ZAMBOANGA CITY — The “Reporting on Conflict and Peace: The Story of Mindanao” seminar jointly organized by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Newsbreak magazine formally opened yesterday in this Chavacano-speaking city in the South.

The seminar, one of two slated this year targeted at journalists working in conflict areas, will run until Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at the Garden Orchid Hotel.

The PCIJ-Newsbreak partnership was borne out of the need, particularly in light of the stalled peace process in Mindanao, to encourage open and vigorous peer review and critique of the media coverage of the decades-old conflict in the region within the framework of good journalism, human rights, and the well being of the people in the region.

The seminar, with support from The Asia Foundation and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), also strives to help foster a consensus on minimum standards of journalism in covering peace, conflict and human rights in Mindanao.

The participants, who come from different parts of the country, are a mix of field reporters in Mindanao who file the first draft or “first-take” stories about Mindanao; gatekeepers in the newsrooms who go over the final copy of the stories about Mindanao; and representatives of media organizations (Philippine Press Institute, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) that could help disseminate lessons from the seminar among a wider network of media agencies.

For three days, resource persons and participants will engage in a collegial discussion and critique delving on the following topics:

Day 2

  • Session 1 — Journalism and Conflict in the Philippines: A Clash of Culture and Frames?
    Glenda M. Gloria, COO, ABS-CBN News Channel
  • Session 2 — Serial Peace Talks in Mindanao: Post-Mortem and Prognosis
    Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Associate Professor, Political Science Department, University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Session 3 — The Language and Practice of Journalism: A Content Analysis of How the Media Cover Mindanao (Civil Society’s Perspective)
    Atty. Zainudin Malang, Founder, Bangsamoro Center for Law and Policy Center (BCLP) and Columnist, MindaNews
  • Session 4 — Ethical Dilemmas and Problematic Situations
    Ed Lingao, Manager for News Operations, ABC TV5

Day 3

  • Session 5 — The Language and Practice of Journalism and Mindanao: From Rebellion to Elections, Calamities, Kidnapping, Peace Talks, Political Clans
    Carolyn O. Arguillas, MindaNews Editor and Chairperson of the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center
  • Session 6 — Crafting a Reporter’s Protocol on Covering Mindanao and Areas of Conflict
    Malou Mangahas, Executive Director, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Session 7 — Sourcing and Corroboration: People Trail, Paper Trail, Online Sources
    Manny Mogato, Senior Correspondent, Reuters
    Julie Alipala, Correspondent, Inquirer Mindanao and Board Member, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
  • Session 8 — Staying with the Story: The Transition from Conflict to Reconciliation and Reconstruction (Panel Discussion)

Day 4

  • Session 9 — The Costs and Consequences of Conflict and Peace in Mindanao
    Jaileen F. Jimeno, Deputy Executive Director, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Session 10 — The Legal Context: International and Philippine Protocols on Conflict, Human Rights and Ancestral Domain Issues
    Atty. Marvic Leonen, Dean, University of the Philippines College of Law

The PCIJ will be live-blogging the seminar.

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