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Maasin Senior HS students get crash course in journalism

At least 15 senior high school students from one private and two public schools in Maasin City got immersed in basic media work through activities marking the Press Freedom Week in the city and province which was observed from November 6-10.

The students came from Saint Joseph College (SJC), a private school, Dongon National High School (DNHS), and Maasin City National High School (MCNHS), at five learners per school accompanied by their respective advisers.

However, they joined the week-long activities only on the second day (Tuesday), as the first day (Monday), was set aside for all the members of the Associated Media of Southern Leyte (AMSL), an organized group of practicing journalists in the public and private sector.

Press Freedom Week began with a Holy Mass at the SJC Extension Campus chapel officiated by Rev. Fr. Allan Daclan, followed by courtesy calls to Mayor Nacional Mercado and Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco.

In the afternoon, a subject on Financial Literacy was shared by Essie Espina Garvez, the city’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), at the City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CADAC) building, the venue of the activities.


A lecture on cyber libel and libel was the topic discussed on Tuesday, Nov. 7, by Atty. Oscar Solon, assistant provincial fiscal, with the participating youngsters attending.

Solon emphasized that comments and posts in facebook, which is a form of publication, and tend to shame, to disrespect the dignity of a person with clear malicious intent, can constitute a charge of cyber libel, should the offended party press charges once amicable settlement fails.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, News Writing was handled by Ronald Reyes, a Tacloban-based media practitioner, while on Thursday, Nov. 9, Broadcast News Writing and Reporting was taken up by Jade Nombrado, program director of Radio Station DYDM and Publisher of Bandilyo Weekly newspaper.

The students produced news articles for print in English, and Bisaya for radio broadcast, as output of workshops. Then they visited the three radio stations in the city for actual site visits and live delivery of their broadcast news.


Production of news releases for print and broadcast was actually a competition with modest cash prizes, the awarding done during the culmination on Friday, Nov. 10, at the Hollins Beach Resort.

For radio broadcasting, Ella Pauline Ingeniero of MCNHS got the first place, followed by Gwen Mendoza of DNHS, and Ashley Cabel of MCNHS for the third place.

For print news writing, Ashley Cabel got the first place, followed by Rhin Jhodel Epiz and Sam Mikaela Montehermoso, both from SJC, for the second and third place, respectively.

The first prize was P2,000, second prize was P1,000, and third prize was P 800, courtesy of the city government.

During the culmination program, the winning students expressed gratitude for the exposure, the experience in actual media work, an opportunity to further hone their campus-based correspondence.


City Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco, an active media personality who was the guest of honor and speaker at the closing program, encouraged the students to harness their potentials as responsible channels in spreading truthful, legitimate information through the mass media, which included nowadays the online social media.

“In the entire Region 8, only the City of Maasin supported the conduct of a freedom week for the working media, an acknowledgment on the role of the press in sharing updates and developments for the information of the general public, to let them know that the government is serving the people,” Samaco pointed out.

Former Provincial Board Member, Atty. Abelardo Almario, a veteran broadcaster in Cebu in his heydays, was also present during the culmination program.

City Ordinance Number 129 which was passed in October 2019, mandated the annual observance of Press Freedom Week in close coordination with AMSL. The celebration began in October, 2020, in spite of COVID-19 restrictions that was then at its highest, and this year marked the fourth celebration.

The ordinance, authored by Councilor Zaldy Olita, himself a practicing journalist, carried a matching appropriation to finance activities that usually involved the participation of senior high school students, with the aim of exposing these students to basic media work, hoping that they will soon consider taking up journalism or development communication as a career in the future. (LDL/MMP/PIA Southern Leyte/With reports from Dahlia Abiera Orit, Radio Pilipinas-Sogod, and Lorrained Acasio, CIO)

About the Author

Marcelo Pedalino

Regional Editor

Region 8

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