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#RTSPC2017: Campus Journalism

in the Age of Fake News and Online Trolls
Regional Tertiary Schools Press Conference - Eastern Visayas

Christ the King College, Calbayog City, Samar

February 22 to 25, 2017

Last year was an interesting year for Philippine journalism and the Philippines in general. In 2016, we witnessed history as
16 million Filipinos catapulted Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency. The tough-talking mayor’s rise to the
highest position in the land came as a surprise to many. But his campaign symbol, a raised fist, was the explanation: his
landslide victory was an angry lower and middle class now having none of the ruling elite, and a government that didn’t
work for them for the longest time. Change became the resounding battle cry.

The anger of the people aimed at the establishment also spilt over to the media: any coverage that put the President in bad
light, no matter how fair and accurate the reporting, are branded as “bias” [sic], “bayaran” (paid), and “dilawan” (yellow: a
now-derogatory allusion to the once ruling Liberal Party).

But there’s more disruption here. Celebrity blogger Mocha Uson, a staunch Duterte supporter with four million followers on
Facebook, claims higher reach and richer engagement than top media outfits like ABS-CBN, GMA, and Inquirer. Facebook
pages that are critical to the president get taken down after mass reporting of them violating the platform’s “community
standards”. Memes, now more than ever, are found to be more viral and believable than legitimate news stories.

And behind all these, Rappler finds out, is a highly organized social media campaign waged in the name of Duterte: an army
of paid trolls, fake news writers, and social media henchmen weaponizing the Internet. Their mission? Spread propaganda
and disinformation to solidify online support for the President.

While the administration promises “change”, the drumming up for political support online came at the expense of the truth.
Highly divisive opinions decided which facts mattered. And here lies the problem, and the challenge:

What is campus journalism’s place in the kind of public sphere the Philippines now has? How does the college press
remain relevant to an always-on, always-connected youth, exposed to fake news, trolls, and divisive opinions?

These are the questions that the conference aims to tackle.

The Conference
The 2017 Regional Tertiary Schools Press Conference (RTSPC) in Eastern Visayas will bring together the members and
advisers of the student publications in higher education institutions (HEIs). In 2016, more than 200 participants attended
the conference at Southern Leyte State University in Sogod, So. Leyte. The conference is an annual gathering of student
publications in the region.

The four-day activity aims to:
1. educate the campus journalists on fake news & online trolls;
2. equip them with basic and advanced skills in journalism;
3. recognize the journalistic abilities of students through various competitions and contests; and
4. increase and strengthen the membership of the network of campus journalists and advisers in the region.

The resource persons for the conference come from Rappler’s MovePH, and the Philippine Association of Communication
Educators (PACE). Rappler is the leading social news network in the Philippines, founded by veteran and award-winning
journalists and experts. The Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE), Inc. is the largest and oldest
professional organization of communication educators and practitioners in the country.

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The following people will serve as speakers for the 4-day conference:

• MARIA RESSA - She is the CEO and Executive Editor of social news network Rappler. Before founding the company, she
was at the helm of the News & Current Affairs section of ABS-CBN. She also headed CNN’s Bureau in Jakarta. She has
written two books on terrorism and its intersection with technology and social media.
• KAREN DAVILA - She is a Filipino broadcast journalist and a TV host and anchor in the Philippine media giant ABS-CBN.
As a professional journalist, she had received awards internationally, including an award from the New York Festival and
the Ten Outstanding Young Men Awards for Broadcast Journalism in 2008.
• RUPERT AMBIL - He is the Executive Director of MovePH, the citizen journalism arm of Rappler. He formerly served as
Futures Desk Specialist and Field Producer of the ABS-CBN News Channel. He is a hybrid of newsgathering, production,
engineering, and eventually multimedia operations. He was also once a television endorser of a popular
telecommunications company.
• MS. PATRICIA EVANGELISTA - She is a multi-awarded journalist and storyteller who has worked across a range of
platforms including television production, documentary film and multi-platform collaborative projects focused on human
rights, conflict, disaster, development and public interest issues. She writes for both online and print, and is a
videographer, editor and producer.
• MR. DAVID LOZADA – He currently serves as a multimedia reporter and community manager for Rappler‘s citizen
journalism arm, MovePH. He is a story- teller, a travel blogger, and an educator. He covers human rights, disasters,
climate change, development and advocacy issues.
• MS. RAISA MARIELLE SERAFICA – She is the social media producer of MovePH, Rappler’s advocacy platform and civic
engagement arm. She also manages its core movers and volunteers who want to help change the world.

