Journalists as peacebuilders …
..is one great task, but the role has to be played. There is too much violence, conflicts, wars and misunderstanding. Are we part of the solution or the problem?
I got messed with these reflections on August 10 when I was asked to speak on Peace Writing to at least 150 campus journalists. Carol asked me to give the talk in her place for she was on a mission to Manila.
It was hard to give the talk because of the short notice and the sensitive topic required ample preparation. Although I studied peace journalism as a journalist, I still feel insufficient. Peace Journ was the theme of the Second Mindanao Media Summit in 2004 and a short term course on media as peace builders before that. My experience with peace journalism is solely with MindaNews. We simply refer to it in the news service as “Reporting Mindanao” as it is not only about “peace writing” but a study of Mindanao’s histories and other dynamics.
But it was harder to refuse giving the talk even with the haste. We all need to look closer at the need for peace in these trying times. And the best people to talk to about it are the youth of Mindanao who are its future leaders in government, business, military, media or wherever. If we start it right by letting the youth understand, then, perhaps the future of journalism and peace in Mindanao is bright.
So there goes — a morning of workshop with Southeastern Mindanao’s campus journalists. Thanks to MindaNews, the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCO), Acts for Peace, DepEd and the others behind the workshop.