The Department of Development Journalism (DDJ) celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Los Baños Times by coming together with partners through a two-part training held on 17 and 24 April 2023 via Zoom. This is part of the participatory brand of journalism being espoused by DDJ, engaging community members to become collaborators of its news platform.

Two of the College of Development Communication’s (CDC) alumni, namely Mr. John Samuel J. Yap and Ms. Allysa Marie C. Federio, served as resource persons of the training, which was titled the Los Baños Times Community Partners’ Training on Visual Design and Social Media Management. Its training design was based on needs assessments conducted by DDJ during previous LB Times training sessions.

The first part of the training on visual design was held on April 17 and was facilitated by Mr. Yap, Designer for Digital Content Distribution at In the first part of his presentation, he discussed the history of graphic design, as well as its role in distributing healthcare messages to highlight its importance in society. 

He then described the Gestalt Principles of Design, a set of theories in psychology, which include the laws of figure-ground, proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, and symmetry. He also discussed the principles of design such as balance, contrast, emphasis, unity, proportion, repetition, movement, and white space. In the last part of his presentation, he explained graphic design’s latest trends and challenges.

On the other hand, the second part of the training on social media management held on April 24 was facilitated by Ms. Federio, Communications Officer for Partnerships of Save the Children Philippines. She explained the best practices of SMM such as community management, engaging with followers, monitoring social media metrics, responding to negative feedback, utilizing paid advertising, and following ethical and legal guidelines. She also discussed the steps in conducting a strategic social media campaign that targets an institution’s intended audience.

On behalf of Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol, Asst. Prof. Aletheia C. Araneta, DDJ chair, highlighted in her opening remarks the LB Times’ 40 years of service in providing relevant information to the community. She then mentioned that the training was part of the efforts of the community news platform to rebuild its network with community organizations to further strengthen its role in responding to the information needs of the community. She also revealed to the participants a follow-up on-site event that DDJ is organizing to be held later in the year coinciding with CDC’s 25th anniversary celebration.

In her closing remarks, Asst. Prof. Jyasmin M. Calub Bautista, the LB Times editor-in-chief, expressed her appreciation to the resource speakers and all attendees for participating in the training. She hoped that the participants could use their learnings to better engage with their respective audiences and collaborate on community projects. She is also looking forward to working with the community partners in future activities.

Lastly, in his discussion on collaborating with LB Times, Mr. Miguel Victor T. Durian, the associate editor of LB Times, discussed the various activities LB Times has had with community members, which included trainings on media and information literacy, SMM, fact-checking, and journalism, as well as media coverage partnerships with different community organizations. He also thanked the agencies and groups who have contributed content to LB Times, such as public school teachers and youth groups. Mr. Durian leads the LB Times program’s project on the capacity building of community partners.

Almost 200 participants from various government, non-government, academic, and people’s organizations attended the event. (Rudy P. Parel, Jr.)