The following will also serve as speaker and will also take on the role as contest juror for the individual and group contests
of RTSPC 2017:

• PROF. MARCO POLO – He is the president of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) Foundation,
Inc., the oldest and largest organization of communication teachers in the country. He also serves as board member of
the Asian Media Information Center (AMIC) and currently works as communication and public relations faculty at the De
La Salle University – Dasmariñas (DLSU-D).
• PROF. BEN DOMINGO, JR. – He currently serves as chairperson of the CHED Technical Panel in Journalism and
considered as the father of barefoot journalism in the Philippines. He formerly served as faculty member of the University
of the Philippines – College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) and Central Luzon State University teaching courses in
media ethics, journalism and development communication.
• PROF. GRETCHEN MANGAHAS – She is a development communication faculty at the Benguet State University (BSU)
handling courses in participatory communication and journalism. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the
University of the Philippines – Open University (UP-OU). In college, she was the former Editor-in-Chief of the UPLB
Perspective and an active student leader.
• PROF. ALETHEIA CANUBAS - She is a development journalism faculty at the University of the Philippines Los Baños
(UPLB) College of Development Communication (CDC). She also obtained her masteral degree in development
communication in the same institution. She has been a part of the UPLB’s community newspaper Los Baños Times as
editor and former correspondent.
• RYAN MACASERO - He is a columnist of the Cebu Daily News and a former multimedia journalist of Rappler. He was also
a community reporter in San Francisco Bay Area, USA. He was a 2013 awardee of the New America Media Ethnic Media
Awards for Southern California and was nominated twice by the Philippine American Press Club for the 2012 Plaridel
Awards for Filipino American Journalism.
• MR. ANTHONY ESGUERRA – He is a social media producer and writer at Inquirer.Net, the online platform of the Philippine
Daily Inquirer. He studied development communication at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) and a fellow of
Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).
• MR. RENANTE TOMAS – He is a freelance graphic artist based in Cebu City with expertise in open source applications for
desktop publishing. He is also a sought- after logo and graphic designer.
• MR. IAN KIM GAHOY - He is a development communication graduate of Visayas State University. As a campus journalist,
he was one of the prime movers that helped Amaranth become one of the leading campus press organizations in the

Program of Activities
This year’s RTSPC8 is a four-day event to include an opening plenary to be held in the first day, extensive parallel
workshops on campus journalism for the second and third days, and individual contests to be held on the last day. The
opening plenary is to be presented by Rappler’s MovePH while the extensive campus journalism workshops is sponsored
by the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE).

Day 1: #NotOnMyWatchCaravan with Rappler (Feb. 22, Wed.)

Time Activity Speaker/In-Charge


08:00 AM Registration RTSPC8 Secretariat

09:00 AM Invocation and National Anthem CKC Chorale

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Time Activity Speaker/In-Charge

Bro. Ariel Manga, OFM

Welcome Remarks
CKC of Calbayog President

Dr. Leancel Homeres

Introduction of Participants
RTSPAA Vice President

Prof. Derek Alviola

Rationale of the Conference
RTSPC8 President

Intermission Number CKC Chorale

Introduction of the Opening Keynote Kris Calagos

Speaker CKC Editor-in-Chief

Maria Ressa
10:00 AM Opening Keynote Message
Rappler CEO & Executive Editor

Prof. Derek Alviola

11:00 AM Question and Answer


Talk 1: Moving the Philippines Through Rupert Ambil

01:00 PM
Citizen Journalism MovePH Executive Director

Patricia Evangelista
01:40 PM Talk 2: The Power of Storytelling
Rappler Multimedia Reporter

Talk 3: Growing Communities Through David Lozada

02:20 PM
Social Media MovePH Community Manager

Raisa Serafica
03:00 PM Question and Answer
MovePH Social Media Producer

Parallel Business Meeting

Advisers’ Business Meeting 
 Prof. Derek Alviola

04:00 PM (to be held at CKC AV Room RTSPC8 President

Students’ Business Meeting 
 Prof. Jed Cortes

(to be held at CKC Auditorium) CampusJourn University Founder


Day 2: Extensive Campus Journalism Workshop with PACE (Feb. 23, Thurs.)

Time Activity Speaker/In-Charge


Plenary Session on Campus Paper Sponsored by PACE Foundation,

Management Incorporated

Talk 1: Innovations in Campus Paper Prof. Marco Polo

09:00 AM
Management PACE President

Prof. Ben Domingo, Jr.

Talk 2: Barefoot Journalism and Writing for
09:50 AM Chairperson, CHED Technical Panel for

Ryan Macasero
10:40 AM Talk 3: Covering Community Stories
Cebu Daily News Columnist

Prof. Eda Opina

11:30 AM Question and Answer


Parallel Extensive Campus Journalism Workshop 1

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Time Activity Speaker/In-Charge

Parallel Workshop 1A: Parallel Workshop 1B:

News Writing Feature Writing
01:00 PM
Speaker - Anthony Esguerra Speaker - Gretchen Mangahas
Venue - CKC Auditorium Venue - CKC AV Room

Parallel Workshop 2A: Parallel Workshop 2B:

Opinion Writing Editorial Cartooning
3:30 PM
Speaker - Aletheia Canubas Speaker - Renante Tomas
Venue - CKC AV Room Venue - CKC AV Room


Video Presentations of Finalists for Best Short Story, Best Documentary and Best
08:00 PM
Promotional Video

Day 3: Extensive Campus Journalism Workshop with PACE (Feb. 24, Fri.)

