PH+SocialGood: Tacloban Journalism Forum

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PH+SocialGood: Tacloban Journalism Forum
Join this conversation on September 19, 2014 in Tacloban where we take a closer look at how information is spread and the role of journalists in times of crisis

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is no stranger to disasters, but the world’s strongest typhoon hit Tacloban City and central Visayas nearly a year ago, killing thousands, displacing millions and challenging existing practices and systems.

For days, the devastated areas were without power and water even as desperate families scrambled for any information about their loved ones. Through it all we learned one hard lesson: the need for accurate and clear information during times of crisis is just as critical as food and shelter.

The message is clear: we need to take decisive action today that will help save lives tomorrow.  

Watch clips from the event below.

Journalism, Technology and the Future


On the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy – Kelli Arena

Journalism and Post-disaster Corruption – Bill Dorman

Walking the Fine Line Between Journalism and Activism – Shahira Amin

The Politics of Natural Disaster Recovery – Kris Van Orsdel


Preparing for Natural Disaster Reporting – Rick Dunham

Q & A with Maria Ressa, Kelli Arena, Rick Dunham and Bill Dorman


After Haiyan: Empowering journalists who cover disasters – Len Manriquez

Q & A with Shahira Amin and Len Manriquez



On September 19, Rappler, Microsoft and the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy will be in Tacloban to continue its workshop on the changing landscapes of disasters, journalism, and technology as part of the PH+SocialGood Summit #2030NOW.

A team of international experts share their first-hand experiences in working in disaster situations on September 19, 2014. Filipino journalists also recount the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of Super Typhoon Haiyan and why it is important to empower those who report and write about disasters. In Tacloban and other areas affected by Haiyan, local journalists became part of the story, as many became victims themselves. 

The Houston-based Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD) believes journalism is a powerful development tool. It has a 3-fold mission: to train professional journalists; help create healthier relationships between the press and entities it covers; and raise awareness of complex issues. Its training teams include professional journalists, academics, industry experts and innovators.

The Event

Join this conversation on September 19, 2014 in Tacloban where we take a closer look at how information is relayed before, during, after disasters. We also look at the role journalists play in educating the public and keeping a watchful eye on those responsible. 



The workshop will be held from 8 am to 5 pm at the Leyte Park Hotel, Tacloban City. Entrance is free but prior registration is required.

The Speakers (in alphabetical order)
Shahira Amin

Shahira Amin is an independent Egyptian journalist based in Cairo. She was Deputy Head of state-owned Nile TV and a senior anchor but resigned her position during the January 2011 uprising in protest at the channel’s coverage of the Tahrir Square protests. Shahira was a longtime contributor to CNN’s Inside Africa from 2002 – 2011 filing stories from Egypt and other North African countries. She now contributes to Index on Censorship, a UK based free expression portal and the News Hub. She has won several international awards including Sweden’s Holmes of the Year Award 2011, Spain’s Julio Anguita Parrado Award 2012, the American University in Cairo’s Catalyst for Change Award 2011, the Global Thinkers Forum Award (Excellence in promoting gender equality) 2013.

Kelli Arena
Executive Director, Global Center for Journalism and Democracy

Kelli is the founding Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD). Additionally, Arena is the first recipient of the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism. Arena came to SHSU from Washington, D.C. where she was CNN’s Justice and Investigative Correspondent. She is a globally recognized, award-winning journalist with decades of experience in national and international newsrooms. Well known for her work at CNN, she is also an internationally renowned moderator, engaging some of the world’s most notable and creative thinkers.

As the first recipient of the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism, Arena was hired to bring national attention to SHSU’s journalism department. During her tenure, Arena has developed journalism courses and workshops, created a GCJD speaker series, and has overseen SHSU’s student-run news program Channel 7 News.

Bill Dorman
News Director, Hawaii Public Radio

Bill has been the News Director of Hawaii Public Radio since February 2011, where he also writes and produces the daily feature “The Asia Minute.” He also writes the biweekly column “Asia Matters” for the online publication Honolulu Civil Beat. He previously worked at CNN for 21 years as a writer, producer, and reporter based at various points in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC and Tokyo. He later returned to Tokyo as Managing Editor, Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg News, responsible for bureaus in Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Sydney. He’s covered news from more than a dozen countries, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Vietnam. His awards include a national Emmy, and recognition from the Overseas Press Club of New York and the New York Film Festival. He has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. He and his wife and former CNN colleague Noriko Namiki have lived in Hawaii since 2009.

Rick Dunham
Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University
Co-Director, Global Business Journalism Program

Mr. Dunham is a veteran Washington journalist and former president of the National Press Club. He covered the White House for Business Week magazine and the Houston Chronicle and has written about every U.S. presidential election since 1980. Before joining the faculty at Tsinghua, where he teaches multimedia journalism and U.S. media culture, Mr. Dunham was Washington bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle and creator of the popular blog “Texas on the Potomac.” He also served as Hearst Newspapers Washington bureau chief from 2009 to 2012.

From 1992 to July 2007, Mr. Dunham was a Washington correspondent for Business Week, covering issues as diverse as the federal budget, international trade and the Clinton and Bush White Houses. He also was Washington Outlook editor and a weekly columnist for

Since arriving in China, Mr. Dunham has offered regular news analysis for CCTV’s “Dialogue” program and China Radio International’s “Today” show. He has been interviewed by publications from the United States to Slovakia and Denmark.

