Cebu journ, comm students told: Do not deny history
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Do not deny history.
This was just one of the messages imparted to journalism and communication students in Cebu who participated in a forum about Martial Law held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
Dozens of young aspiring communication professionals from various universities in Cebu joined the hybrid forum titled Reaching Out to Future Journalists: Truth or Dare.
It was organized by SunStar Cebu, and held at the Performing Arts Hall (PAH) at the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu).
Key speakers included Elijah Mendoza, senior manager for digital communications for Smart, and veterans in Philippine press such as Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist Manuel Quezon III and Facts First host Christian Esguerra.
The three-hour event included the state of the country’s cybersecurity infrastructure, blow-by-blow accounts on the days leading and after Martial Law was declared, and helpful tips on how to spot fake news.
In his talk titled ‘Always Revise’, Quezon pointed out that one of the challenges journalists and journalism students currently face is distinguishing between revisionism and denialism.
“Both of them (revisionism and denialism) is trying to wrestle with the fundamental reality which is something the Marcoses understood very clearly, and took 30 years to unfold,” said Quezon.
The writer engaged with the audience by revisiting the accounts of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and lawyer and economist Augusto Caesar Espiritu, the latter a member of the 1971-73 Constitutional Convention, during the days when Martial Law was imposed.
Borrowing words from Philippine journalist Alan Robles, Quezon said revisionism is the use of ‘new facts, insight, and scholarship to arrive at a reinterpretation of events.’
Denialism on the other hand is the ‘crude invention of lies and the blatant rejection and/or crude manipulation of facts, to serve a vested’, he said.
“Denialism involves not just misusing, but actively ignoring facts,” said Quezon.
“Once you zero in on denialism, you can begin to fight it… You can dissect it as a strategy. You can dismantle it as an infrastructure of deceit,” he added.
Wednesday’s forum is part of the week-long celebration of Cebu Press Freedom Week. It also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.
The entire Cebu media industry celebrates Press Freedom Week every third week of September, which also commemorates the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 1972.
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