Around 200 students from different colleges and universities across Davao City attended the 7th Davao Media Freedom Day, which was held earlier in the afternoon at F213 of Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) which was hosted by the university’s Mass Communication Department together with SunStar Davao.
The event began with opening remarks from Mindanao Times Editor-in-Chief Amalia Cabusao. She explained that the media freedom day coincided with the anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre, where 58 people including 32 journalists were killed on November 23, 2009.
There was then a presentation of tabloids from different universities including Crossroads from the Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC), Primum from the University of Mindanao (UM), and Atenews from ADDU where they were nominated for best editorial piece, photo entry, best in front page, and best student publication.
There was a workshop featuring lectures from SunStar Davao Editor-in-Chief Stella Estremera where she talked about feature writing and Yas Ocampo, reporter from the Mindanao Times, where he talked about investigative writing.
Students took part in a quiz bee where they answered a number of questions relating to historical and current events. By the end of the quiz bee, ADDU won first place, UM bagged second place, HCDC placed third, and USEP finished in fourth place.
Patrick Ariate, a student journalist from the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), shared his experience on being part of the said event.
“Being part of the 7th Davao Media Freedom Day is an understatement. It is not just an experience that it pass by, but also it is an experience not everyone can participate because this is not just a gathering for student journalists or media practitioners, but also those who are what we called “brave souls” because after all, this is not just writing, this is not just reporting, this is somehow shaping the humanity, shaping the society,” Ariate said.
“So as a student, I am looking forward to making or to gathering or participating in seminars that would somehow enhance my skills, add up to what has been my knowledge about campus journalism. And as a student, the most important part to this is knowing really your future somehow and you will know what to look forward to and it’s more of developing you because you are part of the bigger society and if you are dynamic, you should participate in this kind of conferences,” he added.