MANILA, Philippines – Twenty citizen journalists from across the Philippines gathered for a citizen journalism training organized by Rappler’s civic engagement arm, MovePH, from April 5 to 7.
Called Rappler Movers, the participants are campus journalists, youth leaders, advocates, and activists from partner campus publications and school organizations. They were trained by Rappler editors, reporters, and producers on news writing, covering local politics, mobile photography and videography, social media reporting, and fact-checking, among others.
On the first day of the training, managing editor Glenda Gloria spoke about the thrust of #PHVote, Rappler’s election coverage. She reminded participants to “be on guard and vigilant towards false information that will affect voting, campaigns, public decisions on who will win.”
Rappler’s community managers, themselves citizen journalists during the 2016 elections, shared their key learnings and experiences.
“Being a Mover doesn’t just happen for a short span of time, like when we’re expecting important or significant events. It’s a state of being called into action and a state of believing that ripples of change is possible,” shared by Jene-Anne Pangue, a Tacloban Mover since 2014 until she joined Rappler as community and civic engagement associate.
Aside from the getting technical training, Movers were asked about the issues that matter to their communities during the brainstorming and story conference sessions.
“I realized that today is the time to take a stand, to go beyond writing just to win [in competitions]. The very word the marked in my mind and heart is to ‘write to call for action,’ and that alone becomes my conviction as a Mover. I will write because this is what I am called to do,” Rhoda Mae Ebad of Sarangani said.
The Movers will cover the local polls in the cities of Baguio, Tuguegarao, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Calbayog, Cagayan de Oro, and Dipolog, and the provinces of Pampanga, Laguna, Leyte, Bukidnon, and Sarangani.
“I once saw [being from the province and away from Manila] as a disadvantage, but with MovePH and the Movers in the regions, stories that may have slipped the eyes of mainstream media have the potential to reach farther and wider than their usual circles of influence,” said Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay of Iloilo.
For Janric Bayao of Baguio, being a Mover means playing a fulfilling role.
“Nagkakaroon kami ng role sa community…. Andito kaming handang maglingkod…. Kahit citizen journalist pa lang kami, napaka-fulfilling na mabigyan ng ganitong responsibility at ng ganitong prestige para mapaglingkuran ang taong bayan,” Bayao said.
(We have a role in the community…. We are here, ready to serve. Even though we’re still citizen journalists, it’s very fulfulling to be given such responsibility and prestige to serve the public.)
Movers played an active role in the coverage of the 2016 and 2013 elections as well.
“As a second-timer, I’m looking forward to hearing more from the other communities and on how we could bridge the online and offline community…. I’m excited to see how the communities will seize the elections, our democracy,” said Bacolod’s Claudia Gancayco, who has been a Mover since 2016.
Here are other photos from the 3-day training:
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