Abner Mercado. Photo by L.G. BabieraMEDIA’s role of spurring change is best emphasized when the government fails to do its job, a broadcast journalist told communication arts students in a forum last Jan. 29.

“Media is more reliable when the institution is not functioning well. The media should function with its utmost integrity,” ABS-CBN’s Karen Davila said.

Davila and fellow Correspondents host Abner Mercado were in UST for a campus tour and shared stories on how they struggled to create documentaries that could stir viewers and move government institutions to take action.

Davila said that Sen. Francis Pangilinan had told her that the documentary “Batang Preso” led to the enactment of the Republic Act No. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, which prohibits the detention of minors, aged nine to 15. Pangilinan authored the bill, which was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on April 28, 2006.

“Being a journalist, we have to strive to change the community we live in. We have to change the world,” Davila said.

“Ang bawat dokyu na gagawin mo ay kailangan magkaroon ng epekto sa mga manonood,” Mercado said. “The viewers in return are expected to make their own judgments and actions,” he added.

Tapping the youth

Anna Rodriguez, production unit manager in the current affairs department of ABS-CBN, underscored the crucial role played by today’s youth as “agents of change.”

Rodriguez said the inherent idealism of the youth could help the media in making a difference.

“Their idealism could effect change in our country. The media cannot do it alone. We really need reinforcement from our youth,” Rodriguez said.

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“The youth are our biggest allies,” she added.

As part of its 10th anniversary, the Correspondents visited different colleges and universities in the country to encourage the youth to be involved in social issues affecting the country. Nikki Q. Angulo and Aura Marie P. Dagcutan

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