Two Journalism students in their senior year brought home the first victory for the University of Santo Tomas in the prestigious Philippine Journalism Research Conference (PJRC), held on May 3, 2018 at the Cine Adarna of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman.
Maria Isabella Alamag and Krystal Gayle Digay of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters bested students from UP, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and another UST group in the Academic Research category of the 2018 PJRC, with their study titled “A Descriptive Study of Filipino Journalists’ Exposure to Work-Related Potentially Traumatic Events (PTEs).”
The study determined the different kinds of PTEs police beat reporters and online journalists were exposed to, along with the frequency and type of exposure. It also documented journalists’ responses to PTEs and the support they receive from their news organizations.
UST had a total of five finalist-groups in the 2018 PJRC.
Aside from the study of Alamag and Digay, UST journalism seniors Katrina Beltran and Beatriz Decena made it to the finals of the Academic Research category for their study titled, “The Impact of Rappler’s Mood Meter on Students’ Emotional Response, Memory, and Intentions to Diffuse a Story Under Extreme Distribution.”
Amierielle Anne Bulan and Mary Adeline de la Cruz were also finalists in the same category for their study “Polarity in Engagement: Audience Reactions to Facebook News Teasers on the Death of Kian Loyd de los Santos.”
In the Special Projects category, Alamag, Digay and classmates Ricmae Dorothy Arellano and Akari Nakano were named finalists for their documentary “Buhay Tulay,” about the street beggars on the footbridges of Sampaloc, Manila.
Alamag, Arellano, Beltran and Decena competed anew in the Investigative Reporting category for their story “The Doctor Is Out: An Investigation into the Lack of Doctors in the City Public Health Center.”
Mr. Felipe Salvosa II, journalism coordinator of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, credited the strong research culture fostered by the program for the PJRC win.
“Our rigorous thesis program trains students to inform journalism practice with theory and reinforce journalism practice with research. This is one way to make journalism credible before the eyes of the public,” Salvosa said.
The annual Philippine Journalism Research Conference, an extension project of the UP Department of Journalism, is backed by the Technical Committee in Journalism of the Commission on Higher Education, and is copresented by the University of Santo Tomas.
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