Monday, May 16, 2016

Reporters in the Making

Kiddie reporters at the Cogon Market (SCI-Bohol)
“Naka-recover na pud,” answered the woman interviewed by young reporter-in-training Devin at the Cogon Bus Terminal in Tagbilaran. 10-year-old Devin, clutching an improvised cardboard prop microphone intent at looking professional in the video being filmed by fellow child-partner, has been asking the woman about her experience during the big earthquake back in 2013.

For Devin’s final question, he asked, “Andam na ba ka sa sunog nga linog?”

“Dili pud ko musugot nga mubalik ‘to!” was the interviewee’s quick response to a crowd bursting in laughter.

That crowd was us, in the afternoon of May 13, inside a conference room in Bohol Plaza, viewing the multimedia outputs of 5th and 6th graders from their field work – data gathering, interviewing, filming and picture-taking – just that morning. Devin’s group chose to cover man-on-the-street-type accounts from the 2013 Bohol earthquake. While we, the viewers, expressed our amusement to the woman’s reply, in the film Devin kept his cool and remained poker-faced before thanking the woman for sharing her time with them, a sign of maturity way beyond his 10 years.

Last Friday, Bohol’s pool of multimedia reporters just got bigger, as Devin and some 44 other child leaders from 23 schools in Maribojoc and Loon successfully completed the Children’s Training on Multimedia Reporting on Disaster Risk Reduction on May 11-13, 2016 at the Bohol Plaza Resort in Mayacabac, Dauis.

Children become tech-savvy at a very young age, with more and more of them given access to media gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and digital cameras, making them active witnesses to the goings-on in their communities and beyond. (SCI-Bohol)
During the three-day training organized by Save the Children Bohol Program Office headed by Ms. Roxanna B. Epe, the fundamentals of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) were introduced, as well as a review of the basic terms and concepts of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and Risk Reduction and Resiliency (RRR). Beryl Guday, Community Mobilizer and Pepito C. Romero, Project Officer, facilitated these sessions, respectively.

Save the Children, the world’s leading, independent organization for children, has been providing assistance to the Province of Bohol since October 2013 as part of its emergency response to the population affected by the earthquake. One of the project support interventions is to capacitate children-partners on promotion of DRR key messages, campaigns and advocacy on risk reduction and resilience (RRR) and climate change adaptation.

Another group of young reporters chose the print medium to publish earthquake experiences they gathered from adults around Plaza Rizal in Tagbilaran. (SCI-Bohol)
Teaching children, who are the most vulnerable and most affected in disasters, not only their rights and ability to express but capacitate them in magnifying their voices through the different traditional and social media platforms is an innovation in child participation.

Toni Tiemsin and Denvie Balidoy, Media and Communications Officers from the Save the Children Philippines, taught the kids the concepts and practical skills on visual journalism, videography, writing, and social media including responsible media reporting, particularly in the widely child-accessible social media were there’s a thin line between fact and reality. “Think before you click/share” was a buzz phrase that resonated with the kids.

The children-partners with the help of their teachers will apply and build upon the skills they have learned in promoting DRR to their fellow children, not only in their respective schools (i.e. bulletin board, school organs, social network) but also in their communities and beyond.

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