On March 6, the PCIJ concluded in Zamboanga City the last of 12 training seminars on Covering Automated Elections and Uncovering Campaign Finance for journalists, citizen bloggers and campus writers across the country.

The seminars, with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were aimed at improving reporting on the electoral process and issues such as the new automated system. The seminars are also aimed at drawing attention to campaign spending by political groups and candidates.

For three days, the participants from print, broadcast, and online media had a mix of activities. Discussions delved largely on election laws and the automated elections, campaign finance regulations, basic investigative reporting techniques, ethics in election reporting, appreciating and reporting surveys, and detecting political spins and propaganda.


Scenes from the Zamboanga training leg

The trainers were practitioners from their professional fields: PCIJ Executive Director Malou C. Mangahas, PCIJ Training Director Tita C. Valderama, former PCIJ Deputy Director Jaileen F. Jimeno, lawyers Luie Tito F. Guia and Siddharta S. Penaredondo III, and PR practitioners Reli German, Angelito T. Banayo, Malou L. Tiquia, and Ronald F. Jabal.

The participants — composed of publishers, editors, field reporters, and political bloggers — from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gave encouraging reviews of the training course. They were particularly grateful for the opportunity to enhance their level of awareness and learning in covering the elections more effectively.

Prior to the concluding leg in Zamboanga, the PCIJ also held a training seminar on covering automated elections in Iloilo City from February 4-6 at the Sarabia Manor Hotel. The Iloilo training was held specifically for journalists from Eastern and Western Visayas.

At the conclusion of the seminars, the PCIJ asks journalist-participants to demonstrate the issues and concerns they have over covering the coming elections, and how they intend to resolve these issues. More than a chance for journalists to demonstrate creativity, this interactive part of the session is meant to make journalists realize and recognize some of the things they take for granted.

Iloilo Training Seminar

Journalists act out the issues they grapple with during elections

And for journalists in the Central Visayas area, the PCIJ conducted a similar training seminar-workshop in Tagbilaran, Bohol. The seminar was held from January 29-31 at the Metro Center Hotel in Tagbilaran City.

Bohol Training Seminar

Through a radio-play, journalists demonstrate the problems they face when covering local polls

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uncovering campaign finance

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Automated Election in the Philippines | YizhanTechâ„¢

March 17th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

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