These young souls had lifted my spirit for showing to me a passion, young as they were, to right the wrong in our communication skills as a way of persuasion to express our sentiments and aspirations as people.
By MASIDING NOOR YAHYA
Sometimes in August of 2018, I lectured about ‘news writing’ to some 150 students and teachers who were attending a two-day training-workshop on campus journalism at the social hall of Lanao del Sur new provincial capitol complex.
The activity was conducted by the schools division of Marawi City headed by a competent educator, Madam Pharida L. Sansarona. I vouched to the competence of the division superintendent because she was the first division’s head to officially conduct the first formal training and workshop on campus journalism in Lanao del Sur where I have attended.
The then Lanao del Sur-IB division was under her watch as schools division superintendent when teachers were given actual hands-on training and workshop on campus journalism. Other divisions followed. And why late? Maybe, it was because, prior to Ranao Star, there was no professional media organization in the locality to take the cudgel. Now thanks to Ranao Star Philippines.
The young learners indeed have lifted my spirit.
It was not how they grammatically expressed themselves or unfailingly followed rules on the writing. No, Sir, nothing of sort can describe as such any of their workshop output which I required of them. In fact, I guess they have to burn more eyebrows to at least know the complexities of both the English and Filipino grammar and composition.
In that respect, schools not only in the city of Marawi but throughout the province of Lanao del Sur should enhance teaching their students a comprehensive module on Basic Writing to at least learn the right usage of words or the agreement of the subject and predicate as well as learn more vocabularies.
What enlightened my heart is to see how eager they are to learn the art of writing, and for one reason, as they told me, to help tell true tales instead of propagating deceiving stories such as what they see in social media which are sowing fears and confusions or puzzlements among the Maranaos. These teenagers know that deception is a crime and a sin punishable in this world and in the hereafter.
Perhaps, the proliferating fake news and perplexing stories have alarmed these youngsters, and, at a tender age, they understand that it is either lack of knowledge on how to tell the news correctly or is coupled with the destructive intent that make bloopers in social media.
It was their desire to learn the art correctly in order to do what is right that lit my heart. They realized that to disseminate information should be done in the correct way. And the correct way is through the art of news reporting.
That is precisely the reason why I have been asking our schools to encourage their students to learn campus journalism.
Time and again, I have been requesting administrators of schools in the locality to enhance their programs on campus journalism and to train their students on effective writing especially in news writing and reporting so that when they write or report on event and development in our community, they shall not do it the trending way nowadays when exaggerated information and pre-conceived ideas if not fake news are presented news.
I also encourage government offices as well as NGOs to enhance knowledge of their information officers on news writing and reporting to avoid blunders in their line of work. There has to be effective propaganda doing it the right way, in accordance with the art of effective communication that is clearly understood and persuasive. As media practitioners for decades, I very well know this reality.
Unfortunately, my pleas just fall to deaf ears or so little give heed. And it made me realize that without effective communication, the Maranao as a nation will remain misunderstood by the rest of the world. RSP