Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones urged campus journalists to be responsible and accountable in telling the truth and giving balanced news when she graced the 29th Cordillera Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC) held in La Trinidad, Benguet last December 10, 2016.
Emphasizing on this year’s theme, “Strengthening Freedom of Information through Campus Journalism,” the Secretary reminded the participants to always show both sides of a story or the entire picture of what is happening whether in the school level, province, or in the country itself.
“We have the right to know what is going on, the right to know the developments but we should remember that freedom always comes with accountability and responsibility that entails being truthful, accurate and unbiased” Briones expressed.
She also noted that the Department of Education (DepEd) is an advocate of Freedom of Information (FOI) since it is through FOI and the sharing of such information that as a nation, even as a province or a school, decisions are made that affect everyone.
Briones likewise cited that many events in history were triggered by campus journalists like the EDSA revolution and other events which changed or brought back democracy and that people we adore or admire today like the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had been one-time campus journalists.
“Like them, we should write more about human rights, nationalism, culture, and sense of history,” she added.
In a press briefing with some campus journalists on the same day, the education chief again advised the young journalists to be loyal to the truth and for them to study the story not just quote one line from one person, instigate conflicts and to avoid political objectives.
“There are a lot of wonderful things that are happening in DepEd and other agencies like in agriculture. You write more stories that would ignite nationalism and cultural pride instead,” Briones said.
Meanwhile, OIC Regional Director Beatriz G. Torno conveyed her gratitude for the acceptance of the education secretary to the region’s invitation to grace the annual gathering of around 3,000 campus journalists and school paper advisers in the Cordillera Administrative Region. This year’s staging of the contest was hosted by the Province of Benguet.