UST, EJAP bring economic journalism to academe

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) co-organized with the private sector a free two-day certificate webinar on economic and business journalism.

The Journalism program, under the Communication and Media Studies department of the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters, partnered with the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) and the Aboitiz Group in conducting the webinar titled “Beyond the Numbers: Understanding Business Journalism,” held from September 17 to 18, 2021.

The two-day webinar, participated in by over 400 students and faculty members from at least 35 universities and colleges nationwide, sought to institutionalize a partnership between the academe and business journalism industry through an annual activity that would impart industry knowledge to journalism students.

Resource speakers were veteran and multi-awarded business journalists including Business Mirror Editor-in-Chief Lourdes M. Fernandez, the country’s first Filipina EIC of a major English daily.

Fernandez talked about the significance of business journalism in society, particularly how the best stories of the Covid-19 pandemic are best told in the lens of economic writing.

The other speakers for the first day were Ben Arnold O. De Vera of the Philippine Daily Inquirer who discussed macroeconomy reporting and Neil Jerome Morales of the Reuters News Agency who talked about covering capital markets.

On the second day of the webinar, BusinessMirror reporter Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas tackled reporting about agriculture and commodities, while Aboitiz Data Innovation Head Marwell Dalangin, discussed the importance of data and statistics.  

The webinar was capped off by a presentation of EJAP President and TV5 Senior Correspondent Gerard de la Peña on reporting business stories for TV platform.

“We are happy to partner with EJAP and UST for such an insightful and rich discussions. We are all fortunate to hear and learn first-hand from talented and experienced media personalities and respected business reporters,” said Aboitiz Group Assistant Vice President for Media Relations Maricar Bautista.

“They have imparted valuable learning which you can apply if you are to pursue a career in journalism covering the business beat or simply understanding what these numbers truly mean and how they can affect our lives,” Bautista added.

UST Journalism program Coordinator Felipe F. Salvosa II, emphasized in his Welcome Remarks that the economic implications of COVID-19 related mobility restrictions and measures showed that business and economic news coverage is just as important as the coverage of the pandemic itself and the government’s response to it.

“We need good business journalists to report on how the government for instance is trying or even failing to balance the need to protect the health of citizens and the need to keep the economy up and running,” he said.

“This is why we continue this partnership with the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines for what will hopefully be a regular seminar on economic journalism,” Salvosa added.

EJAP President Gerard de la Pena said the association went full circle with the webinar as its members were able to share their industry knowledge with the country’s budding and future journalists.

“It is just right to share our knowledge to you, the next generation of journalists,” De la Pena said.

“We want to institutionalize this partnership with the academe and private sector and make this a yearly event. So that we learn together and grow together as responsible and skilled journalists, especially during challenging times like these, when we deal with issues if fake news, rising prices of consumer goods elections and the weakening economy,” he added.

The students and faculty members who attended the webinar were from UST, Bulacan State University, Cavite State University, University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of Rizal System, Lyceum of the Philippines University and West Visayas State University.

There were also participants from West Mindanao State University, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Tarlac State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Negros Oriental State University, Centro Escolar University and Palawan State University, among others.

The event was hosted by the UST Journalism Society president Marymon Frances Reyes.  

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