by Christa I. De La Cruz
With the advent of social media, online publications, and related mobile applications, the newsroom scenario of today’s generation has evolved into real-time dissemination and fast-tracked consumption. When fire broke out in Makati or when an explosion happened in Bonifacio Global City, Instagram and Twitpic were way ahead of noontime and primetime news TV. Every time an earthquake occurs, it is as if the epicenter has rippled its way into Twitter where people would say in 140-character statements that, yes, they just felt the floor beneath them tremble. Facebook has become a virtual court room where people debate on local issues, an online donation gateway for relief operations, and the modern word-of-mouth to raise awareness on various advocacies.
This changing media landscape is put at the forefront by the De La Salle University Student Media Office (SMO) through its upcoming Student Media Congress, with the theme “Exploring Media Breakthroughs,” on July 26-27, 2013. Organized in partnership with the DLSU Culture & Arts Office (CAO) and DLS-College of St. Benilde Student Publications Office (DLS-CSB SPO) and endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the first Student Media Congress aims to gather student media practitioners, campus journalists, and communicators in one venue to forge long-term relationships for the development of student media.
“We believe that it’s time for an event like this one. As future leaders of our respective communities, it is our task to take a leap of faith into the unknown and embrace media convergence. We’re not supposed to be afraid of media innovations. It’s not that scary as most of us think. We could always use this in building a better tomorrow,” relays Joanna Queddeng, Head of the Student Media Congress and current Coordinator for Training and Operations of the SMO, in an interview with KALATAS.
A Gathering with the Best of the Best
The Student Media Congress is a two-day event that includes workshops and talks on the different potentials of media. Delegates will improve their ability to manage multiple content across multiple media platforms, experience successful media convergence, and make the most of the data revolution. Experts from the fields of broadcasting, print and digital media will be invited to share their knowledge on the various topics offered during the Congress. Aside from the plenary talks, there will be sponsor presentations and interactive games to add to the learning experience of all the delegates.
The Congress will provide both competing and non-competing workshops to cater to the delegates’ interest. A competing workshop will be a three-hour activity wherein the delegates would be given the opportunity to produce an output based on the workshop mechanics. The speaker will also act as the judge and will choose the best works from the group. These activities will be complemented by non-competing workshops through lectures and discussions.
Five Months in the Making
The planning stage for the Student Media Congress started in February. What started as a mini-summit after a simple brainstorming with a qualified core team eventually led to a full-blown two-day congress proposal that was presented to the Director of the SMO. The project was then pitched to the DLSU administrators, CAO, DLS-CSB SPO, related organizations and offices, and CHED. After a call for applications, the small team has an expanded manpower of over 70 volunteers from different colleges.
“As we slowly gain support, we became even more confident with our goals. Everything started from scratch and the whole planning became a learning experience for all of us. I challenged the team to learn fast, learn on their own, and be willing to teach others as we plan for this event. We’ve had ups and downs but I believe we could pull this off,” asserts Queddeng.
From Publication to Media
The university cluster behind this event was originally known as the “Student Publications Office” (SPO), which handles the operations of DLSU’s four major publications: the two broadsheets Ang Pahayagang Plaridel and The LaSallian, the university yearbook Green & White, and the literary & arts journal Malate Literary Folio. The SPO provides training and development programs and services to Lasallian campus journalists, graphic designers, yearbook managers and creative writers.
The title was changed from “Student Publications Office” to “Student Media Office” in 2011 because the university’s student media groups can no longer be contained in the print medium. This change in branding was evident in the addition of the Green Giant FM, DLSU’s official radio station, to the umbrella organization. Other media groups will also be added to the SMO after the ongoing accreditation of new organizations such as The Philippine Globalist concerned on international news and The Tripod Society, a film, design, and photography group based in the De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex (formerly DLS-Canlubang).
Now felt both online and offline, the Student Media Office commits to “go to where the audience is and the audience goes to where valuable and quality content can be found. It is information however you want it.”
Onwards and forward
The Student Media Congress will be capped off with a sneak peak of the Media and Arts Center—the future of student media. The set-up of said facility where students can create media content in different platforms, from print to television, coincides with the celebration of SMO’s celebration of its 30th anniversary in the current school year. More on this will be revealed on the second and last day of the Congress.
The registration for the Student Media Congress is until July 20, 2013. Proceed to http://www.studentmediacongress.com to register.
For any concerns, please feel free to contact Mr. Daniel John Leonardo (Congress Secretariat) at email@example.com. For interested partners, please contact Ms. Claudine Caballero (Marketing Head) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the SMC Facebook page (facebook.com/dlsusmc) and follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/dlsu_smc) for more updates on the program.
KALATAS is an official media partner of the DLSU Student Media Office for the Student Media Congress.