Time Activity Speaker/In-Charge


Parallel Extensive Campus Journalism Workshop 2

Parallel Workshop 3A: Parallel Workshop 3B:

Science Reporting Photojournalism
09:00 AM
Speaker - Aletheia Canubas Speaker - Ian Gahoy
Venue - CKC Auditorium Venue - CKC AV Room


Parallel Extensive Campus Journalism Workshop 3

Parallel Workshop 4A: Parallel Workshop 4B:

Investigative Writing Desktop Publishing
01:00 PM
Speaker - Ryan Macasero Speaker - Ian Gahoy
Venue - CKC Auditorium Venue - CKC AV Room

Parallel Workshop 5A: Parallel Workshop 5B:

Sports Writing Copyreading and Headlining
03:30 PM
Speaker - Ben Domingo, Jr. Speaker - Anthony Esguerra
Venue - CKC Auditorium Venue - CKC AV Room

Day 4: Contests, Awarding and Closing Ceremonies (Feb. 25, Sat.)

Time Activity


Parallel Individual Contests

Parallel Contest 1A - Parallel Contest 1B - Parallel Contest 1C -

News Writing Feature Writing Dev’t. Writing
Facilitator - 
 Facilitator - 
 Facilitator -
08:00 AM
Anthony Esguerra Gretchen Mangahas Ben Domingo, Jr.
Venue - Venue - Venue -
CKC Auditorium CKC AV Room CKC Lecture Room

Parallel Contest 2A - Parallel Contest 2B - Parallel Contest 2C -

Investigative Writing Photojournalism Science Writing
Facilitator - Facilitator - Facilitator -
10:00 AM
Ryan Macasero Renante Tomas Aletheia Canubas
Venue - Venue - Venue -
CKC Auditorium CKC AV Room CKC Lecture Room


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Time Activity

Parallel Contest 3A - Parallel Contest 3B - Parallel Contest 3C -

Column Writing Sports Writing Copyreading
Facilitator - Facilitator - Facilitator -
01:00 PM
Ryan Macasero Ben Domingo, Jr. Anthony Esguerra
Venue - Venue - Venue -
CKC Auditorium CKC AV Room CKC Lecture Room

Parallel Contest 4A - Parallel Contest 4A -

Desktop Publishing Editorial Cartooning
Facilitator - Facilitator -
03:00 PM
Ian Gahoy Renante Tomas
Venue - Venue -
CKC Auditorium CKC AV Room


Awarding and Closing Ceremonies

07:00 PM Invocation and National Anthem CKC Chorale

Introduction of the Closing Keynote Speaker CKC Publication Adviser

Karen Davila
Closing Keynote Message ABS-CBN Broadcast

Prof. Derek Alviola

08:00 PM Awarding Ceremonies
RTSPAA President

Distribution of Plaques to Keynote Speaker, Host School

09:30 PM RTSPAA Officers
and Partner Institutions

Hon. Ronaldo Aquino

09:45 PM Closing Remarks
Calbayog City Mayor

Host & Conveners

The host for this year’s RTSPC is Christ the King College of Calbayog City. The conference was organized in partnership with
the Regional Tertiary Schools Press Advisers Association (RTSPAA), Rappler, PACE & CampusJourn University Network.

Venue & Accommodation

The conference will be held at Christ the King College in Calbayog City. Participants will be billeted at Meñaco Hotel
operated by Asia Novotel and I’s Plant Hotel which are both located within the City Proper of Calbayog City.

Individual Contest Categories

• News Writing (English and Filipino) • Science Reporting (English) - New Event
• Feature Writing (English and Filipino • Copyreading and Headline Writing (English)
• Opinion Writing (English and Filipino) • Desktop Publishing (English)
• Investigative Writing (English and Filipino) • Photojournalism (English)
• Sports Writing (English and Filipino) • Editorial Cartooning (English)

• Development Writing (English) - New Event
Group Contest Categories

• Best Magazine • Best Social Networking Site
• Best Tabloid • Best Short Film (maximum length is 10 minutes)
• Best Newsletter • Best Documentary (maximum length is 10 minutes)
• Best Special Publication • Best Promotional Video (maximum length is 5
• Best Literary Folio minutes)

• Best Website
Special Overall Awards
• Campus Journalist of the Year
• Campus Press of the Year

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