage on armed conflict. Reports often lack proper context,” he said.

Mordeno, an associate editor of MindaNews, the online news portal of MIJ, said that by not giving a proper context to the five-month Marawi siege, the journalists did a “disservice to the reading public” for failing to explain why the incident happened.

“We know that last year the Marawi crisis happened and maybe it was the first time Mindanawons came face to face with violent extremism. But there were a lot of questions that were left unanswered because media has a tendency to focus on the war. The more sensationalized the reporting, the better. Among these questions are, ‘is it true that ISIS is here in Mindanao?’ Media did not explore this dimension,” he said.

He said that during the forum MindaNews will share some insights based on their experience in covering the conflict in Marawi.

Mordeno, who covered the Marawi siege, will talk on “Violent Extremism: The Mindanao Experience,” and Dr. Mansoor Limba will tackle “Countering Violent Extremism: Radicalization in Mindanao.”

Luis Mendoza Jr., peace development officer 4 at OPAPP said OPAPP Undersecretary Nabil Tan will discuss the peace and development agenda of the Duterte administration and updates on the peace process.

Jose Lorena Jr., a commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, will explain the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARRM), previously referred to as the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

A briefer released by OPAPP on Monday said it is important for media to develop a clear and deeper insight on the roots of the decades-long armed struggle in the island-region, and what the different stakeholders are doing to reach a final and long-lasting settlement of the conflict.

Amalia Bandiola, a board member of MIJ and Mindanao Times editor-in-chief said Friday’s forum at Linmarr Hotel is a follow-up to the “Reporting Marawi, Reporting Violent Extremism” workshop held on December 1 to 3 last year in Davao City for journalists who covered the Marawi siege.

Bandiola added MIJ will hold similar forums in the cities of Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, Malaybalay and Zamboanga. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)