Sexuality education. Teen pregnancy. Relationships. Employment. Environmental awareness. Technology. Public health. Vices. Serious and important issues all. But what happens when you put these topics in the hands of young reporters?
Sixteen young reporters from all over the Philippines produced their own stories on these topics at the First National Multimedia Workshop of Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network (MP-KNN), held in Quezon City from May 12 to 14, 2014.
The reporters will form the cornerstones of the newest MP-KNN youth bureaus. For the next few months, the bureaus will be creating stories that they feel are important to the youth. Their stories will come in the form of articles, photo essays, infographics and videos, and will focus on stories from their communities.
At the workshop, the young reporters learned about population and development (popdev) from the UP Population Institute’s Dr. Grace Cruz. Some of the reporters at the workshop talked about these aspects of popdev:
“I should know about the issues that concern me as a teenager because somehow it helps me understand the issues deeper. I could be one of the people to educate the residents of my community about PopDev issues.” – Allan Gregorio, Laoag
“The population needs to be balanced with the sources.” – John Joshua Principio, Manila
“It affects the youth and it can be a general issue or something specific to a region.” – Lyka Manglal-lan, Manila
“It affects the youth in various ways and aspects, such as health, education.” – John Ray Estrellado, Mandaluyong
“I've learned to value the importance of population towards the development of a nation.” – Mark Tuazon, Davao
During the workshop, the MP-KNN team also shared lessons on multimedia production and media ethics. The participants immediately put these lessons to use in their field work, creating their first stories on popdev issues. They avidly shared their enthusiasm about the training they received:
“I learned how to present a story more effectively.” – Will Reyes, Mandaluyong
“The most memorable part of the activity was video production. It was a great exposure and experience to come up with a story.” – Charlene Luna, Davao
There are seven bureaus being set up: Northwestern University in Laoag, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Don Bosco Technical College-Mandaluyong High School, University of Mindanao in Davao, the Inter-Faith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood in Antipolo, Silliman University in Dumaguete, and the Manila Bureau. The participants are excited about their roles as reporters in their communities:
“[This] provides us with an avenue to help our youth become productive and useful members of our society.” – Charlene Luna, Davao
“I learned that my voice and opinion is very helpful to address the problems in my own community.” – John Ray Estrellado, Mandaluyong
Each bureau was designed to be managed by an adult bureau manager, assisting the reporters in producing their stories. The bureau managers attended the workshop alongside their reporters, and picked up a few lessons as well:
“My students were able to experience and see the real world, not just theories and stats but realities in life.” – Yolanda Sabado Lao, Bureau Manager, Northwestern University, Laoag
“Media is a powerful tool in shaping the values of society. It is a powerful tool to help the generation of today. ” – Dennis Abuan, Bureau Manager, Don Bosco Technical College-Mandaluyong High School
Throughout 2014 and 2015, the MP-KNN team will be visiting the bureaus in their schools and communities to provide follow-up training.
Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network is a project of the Probe Media Foundation, supported by the Philippine Center for Population and Development. MP-KNN works to equip young Filipinos with the skills and knowledge to tell their own popdev stories.