Cebu journalist shares insights on Yolanda devastation

By Elizabeth Reymundo, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Mar 06 2014 08:33 AM | Updated as of Mar 06 2014 04:51 PM

VANCOUVER - The embassy of Canada in the Philippines, in partnership with Tulayan Filipino Diaspora Society, recently hosted a lecture by 2013 Marshall Mcluhan fellow, Eileen Mangubat.

Media practitioners, members of the academe and the Filipino-Canadian community gathered in the Network Hub in Vancouver to learn about the evolving role of the community paper during a calamity.

"It is important to make a distinction of their advantages and their flexibilities, and story-telling capabilities that the community press can do and fill a real need especially in times of calamities like this," said Mangubat.

As editor-in-chief of the Cebu Daily News, Mangubat is on an annual lecture tour of Canada as part of the Marshall Mcluhan Fellowship prize, an award she received because of her stellar achievements and professionalism.

"The Marshall Mcluhan Fellowship is the embassy of Canada in the Philippines' flagship public diplomacy initiative. It's meant to recognize and to encourage responsible media in the Philippines," said Carlo Figueroa, public affairs officer of the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines.

Mangubat, the third community journalist to receive the award and the first one in Cebu, gave background information about typhoon Haiyan and the devastation it left in the central Visayas region.

She shared the important role community journalists like her had during the relief and rebuild efforts.

"The small, significant stories in the community that is only ably covered by people on the ground who really know their terrain, speak the language, and have the patience to go after the these very unique accounts," Mangubat said.

RJ Aquino, founder of the Tulayan Filipino Diaspora Society said, "This type of journalism, this hard-hitting journalism that really resonates with people seeking news rather than stories".

After sharing tips for community reporting, Mangubat also advised local journalists to focus on more human interest news close to the ground.

She continued her tour of Canada with lectures and media appearances in Ottawa, Halifax and Toronto.