CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Maria Ressa, Patricia Evangelista, Chay Hofileña and Michael Josh Villanueva of Rappler will be in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday, Feb 17, 2012 as guest speakers for SIBYA: The 1st Northern Mindanao Student Communicators Congress to be held at SM City Cinema 2.
The word “sibya” is Cebuano for “broadcast,” the act of making something widely known, which its organizers have chosen as an apt way to name the congress. The event will mark the start of an annual gathering of its participants for the succeeding years.
The 4 speakers, headed by Ressa, will discuss topics relating to the role of social media in journalism, namely: the power of social media, the reason we tell stories, how stories are told through social media, and ethics and responsibility in the use of social media.
The theme for this year’s SIBYA is “Social Media for Social Change,” influenced greatly by Rappler’s thrust of promising to deliver “uncompromised journalism that – hopefully – inspires smart conversations and ignites a thirst for change.”
Gathering of students
SIBYA is a one-day, student-led congress featuring forums and competitions relevant to communications. It seeks to gather communication majors and student journalists from the different universities and colleges of Region 10, student/school publications of the region, and high school students from Cagayan de Oro.
The congress is intended for students to jointly learn and discuss emerging trends in the media and communications in general, to unite all students with an interest in collective growth, and to foster cordial relations among participants.
Contests in essay writing, photography, poster-making and public service announcement production will also be held to raise the level of competence and foster healthy competition among the intended participants — all centered on the event’s theme.
“SIBYA will focus on empowering student communicators to let their voices be heard in socio-political issues and to keep them abreast with effective and emerging trends in communication,” said Ryan Louie Madrid, editor-in-chief of The Crusader Publication and head of the event’s organizing team.
Power of social media
“Recognizing the power of social media, student communicators can do so much to get their messages to a larger audience,” Madrid said.
He expects the congress to expose communication majors and student-journalists to the complexities of the communication field, which is something he believes the current curriculum of communications in Northern Mindanao is wanting in.
SIBYA is initiated by The Crusader, the official student publication of Xavier University–Ateneo de Cagayan, and the university’s Development Communication department.
There are over 400 pre-registered participants for the event. It will be open to walk-in registrants. Tickets are priced at P75. The congress will start at 1 pm. – Rappler.com