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Between the Li(n)es: ADPROS closes advocacy campaign’s curtains after 6 months



This campaign may be officially over, but the fight against disinformation continues as we progress in the modern world.


Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ (PUP) Advertising and Public Relations Organization of Students (ADPROS) wrapped up their six-month advocacy campaign against disinformation through “Between the Li(n)es Concluding Act: Progressive Approaches for Truth”, an event that held a roundtable discussion and a workshop.


This is the last hoorah of ADPROS for their campaign “Between the Li(n)es: Critical ADPR in a Post-Truth World”, started on December 2022, after creating a three video-podcast series on Spotify on its first phase while launching the “Conversation Toolkit: ADPROS’ Strategic Guide to Fight Disinformation in the Digital Age” and conducting a hybrid forum entitled "Spill the Tea: Establishing Connections through Critical Conversations” on the second phase.


123 information champions—the term for audience and guest speakers—gathered on June 14, 2023 in Claro M. Recto Hall, PUP Main Building from 12:00–5:30 PM to equip themselves with tools and identify countermeasures to be used in combating the information crisis in a post-truth world.


Senator Risa Hontiveros opened the said event through a video message, emphasizing the importance of truth as it builds credibility and leads to justice. She added that the truth will set us free from the dark and excruciating past of the country.


“Always choose to speak truth to power. We, and the future generation of Filipinos, deserve it,” Hontiveros reminded at the end.


Afterwards, the first segment commenced which is the roundtable discussion entitled “Behind the Curtains: Roles and Efforts of ADPR and Different Sectors in Dismantling Networked Disinformation” featuring seven guest panelists from different media sectors namely:


- Ms. Nikki Golez, Creative Director of Propel Manila

- Ms. Mef Marzan, Assistant Director for Advocacy Communications - Evident

- Mr. Paolo Ordonio, Secretary and Community Manager of Break the Fake Movement

- Ms. Nikki Estella, Program Coordinator of Youth-Led Network for the Right to Information

- Atty. Grace Salonga, Executive Director of Movement Against Disinformation

- Ms. Avon Ang, National Coordinator of AlterMidya

- Mr. Lheonel Sanchez, Editor-in-Chief of The Communicator


Facilitators had prepared questions for each panelists related to their organization’s expertise in handling and fighting disinformation. On the other hand, the information champions listened and prepared their queries to ask after the segment.


The discussion started with Ms. Golez’s stance about ADPR practitioners being the chief architects of disinformation, saying that people have more power than what they think. If everyone tries to do their part, we can dismantle it. She also said that the advertising industry is not a shadow in politics.


Meanwhile, Ms. Marzan said that the responsibility of public relations agencies in raising awareness and countering disinformation is ensuring the accuracy of their client's given information. Knowing the sources and reasons for false information is also necessary as it can push forward better strategies on how to fight it.


Atty. Salonga cited some existing laws that can be used to demand accountability against disinformation such as RA 11313 or Safe Spaces Act, RA 10173 or Data Privacy Act, and Libel. Her other suggestions were filing a bill, taking legislative measures and using the government resources, holding the account user’s accountable, and prohibiting creators from posting harmful information.


For Mr. Ordonio, countering disinformation must be done in a way that everyone can understand to make the advocacy effective. The importance of digital literacy must be highlighted holistically and transcendently. He reminded that, at the end of the day, a person was behind disinformation. We must be empathic to understand how it occurs.


Ms. Estella enumerated their organization's tactics of countering disinformation. First, addressing the issue of disinformation in different intervention levels. Second, partnering with different organizations and government sectors. Third, engaging with people through coming to a place of kindness. They're also planning to launch a media and information literacy (MIL) toolkit to share with senior highschool teachers.


When asked about media organizations' actions, Ms. Ang said that journalists should ensure that the context of information is accurate and double the efforts when it comes to verification. In publishing contents, compassion should always come first, ensuring that the audience can easily understand the information. On the other hand, Mr. Sanchez pointed out that journalism is never neutral because it will always be for the oppressed. He provided steps in combating networked disinformation in campuses, emphasizing verification and critical thinking. He also suggested conducting educational campaigns and fact-checking seminars.


The roundtable segment was succeeded by the workshop entitled “#DigiTalino: Amplifying Digital Literacy for a Disinformation-Free Communication” and facilitated by Mr. Joseph S. Cadeliña, MHSS, RN, Master Trainer of Break the Fake Movement under the ASEAN Digital Literacy Program. Information champions enhanced their digital literacy skills throughout the talk proper—from discussing the power of information, the disinformation today, biases, and how to be #DigiTalino. At the end, they pledged to be #DigiTalino citizens in their provided worksheets.


As the event wrapped up, Prof. Xiao Chua, Public Historian and University Professor of De La Salle University - Manila thoroughly reminded the information champions to fight for the truth and be united. Prof. Earl Jaynus Guzman, PUP ADPROS adviser, said that it is in our power to transform the ADPR industry.


The last phase of ADPROS’ Advocacy Plan is made possible by: Trivo Asia Magazine, Luna Prodmanila, Now You Know PH, Mapua Radio Cardinal, and Alyansa Ng Mga Panulat Na Sumusuong - ALPAS. In cooperation with The Philippine Artisan, Blank Canvas Advertising House, and Angat Kabataang Aktibo Ng Pasig. With Red Images as the official studio partner, co-presented with Mr. Potato, and a special thanks to Leigh A Thread.


To know more about ADPROS and their upcoming projects, visit and follow its official social media accounts:


FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM





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