Mr. Dunham was on the cutting edge of journalism technology and training in the U.S., serving as president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute from 2006 to 2013. He taught classes and hosted panel discussions at the institute on journalism skills, web content, social media and journalism ethics.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Dunham holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Pamela Tobey, a graphics director at the Washington Post.

Kris Van Orsdel
Director Infrastructure & Local Government Programs for Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, State of New York

Kris is directly involved with the rebuilding efforts in New York State. In June 2013, following the occurrence of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and most recently Superstorm Sandy– Governor Andrew Cuomo set out to centralize recovery and rebuilding efforts in impacted areas of New York State. Establishing the Office of Storm Recovery, the Governor aimed to address communities’ most urgent needs, while also encouraging the identification of innovative and enduring solutions to strengthen the State’s infrastructure and critical systems. Kris shares his experiences in these programs.

Maria Ressa

Maria is CEO and Executive Editor of She has been a journalist in Asia for more than 25 years, most of them asCNN’s bureau chief in Manila then Jakarta. Maria was one of the founders of independent production company, Probe. She provided strategic directions and managed more than 1,000 journalists for the Philippines’ largest news group, ABS-CBN. Her latest book, “From Bin Laden to Facebook,” is part of her work as the Author-in-Residence and Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Researchin Singapore. She was named the Southeast Asia Visiting Scholar at CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Len Manriquez

8:00 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:15
Welcome and Introduction to Forum
Chay Hofileña, Head, Investigative Desk and Training, Rappler
9:15 – 9:30
Journalism, Technology and the Future
Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Editor, Rappler
9:30 – 9:45
Global Center for Journalism and Democracy
Kelli Arena, Executive Director, Global Center for Journalism and Democracy

Introduction to the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, its mission and what it does.

9:45 – 10:30
Session 1
Preparing for Natural Disaster Reporting
Rick Dunham, Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University Co-Director, Global Business Journalism Program

What are the economic and financial implications of natural disasters? From a journalist’s perspective, what’s the best way to plan and execute disaster coverage? What are the tools, knowledge and skills reporters need when a natural disaster comes and strikes? What kind of information and stories should be provided to the public before, during and after a disaster?

10:30 – 10:45
10:45 – 11:30
Session 2
Journalism and Post-disaster Corruption
Bill Dorman, News Director, Hawaii Public Radio

Corruption in government threatens the viability of a democracy. In a post-disaster situation, victims expect fast government response and rehabilitation because they need to quickly rebuild their lives. When there is considerable bureaucratic delay owing to bidding procedures and commissions collected by officials, what can journalists do? How do they operate ethically in this environment and push for transparency and accountability? Practical tips and tools on how to expose corruption.

11:30 – 12:15
Panel Q and A
Maria, Kelli, Rick and Bill will entertain questions from the audience.
12:15 – 1:15
1:15 – 2:00
Session 3
Walking the Fine Line Between Journalism and Activism
Shahira Amin, Journalist

Torn between simply reporting what he or she sees and wanting to push for more action, what are the ethical considerations for a journalist walking the fine line of activism? Based on personal experience, what information did she wish she had when she decided to protest state TV coverage in Egypt? If driven by activism, what important issues should journalists consider?

2:00 – 2:45
Session 4
The Politics of Natural Disaster Recovery
Kris Van Orsdel, Director, Infrastructure & Local Government Programs for Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery State of New York

Post-disaster, how do politics and policymakers affect recovery and rehabilitation? Based on personal experience, what challenges stand in the way of better response to the needs of populations affected by a disaster?

2:45 – 3:00
3:00 – 3:45
Session 5
After Haiyan: Empowering journalists who cover disasters
Len Manriquez, Pecojon Philippines (The Peace & Conflict Journalism Network)

Speaking from experience, why empowering journalists after a disaster matters. How was this done in the aftermath of Haiyan? Post-disaster, how empowered journalists can help strengthen a democracy.

3:45 – 4:30
Panel Q and A
Shahira, Kris and Len take questions from the audience.
4:30 – 4:45
Closing Remarks
Chay Hofileña, Head, Investigative Desk and Training, Rappler


Sign up for the Tacloban Journalism Forum

Sign up to attend the Tacloban Journalism Forum using the form below. Only 30 tickets will be open for the public so reserve your seats now.

Food will be served so if you are able to get a seat and find out at the last minute that you cannot go, please notify so we can give your seat to someone else.

If you’ve successfully registered, you will receive a free ticket that looks like this:

Upon registration we will email you a PDF copy of your ticket. Print it out or save it in your smartphone/tablet and present it at the registration desk upon your arrival at the event. Registration is open from 8 am to 9 am on September 19.

For hassle-free registration you can also access your ticket via the EventBrite app, available on iOS and Android and check yourself in at the event.

This event is also sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the World Vision Development Foundation.

About the Summit

The Social Good Summit is an annual, global event that brings together movers and shakers to discuss how technology and social media can be used for social good.

In last year’s PH+SocialGood Summit, Rappler unveiled Project Agos, kicking off the year-long collaboration integrating disaster mapping, crowdsourcing and social media in a transparent platform combining top-down government workflows with bottom-up civic engagement. 

This year, Rappler takes the Summit to Tacloban on September 20 to highlight the challenges of recovery and rehabilitation one year on from Typhoon Haiyan. 


Can’t make the event? PH+Social Good will be live streamed on the front page of and on You can also follow along on our live blog or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #2030NOW. – 

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