Science journalism was the topic of a webinar led by the Department of Development Journalism (DDJ) titled Science Journalism: International and Local Perspectives as part of the DDJ Seminar Series on June 13, 2022 on Zoom.

The webinar was held in partnership with the DEVC 128 class (Science Journalism in Development), which is first offered during the second semester of AY 2021-2022. It aimed to introduce the field of science journalism to the constituents of Los Baños, which is known as the special science and nature city of Laguna.

The first speaker of the webinar was Joel Adriano, Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific of SciDev.Net, one of the online newspapers that contains news, views and analysis regarding global development.

He discussed the possible opportunities, experiences, and things to remember if a journalist becomes part of an international newspaper like SciDev.Net.

Adriano added that the lack of consideration in choosing to report on one of the problems he sees in their field and he also encouraged that it is good for a journalist to have local experience first before heading to the international level.

Meanwhile, the second speaker, Jasper Arcalas, Agriculture and Commodities Reporter of the BusinessMirror, shared the importance of and his perspective regarding Agricultural Journalism.

In his presentation he likened agriculture to love. He said, “kung minsan ay you disagree, madalas agri.”

This was followed by the discussion of issues in the agricultural sector that are not often reported about in the mainstream media news cycle.

He concluded his talk by saying, “Kaya ineenganyo ko kayo na maging ‘marijo’ sa isang mundong puno ng “marites” – marijo- marijournalist na handang alamin, gamayin, ramdamin, at ibigin ang pagsusulat ng balitang agricultural, at bilang pagtatapos laging tatandaan AGRI- Ang Good Reporting Isinasabuhay.”

At the end of the webinar, participants from various organizations had the opportunity to ask questions to keynote speakers including issues of misinformation and disinformation on social media.

The webinar was officially opened by Asst. Prof. Aletheia C. Araneta, the chair of the DDJ. She said, “We hope to motivate our Devcom students, more youth to take up science journalism lalo na sa Pilipinas kailangan na kailangan natin ito. To help our society achieve a science culture na ine-aim natin, that our country much needs ngayon lalo na sa mga panahong ito.”

In his closing remarks, Mr. Miguel Victor T. Durian, University Extension Associate II and one of the faculty members in charge of DEVC 128, lauded Adriano, who is a Devcom alumnus, and his work in the international news media arena. He also thanked Arcalas, whom he had worked with as a co-resource speaker in a training held by the Bureau of Fisheries and Agricultural Standards of the Department of Agriculture (BAFS-DA).

On May 2, the first webinar of this year’s DDJ Seminar Series was held with the topic of mobile journalism for covering elections. (Samantha Gwyneth Bonsol and Paul John Lazaga)