With renowned journalist, award-winning writer
THE University of Santo Tomas, through the Office of Public Affairs, held a virtual media training workshop on February 19, 2021 via Zoom.
Sharing their expert insights were Emmy award-winning international journalist and former president of CNN Philippines Armie Jarin-Bennett and prolific author, translator, and columnist Asst. Prof. Joselito De Los Reyes, Ph.D.
Jarin-Bennett discussed “Thinking Like a Journalist”, while Delos Reyes talked about “Netika: Ang ating birtwal at kinakatawang pag-iral sa avenida ng mga mainipin” (Net ethics: Our virtual and embodied existence on the road of the impatient).
UST Secretary-General Rev. Fr. Jesús M. Miranda, Jr., O.P., noted in his opening remarks that shifts in mindsets, policies, and processes have become inevitable due to the adjustments brought about by the pandemic.
Administrators have the responsibility of being trusted to represent the institution in various capacities as leaders and experts, but there are different nuances to communicating with the media that differ from the usual classroom interactions and conference presentations,” UST Office of Public Affairs Acting Director Asst. Prof. Virginia A. Sembrano explained in her message.
The first talk was delivered by De Los Reyes. It focused on the dynamic world of new media, encompassing the gamut of digital, social, and online media. Despite its below average connection speeds, the Philippines has been noted to have the most time spent on social media, especially Facebook, said De Los Reyes, adding that the dopamine-inducing effects of notifications for the reward area of the brain help associate social media’s instant gratification with positive reinforcement.
De Los Reyes, who has authored two books on social media, encouraged the audience to be more critical of how their real and virtual existences are maintained through digital technology and social platforms, especially with how they should protect their credibility as persons in authority. Particularly, he recommended prudent and well-thought-out responses if there really is a need to engage, avoidance of disseminating disinformation by being cautious of sources, and being mindful of what should and should not be posted.
Jarin-Bennett’s talk put the participants in the perspective of the journalist, as she shared lessons on how to engage with traditional media. She highlighted how journalists prioritize and pursue stories, how institutions can plan responses to crises, and how spokespersons can prepare for interviews
“I truly believe that it is through the work of the journalist that we can share information that people can trust. [With the surge in disinformation,] we are more empowered than ever to ensure that the information we share is accurate, fair, and balanced,” shared Jarin-Bennett.
Organized by the UST Office of Public Affairs (OPA), in coordination with the UST Communications Bureau and UST Educational Technology Center, “How to Face the Media” was attended by almost 100 administrators and academic officials. It can be viewed through OPA’s Facebook page.