by Rudy Parel Jr.
Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022, spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Development Communication (UPLB CDC), conducted its Volunteers’ Training via Zoom from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM last Saturday, April 23. This event is an intensive training on election coverage for volunteers in line with the upcoming May 9 elections.
Almost 100 volunteers from the partner schools and universities of Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 registered for the capacity-building event. They are from Plaridel Integrated National High School, Asosasyon ng Komunikasyon at Tinig ng Makabagong Organisasyon (AKTIBO), San Pablo Colleges, Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) Sta. Cruz Main Campus, Laguna University (LU), University of Perpetual Help (UPH), Malayan Colleges, and UPLB.
One of the volunteers, Sophia Alyanna Bonifacio, a sophomore BS Development Communication student at UPLB CDC, volunteered for the event because she saw the need and importance of local journalism in her community.
“Nais kong bigyan ng plataporma para maibahagi ‘yung sentimento at boses ng mga residente sa barangay namin,” she said.
(“I would like to provide the residents of our barangay a platform to express their sentiments and voices.”)
The welcoming remarks of Dr. Trina Leah Mendoza, the program leader of Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 and chair of the CDC Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication (DDBT), officially opened the program. She expressed her appreciation to the volunteers from the community partners and the main speakers of the training.
The overall program is divided into two parts, which are: 1) orientation; and 2) training proper.
The orientation about Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 was discussed by Ms. Renz Frances D. Abagat-Manrique, University Extension Associate II of CDC Department of Educational Communication (DEC), and Mr. Ryan Jay Galang, University Research Associate II of CDC DDBT.
Ms. Abagat-Manrique highlighted the Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 Health and Logistics Safety Guidelines where she enumerated the requirements for the volunteers. These are the following:
- Volunteers must be fully vaccinated;
- Volunteers must have a health insurance to be provided by UPLB CDC; and
- Volunteers must sign and submit the Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 Consent and Waiver Form.
She proceeded to discuss the health and election protocols during the coverage, and the ethical standards.
Meanwhile, Mr. Galang discussed an overview of Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022, including its main objectives and components. According to him, it is a public service initiative under UPLB CDC, in partnership with educational institutions, non-profit organizations, media organizations, and student/youth organizations in Laguna, that focuses on its two main components, which are voters’ education and multimedia platform election coverage in the communities of said province.
During the CDC-sponsored university flag-raising ceremony last April 18, 2022, CDC Dean Dr. Ma. Stella C. Tirol highlighted the importance of Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022. She stated that the purpose of the event is “to inform and educate us about our candidates and their platforms, political fact-checking, the election process, and voting behavior.” She also added that “our university is facilitating how we can future-proof or prepare ourselves in advance for our May election.”
The volunteers invited for Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022 will be trained in the following: 1) Election coverage protocols; 2) Political fact-checking; and 3) Writing and reporting for broadcast and web platforms.
MAIN SPEAKERS OF THE TRAINING
The first speaker of the training, Mr. Miguel Victor Durian, University Extension Associate II and Affiliate Assistant Professor of CDC Department of Development Journalism (DDJ), covered topics about political fact-checking such as fact-checking in the 2022 Philippine General Elections, how fact-checking works, becoming a fact-checker, producing a fact-check, and how the volunteers can contribute to fact-checking through Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022.
He emphasized the significance of political fact-checking, which aims to address the rampant proliferation of fake news or wrong information on social media.
Mr. Durian also shared the four fact-check ratings on claims, which are: 1) Totoo (Accurate); 2) Hindi Totoo (False); 3) Kulang sa Konteksto (Needs Context/Misleading); and 4) Walang Basehan (No Basis).
Moving forward, Assistant Professor Aileen Macalintal of CDC DDJ, the second speaker, gave a lecture about reporting for the web, including the structure of news and feature stories, and optional gadgets or equipment for journalists. She also provided sample topics to cover, such as the issues on the accessibility of voting precincts, vote-buying, culture of impunity, vote-counting machines, and natural disasters.
The third speaker, Ms. Grace Mapacpac, University Extension Associate II of CDC DDBT, explained reporting for broadcast by emphasizing the principles of writing for broadcast, scriptwriting, speech and performance, and live reporting. She also reminded the volunteers to refrain from reporting unverified stories, such as those that solely came from hearsays.
For the last part of the training, Ms. Charmaine Mae Arkaina, University Extension Specialist I of CDC Department of Science Communication (DSC), and Mr. Galang discussed the duties and responsibilities of the volunteers on the election day. Mr. Galang explained that the 16-hour-long election coverage, starting from 6 am to 10 pm, will be divided into four shifts, where each shift will last for four hours. He expressed that the team responsible for the election coverage under the broadcast component will comprise of the following:
- Executive Producer;
- News Desk Editor;
- Production Assistants;
- Camera Operators;
- Video Editor;
- Floor Director;
- Livestream Operator; and
- Field Reporter.
On the other hand, Ms.Arkaina talked about the production of digital content for transmedia reportage where she discussed the responsibilities, workflow, and online platforms or applications of the digital content team, which will be composed of the following:
- Digital Content Production Activity Leader and Project Staff;
- Content Production Head;
- Field Reporter;
- Content Production Associate (Copy) or CPAC;
- Content Production Associate (Graphics) or CPAG; and
- Content Production Assistant.
For more information about Bantay Halalan Laguna 2022, visit their official Facebook Page and Twitter Page or contact them through the following:
- Email: [email protected]
- Contact Number: (049) 536 2433