REFLECTIONS: Uncovering issues, informing citizens
LAGUITAS, Malaybalay City (BukidnonNews.Net) Community journalism serves as the platform or the medium for the people to be aware of the issues, problems, achievements, among others in a specific community. In today’s Bukidnon, community journalism is important because it helps uncover the issues and provides information that are important for the people.
By unravelling the issues and disseminating the information, awareness will be raised among the people and they will know the important events such as what is happening in the province or certain parts of the province, why did such event/issue occur and what are the actions made to be able to resolve the issues.
Community journalism is also important in a sense that some information, events and issues may not be important for some, but are very significant to others, most especially those who are involved, affected or dealing with the same issues and problems.
As an aspiring writer and as a fellow, the major lessons I learned based on my experience during the fellowship is that it is important to be vigilant, to engage, to be knowledgeable and to be a source of legitimate and essential information. Being vigilant means that it is important to be observant of what is happening or the significant changes, most especially those events or issues that affect the community. Engagement is also important to get involved and talk with the people to be knowledgeable enough and to know all the exact information of a certain issue or story.
It is, however, very significant to inform the people about the issue, events and important changes in the community because it would make them aware of those issues and might help them in one way or another.
As a person, the fellowship taught me perseverance. Sometimes it takes a lot of the writer’s time and effort to be able to get the necessary information for a story. The fellowship taught me to be more persevering as a person because before coming up with the information for my story, I had to do my interviewees several times.
This taught me that if I did not get an interview on my first, second or third try, I should not give up but try harder instead. Such virtue can help me a lot in the future because whatever endeavor I may take, I know that I just have to do more to be able to succeed. If in the future I may not reach my goal during my first try, I will never easily give up. If in the future one of my plans failed, then I will think of another way because as cliché as it may sound ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’.
Just like any other endeavors, I also have good and bad moments during the fellowship.
I felt very good for being chosen as one of the fellows and attending the training, seminar and the fieldwork. Being chosen as one of the fellows is both a privilege and an opportunity for a student and aspiring writer like me. This is why I considered it one of the best moment of my Bukidnon CJYF 2019 journey.
I also found that attending training, seminars and fieldwork are the other good moments during the fellowship because it provided me important and remarkable experiences and lessons that would be beneficial for me in the future.
On the other hand, I also had a low moment during the fellowship. That was when I was about to decide not to continue due to problems with my thesis. But through the encouragements of fellowship coordinators, I was able to finish the fellowship and most importantly, my thesis.
I hope this community journalism fellowship should be continued in the succeeding years and batches because it is very important in increasing community participation to raise awareness and address issues in their community.
Through community journalism, one will be able to help their community because no one would care about our community, our province and our culture - but us.
The author lives in Laguitas, Malaybalay City. She is a graduating student of Bachelor of Arts in English Language (BAEL) at Bukidnon State University. She was one of the fellows of the pioneering batch of the Bukidnon Community Youth Journalism Fellowships organized by BukidnonNews.Net in 2019.
Ms. Vallejos worked on a public health story focusing on the rising dengue cases in the province.
The fellowship received support from MindaNews and the Philippine Press Institute, the Bukidnon Studies Center and CAS-Social Sciences Department of Bukidnon State University, Print All Station and other individual community partners. BukidnonNews.Net handled editorial work on the fellowsʾ outputs.)
IN PHOTO: An employee of the Malaybalay City Health Office does a fogging job in one of the villages in the downtown area. Photo courtesy of Bukidnon Provincial Health Office