by Christa I. De La Cruz
Last July 2013, the De La Salle University-Student Media Office (SMO) made history, not only in the Lasallian community but on a national scale as well, by bringing together students and media practitioners in a two-day Student Media Congress (SMC). Originally targeting only 800 participants, the SMC hosted an overwhelming 1,090 number of students, teachers, and enthusiasts from all over the Philippines in the landmark event. Much to the audience’s satisfaction, the invited speakers and lecturers were the most influential personalities in the mass media landscape like Maria Ressa (Rappler), John Nery (Philippine Daily Inquirer), Val Victa (Manila Broadcasting Company), and Nandy Villar (ABS-CBN), among others. With such a great turnout and success of last year’s Congress, the SMO saw that another installment is in order.
LINK: Exploring Media Breakthroughs at De La Salle University
(KALATAS’ Pre-event on the Student Media Congress 2013)
The 2nd Student Media Congress is scheduled to run on July 25-26, 2014 in various venues inside De La Salle University-Manila. Registration is until July 7 through the SMC Website.
KALATAS interviews Joanna S. Queddeng, Head of the Student Media Congress and current Coordinator for Training and Operations of the SMO, as she and her team of student volunteers prepare for a “bolder and bigger” SMC that will “delve into the timely discussion of Empowering Media Catalysts.”
Kalatas: What should the participants expect this year?
Queddeng: This year’s SMC is still in relation to the previous one. We want it to be a process for student media practitioners and enthusiasts to discover not just why they need to make societal change but also how to empower their respective communities.
The Congress Team will once again summon an army of responsible and ethical communicators coming from both the academe and the industry to promote empowerment, social responsibility, and global competitiveness.
It will offer 10 competing and 40 non-competing workshops on a wide variety of topics that are designed with the Congress delegation’s interest in mind.
To provide an unforgettable and engaging learning experience among its delegates, the Congress Team will assemble a team of experts from the fields of print, broadcasting, and digital media.
Aside from the keynote addresses of the most influential media practitioners and the classroom-style learning sessions with the best media mentors, there will also be media-related sponsor presentations and interactive games to add to the learning experience of all the delegates.
We will conclude the event with a renewal of commitment to responsible and ethical journalism. In the closing party, we will honor excellent works and, well, let loose after two solid days of learning.
Kalatas: Why are you holding another SMC?
Queddeng: Originally, the plan was to have it every other year. However, after a month-long evaluation last year, we’ve decided to have it annually.
In the world of media and communication technology, it is best to have a regular annual gathering so media practitioners like us could go deeper into the field. Every day, there are innovations presented to us and we are left in the dark when we are not educated enough about these developments. We find ourselves exploring media on our own without guidance or support.
This year’s SMC wants to help its delegates in finding their niche or place in our four focus areas: print, radio, online and television. We’ve also included media-related breakthroughs and topics because we believe that practitioners should tap into different disciplines for empowerment.
Kalatas: Who are the organizers of this two-day seminar-workshop?
Queddeng: DLSU SMC is still and will always be composed of student volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to make this event possible. We also have various partners from different companies and student organizations who share the dream of empowering media catalysts.
The SMC will never be complete without DLSU Student Media Office’s unshakable alliance with DLSU Culture & Arts Office and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde Publications Office, and endorsement by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Kalatas: How are you dealing with this year’s preparation?
Queddeng: We started last October 2013. It will be a 9-month preparation and we’ll give birth on Congress day. No new committees were added but we’ve restructured our group wherein there’s a head for every concern and task. We have doubled the number of volunteers for this year and we’re happy about it.
The turnover was very simple. During the SMC 2013, we are already training the next person who will lead the different teams for DLSU SMC. Documents and best practices were given to the next in line. And the rest will always be a learning process.
Kalatas: Now that it’s the second Congress, is it easier to organize?
Queddeng: It’s harder this year because we have to exceed ourselves when it comes to our offerings. It has to be better than our last. We’ve leveled up on our offerings and we’re trying to get twice the number of partners compared to last year.
We are still targeting 1,100 delegates from all over the Philippines and we’ve made a few adjustments on our internal processes. We’ve created a simpler registration process and an online enrollment scheme for our Day 2 workshops and seminars to avoid the negative feedback related to our Day 2 registration last year. Most of the changes in the SMC are geared towards process development.
Kalatas: What have you learned from last year’s planning of the SMC that you applied this year?
Queddeng: Every day is day one. That’s our mindset for this year. It’s not just about how we’re doing it; it’s thinking about what new and exciting things could we offer in the Congress.
The registration for the Student Media Congress is until July 7, 2014. Visit http://www.studentmediacongress.com to register.
KALATAS is an official media partner of the DLSU SMC.