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Campus journalism: Shaping minds from schools to societies

Campus newspapers provide  a platform that serves as an excellent training ground for aspiring journalists. 

This is how Siquijor Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rosalie Pasaol describes the Division Schools Press Conference (DSPC) which the Department of Education (DepEd) organizes regularly.

She said the DSPC is more than just a competition as it offers opportunities for young journalists to hone their skills. 

“It is an opportunity to get exposure, good experience and skills that they can use when they venture into the real world outside of the school and learn what real journalism is all about,” said Pasaol in her message during the recent provincial DSPC 2024 in Siquijor. 

She added that the annual competition helps the campus journalists sharpen their skills, articulate their ideas, thoughts, opinions, and views on various issues. 

 “If people cannot express their opinion properly, they become rebels in society,” Pasaol said. 

She also urged writers and their coaches to put a higher value on learning and experience and not just on winning the competition. 

“Winning is just secondary. What is important are the things that you will learn from here, and later on the things that you are going to apply when you go out outside of the society,” she added.

A team for the Radio Broadcast Contest-Elementary Category presenting their entry during the DepEd Division Schools Press Conference 2024 held at the Candaping National High School in Candaping B, Maria, Siquijor. (Marifel Faith Hammond/PIA7 Siquijor)
2024 DSPC

In Siquijor, aspiring journalists from seven school districts pitted their skills and talents in writing during the recent DSPC 2024 held at the Candaping National High School in Candaping B, Maria, Siquijor. 

Campus  journalists competed in the following categories: news writing, editorial writing, feature writing, photojournalism, copy reading and headline writing, sports writing, editorial cartooning, column writing, science and technology writing, and scriptwriting and radio broadcasting. 

The first place winners will represent the province in the regional DSPC. 

Campus journalists reciting the Journalist's Creed during the Division Schools Press Conference 2024 held at the Candaping National High School in Candaping B, Maria, Siquijor. (Marifel Faith Hammond/PIA7-Siquijor)
Win or lose, give your best

For Liam Vladimir Bonachita-Eraham, a member of the winning team from Siquijor State College in the Radio Broadcasting and Scriptwriting – Secondary English Category, the DSPC helped him see the value of being part of a team. 

"Overall, it was a transformative experience as the DSPC has not only sharpened my writing and broadcasting skills but has also instilled in me a deeper sense of responsibility and teamwork," said Liam. 

His brother, Yuri Demitri Bonachita Eraham, who is part of the same team, is grateful that the competition also opened doors for him that would help him in his future career. 

“Honestly, I was surprised by our victory, as I didn't anticipate winning due to the tight competition. It's a great feeling to have our hard work paid off, and our victory is a testament to the dedication of our team. I'm very grateful for receiving the special award for Best in Technical Application and excited about the doors that winning the DSPC has opened for me and for continued learning and advancement both academically and as an individual,” said  Yuri.

Best News Presenter Francis Jane Inopia, also of the same winning group, said winning would not have been possible without the cooperation of all members of the group and the full support of the coach. 

“Thanks to them, all our effort did not go to waste. And I am very delighted because I did not just win a competition but also friendships,” she said. 

For 11-year-old Grade 6 pupil Vince Mariae Anding Guillepa from Enrique Villanueva Central School, participating in the DSPC itself is already a victory. 

She said the experience was worthwhile due to the excitement, challenges, and lessons she learned in the entire day.

“There were many of us (contestants), nakuyawan pud ko (I was nervous) but I was also challenged to give my best,” Vince said. 

Vince won 5th place in the Feature Writing Contest- Elementary English Category.

The National Schools Press Conference is conducted every year in line with Republic Act 7079 or the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 to promote the growth and development of the campus press. (RAC/PIA Siquijor)

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Rachelle Nessia

Assistant Regional Head

Region 7

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