Campus journos 'disappointed' over DepEd's termination of partnership with Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Campus journalists expressed their disappointment after the Department of Education (DepEd) revoked their 5-year partnership with online news outfit Rappler on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.
In a letter addressed to Rappler's Executive Editor Maria Ressa, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones only cited the Termination Clause of the Memorandum of Agreement signed by DepEd and Rappler without giving further reasons for the revocation.
The termination happened around two weeks before the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) in Dumaguete City. Rappler was also set to spearhead the Online Publishing Demonstration Contest. This has dismayed the students even more. (READ: Stand with Rappler, defend press freedom)
In partnership with DepEd, MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, launched the Palaro Movers Program in 2017. Under this program, over 120 campus journalists were trained in a 3-day multimedia storytelling workshop and covered the week-long Palarong Pambansa. (READ: Campus journalists to cover Palarong Pambansa 2017)
Zach Borromeo, an editorial cartoonist from Cebu, said that efforts extended by Rappler was lost in vain.
Daniel Balan, a news writer, raised in his post that Rappler cared for the future of journalism
Pertecto Martin, 1967 NSPC Champion and now a campus journalism advocate advised that campus journalists should listen to both sides regarding the issues on what he described as 'historical' NSPC in Dumaguete City.
Below are other comments from netizens on the issue:
The point is regardless of Rapplers's corporate housekeeping issues, they still are an organization composed of actual journalists (and educators) who can help teach the subject to public school learners and teachers.— Patrick Salamat (@missingpoints) February 7, 2018
In a statement, Rappler asked why the department would make such a rushed decision. That they would jeopardize a project that took months of preparation on the part of the NSPC, DepEd, and Rappler merely highlighted an unstated reason for DepEd’s action – that they are choosing to sacrifice the ideals of campus journalism to politics.
Rappler also said they would continue their campus journalism advocacy.
"We will continue to work with them as they tell their stories, learn new skills, and try to make sense of this tough, new world," the statement read.
Rappler had been working with the DepEd for nearly 6 years now, since the 2012 Palarong Pambansa.
During this time, the online news website provided full coverage of a sporting event that seldom grabs headlines, volunteered hands-on training for advisers and students, and built an online platform for them for their stories, photos, and videos. – Rappler.com