Over 260 journalism and communication students from eight universities and colleges in Cebu participated in SunStar Cebu’s “Reaching Out to Future Journalists” forum, which also marks the 30th anniversary of Cebu Press Freedom Week.
Now on its 16th year, the forum was organized by SunStar Cebu with the support of PLDT and Smart, together with Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, University of the Philippines Cebu, Cebu Caritas, Inc., and InnoPub Media, to upskill future communicators on cybersecurity, revisionism and denialism, and disinformation. The recent event was staged in a hybrid format for the first time after two years of conducting it purely virtually due to the pandemic.
“As the country’s leading integrated telecommunication services provider, PLDT and Smart are enabling the new generation of journalists and communicators in exploring innovative strategies and effective multi-media platforms to deliver accurate and relevant content, and as a result—help build a nation through reason, truth, and honesty,” said Cathy Yang, First Vice President and Group Head of PLDT and Smart Group Corporate Communications.
Elijah Mendoza, PLDT and Smart Digital Communications Senior Manager, talked about prevalent social engineering attacks and shared tips on how to avoid falling victims to these scams. An example of these attacks is phishing or the practice of deceiving people through e-mail to reveal personal and sensitive information. This can also be done using voice calls, short message service (SMS), and Quick Response (QR) codes.
Another guest speaker, historian and columnist Manuel L. Quezon III discussed revisionism and denialism, emphasizing that people should focus more on fighting the latter as this will result in more deception and rejection of facts to serve the interest of others. He challenged the student participants to engage in this fight by revisiting the past and telling truthful and convincing stories.
Journalist Christian Esguerra, who joined the event face-to-face, also invited young communicators to be part of the network that uses truth in fighting against those spreading disinformation, by taking advantage of their knowledge on platforms where falsehoods are also rampant, such as social media.
The forum also featured Cebu-based cartoonists, poets, and a stage play tackling social issues in the country. It also offered virtual games and raffle draws to the participants.
PLDT and Smart remain steadfast partners of SunStar and the entire Cebu media community in their efforts to hone Filipino student journalists to become responsible storytellers of truth in the future.