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Bicol regional campus journalism tilt kicks-off

By Bobby Q. Labalan

Iriga City --- More than 3,000 campus journalists and school paper advisers are gathered here today as the 2024 Regional Schools Press Conference (RSPC) formally opened last May 8 at the Iriga Sports Center.

The annual campus journalism competition is being participated by delegates from the thirteen school divisions which include Iriga City, Naga City, Ligao City, Legazpi City, Tabaco City, Sorsogon City, Masbate City, and the province divisions of Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.

In his message during the opening ceremony, Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Bicol urged the delegates to not just write news but to actively fight fake news which have proliferated in social media.

“Don’t be swayed by the social media, there’s responsibility in journalism”, Sadsad said as he reminded the campus journalists to be ever careful in their write-ups.

He also urged the school paper adviser the school paper advisers to teach the children how to accept defeat as not everyone would win in the competition.

“There will always be someone better than you and accepting defeat would make you a better person”, the official stressed.

What is important is resilience and character and that knowing how to accept defeat can lead to success, he added.

Meanwhile, Joan Lagata, the regional campus journalism coordinator, called on the participants to use the event as “an avenue for growth, self-introspection about what one aspires to be, and a pathway to build hope of self-discovery”.

She said that “campus journalism is not just a competition. It is not just about winning or losing. It is about learning, growing, exploring, building connections, and creating bigger pathways for improvement” and that it “is a way of life. It changes lives, brings inspiration and shapes beautiful dreams”.

Al Camino, the 2023 Most Outstanding Scool Paper Adviser of Bicol, said that “This year’s RSPC is manifestation that Bicolanos, young and old, conspire to uphold truth and honest service in spirit of empowered campus journalism.

The delegates in the four-day event would battle in news writing, feature story writing, editorial writing, column writing, science and technology writing, sports writing, editorial cartooning, photojournalism, radio broadcasting and TV broadcasting.

The Legazpi City Division holds the banner as the defending division after it bagged the over-all championship in last year’s RSPC held in Legazpi City.

Lagata said awards would be handed to the top three winners in each event but only the champion would advance to the national schools press conference.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the top three winners per event were allowed to compete at the national level. However, the DepEd central office decided to reduce it to just one, the champion per event, post-pandemic.

Aside from the writing and broadcasting events, the competition would also feature the search for outstanding campus journalist and school paper adviser for the region.

This year’s RSPC would center on the theme, “Strengthened Campus Journalism: Gateway to the development of Empowered Youth.”


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