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PIA Press Release

DavNor, Comval press converge for State-of-Media Forum

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (16 October) -- Local media from Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley convened for unity last October 11 at the Davao del Norte Government Center as supported by the Philippine Information Agency XI and both provincial governments.

Attended by almost 50 media practitioners from the print and broadcast, some issues were raised which includes their clamor for support from the government.

In the forum, the participants claimed that majority of them are not graduates of Mass Communication or any field related to it.

"I accidentally got into the media industry. At that time, I was forced to work part-time in DXDN Radyo Ukay just to grab the scholarship so to continue my studies," said Aurora Lozada who started as a part-time broadcaster and now the station manager of DXDN.

For this reason, she admitted that what she is now is brought about by hands-on experience alone.

"Since we lack theoretical foundation of this profession, we thirst for trainings and workshops which we believe could positively enhance our skills as media practitioners", said Fermin "Boy" Visitacion, publisher of Gold and Timber News.

He pressed that there is no better way to elevate the status of the media people other than providing them the necessary upgrading tools especially in news writing, broadcasting, and even the re-introduction of media ethics.

Majority of the participants reported that one of the common problems faced by the media in both provinces is exposure to media threats.

Veteran columnist Dr. Ed Araral explained that most of the media practitioners in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley have been controlled by local politicians.

Araral further said that this is because the writers and broadcasters here earn so little and so they are pushed to cling to politicians until they are obligated to defend or not to divulge any misdoing of such authorities.

In the forum, it turned out that not all writers and broadcasters have been well-compensated. Some would rely on commission from the paper's sales and advertising while some get attractive pay which includes, board and lodging, and allowances.

PIA regional director Efren Elbanbuena urged publishers and station managers to provide their workers with reasonable compensation that includes Philhealth enrolment, Social Security System enrolment, and other long-term benefits.

Elbanbuena suggested for a solid organization of the provincial media so to be able to work together to receive frequent trainings and become members of a cooperative that would help them in their livelihood needs. (PIA XI) [top]

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