REFLECTIONS: Youth in media writing can help solve community problems

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net) Community journalism is a basic element in today’s Bukidnon. With it, comes our journalists who function as our candles in the dark, our road mappers and our truth peddlers. However, Bukidnon needs more journalists to ensure all our voices be heard. Our community here is vast yet, only few stories are written, few incidents are reported, and few problems are addressed.

This is the essence of our Community Youth Journalism Fellowship - to inspire the youth and reinforce our journalists in the field, to serve the community and become the forerunners of change. Without community journalists, our place will turn into havoc and disorientation. This is why, community journalism plays diverse roles in transforming our place into an orderly, united and progressive community.

In my days in the fellowship, I learned many things. First, I learned how to write a community story. As a student majoring in English Language, I’ve never seen much of this kind of task. With the help of my fellows in the program, I learned more of the basics of journalism. Second, I learned that writing community stories is an important civic duty. As part of the community, it is my responsibility to become aware of our situations and make others learn the status quo. Third, I learned to reach out to people in varied walks of life, know their story, empathize with them and understand them. Fourth, I learned that community journalism can be a good platform to help our less-fortunate people stand by listening to their stories. To some extent, knowing that their stories can be told gives hope. Hopefully, by writing their stories, we can help somehow.

Before the fellowship, I was just a passive entity in my community. I couldn’t care less about what happened outside, for I believed to be powerless against them. After the fellowship, an epiphany came to me saying that a problem is not only solved by the use of force, it can be resolved by way of becoming attentive to its cause and strike right in its roots. Now, I totally understand that my pen can be a good solution to different community complications. True it is that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. A sword can bleed where it touches but a pen can mend all broken pieces to make a brand-new beginning.

When I was in the fellowship I was pleased to meet different speakers coming from the different media strands. I was blown away with all their presentations as to how the media works. I learned from them how to capture a good community story, how to be fierce but with dignity in it and most of all how to become resourceful in unfavorable situations.

To add, the friendships created in the process was absolutely amazing. I fancied all those memories we had - getting together, eating together and helping each other during our writing process. Finally, the fellowship gave me extraordinary experience. I was able to go to places I’ve never been before like in the Umanika Farm in Malaybalay City’s suburb where all the plants are grown naturally, plus that historical board there, fantastic!

Apart from nerve wrecking deadlines, I couldn’t think of any uncomfortable experiences I had, as far as I can tell. I was just engrossed with those loads of information to take in. It was a pleasurable moment in my end. The environment was tranquil. The people were good and cheerful, the knowledge was flowing. All in all, every moment is worth to treasure.

To wrap it up, I definitely believe that the fellowship must endure amidst hardships we encountered. There should be more batches, as much as possible. This is way beyond just molding future community writers. This is a way of creating future leaders in the field of knowledge and understanding.

Our community is in desperate need of individuals to run it, individuals whose concerns are unprecedented. We are in the century where things are instant; instant transportation, instant communication, and instant noodles per se. But we lack of instant responders in our community. I believe that the fellowship in its little way can create bigger impact if allowed to continue.

The author is from Barangay 3, Malaybalay City. He is a graduating student of Bachelor of Arts in English Language at Bukidnon State University.  He was one of the fellows of the pioneering batch of the Bukidnon Community Youth Journalism Fellowship, organized by the BukidnonNews.Net in 2019.

Mr. Dolosa worked on a story on a public transportation issue focused on the welfare of motorcab drivers and operators.

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.

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