The Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) conducted its first online training for its information officer designates in partnership with the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) on February 24-26, 2021.

Some 20 information officer designates from the DOLE-NCR regional and field offices attended the three (3) day activity, which covered topics on Newswriting, Photography, and Video Production.

PPI Executive Director Ariel C. Sebellino thanked DOLE-NCR for the trust and confidence to their organization and emphasized the value of constant learning as key to become effective writers, communicators or content providers amid the changes in the media landscape and difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Hindi man nagbago yung basic tenets ng journalism pero yung pag-practice at paggawa ng storya at pakikipagsalamuha sa tao ay nag-iba na,” he said.

“Engaging the public has never been the same ngayong panahon na ito. Hopefully, in just a short time, we were able to offer you a different experience na you can learn a thing or two and make it better,” he added.

PPI invited seasoned professionals Joyce Babe P. Pañares, Manila Standard’s News Editor; Jimmy A. Domingo, Photojournalist; and Kier Labrador, Creative Director at Neitiviti Studios, Inc. 

On Day 1, Pañares shared insights on understanding the media landscape, dealing with the media, and interviewing tips. She also gave advice on writing stories from a point of view of a journalist and concluded the first day session with a writing assignment. 

For Day 2, Domingo explained the importance of visual literacy and conducted a mini-assessment to help participants understand how they interpret or make meaning from an information presented through an image. He also illustrated the technical and aesthetics aspects of a photograph for effective storytelling. 

On Day 3, Labrador presented the three stages in video production, including concept development and storyboarding, importance of audio and lighting operation, and basic camera movements. He also did a quick tutorial on video editing and held a virtual tour on the equipment used when covering events.

DOLE-NCR information officer designates also participated in PPI’s open forum with the resource speakers to gain additional tips on other technical aspects of creating contents and practical tips on workflows when covering activities.

Amid today’s age of proliferation of disinformation in social media, Sebellino also imparted the importance of providing authentic, original, and effective contents that empowers the public. 

“Whether its stories through text, stories through illustrations or photos, or videos—ang importante sa tingin ko is to have vetted materials—materials that are excellent in content and that content would still provide that powerful message of storytelling,” he said in his closing remarks.

Meanwhile, DOLE-NCR Regional Director, Atty. Sarah Buena S. Mirasol agreed with PPI and expressed her deepest gratitude to the organization for the successful conduct of the activity.

“We really need this [training]. Hindi magiging successful ang aming programa without creating the right narratives for the public,” Mirasol said in her closing message.

“This is just a starting point to get the technical aspect of it but really practice makes perfect,” she said, adding that the Regional Director also pushed for the launching of the workshop despite limited resources just to ensure that their information officer designates are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills when covering and advocating the DOLE’s programs.

END / Hershey Aquino