La Salle Institute of Governance and the Ateneo School of Government organized a virtual knowledge workshop on leveraging media and technology for the 2022 Philippine Elections last June 11, 2021, via Zoom.
A total of 24 representatives from the traditional and new media across the country were gathered to generate insights on practical initiatives that can effectively utilize media and technology and support the conduct of free, transparent, fair, and safe elections.
Through a panel discussion, the workshop further explored the role of media and technology as an electoral watchdog, educator, and campaign platform in the elections. The panel was composed of Ms. Carmela Fonbuena of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Mr. John Nery of the Consortium of Democracy and Disinformation, and Dr. Jason Vincent Cabañes of the Department of Communication of DLSU.
Ms. Fonbuena tackled the challenges of the media in monitoring elections. She emphasized the need to foster inclusivity in online and offline media activities such as press conferences to be able to create more spaces for discourse on important issues. Instead of using a top-down approach on voters’ education, Mr. Nery suggested a controlling metaphor of considering the “media as classmates”. This concept presumes that the issues that will be covered during the elections should be framed based on interactions with the voters and other stakeholders. Lastly, Dr. Cabañes emphasized the importance of knowing the deep stories of the voters as it helps in designing the communications strategy to reach more voters online.
The second part of the activity highlighted the participants’ ideas on how to strengthen the role of media and technology through a break-out session. Among the ideas raised to strengthen the role of media and technology in the upcoming elections are maximizing traditional and digital platforms, and engaging with COMELEC, electoral groups, and election related CSOs.
A pledge of commitment to enjoin all participants to be actively involved in the election processes as electoral watchdogs and messengers of truthful information, especially in this time of the pandemic was conducted towards the end of the online activity. Ultimately, the workshop emphasized the vital role of the media in safeguarding the right of the people to information specifically during the elections.
This activity concludes the virtual knowledge workshop series on strengthening citizen participation in the 2022 Elections during the time of COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.