As part of its annual seminar series, the Department of Development Journalism (DDJ) held “Mga Kwentong Luntian: Reporting on Agriculture and the Environment” on 6 November 2023 in the College of Development Communication (CDC) Lecture Room 1 and via Zoom.
Two media practitioners served as guest speakers, namely Mr. Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas (Agriculture and Commodities Reporter, BusinessMirror) and Ms. Gaea Katrina Y. Cabico (Environment and Climate Journalist, PhilStar.com).
Mr. Arcalas started his talk by sharing about his journey towards becoming an agricultural journalist, which he said is one of the “least sexy” beats, despite it playing a crucial role in informing the public about the nation’s food system. He discussed challenges in agriculture reporting, such as understanding highly technical agricultural concepts and humanizing these so that the public will realize their value in their everyday lives. He motivated the participants to craft big stories out of these seemingly small, taken-for-granted issues. He also previously served as a resource speaker during DDJ’s last seminar on science journalism in 2022.
On the other hand, Ms. Cabico, reflected on how she might have been destined to become an environmental journalist, being named after Gaea, the Greek Earth goddess. She discussed the challenges of environmental reporting in the Philippines, which has been ranked for 10 years in a row as one of the most dangerous countries for environmental defenders, according to Global Witness. She emphasized that her field called for in-depth, investigative stories that go beyond events coverage to truly give the public informed decisions about environmental issues.
The event was held in partnership with the DEVC 125 (Writing and Reporting for Development) class of Asst. Prof. Jyasmin M. Calub-Bautista.
The topics covered also supplemented two specialized reporting courses, namely DEVC 127 (Data Journalism for Development) and DEVC 128 (Science Journalism for Development).
The event is also one of DDJ’s activities for the 25th anniversary of CDC. (Miguel Victor Durian)