Manila Bulletin

National Press Congress Month: ‘The Stakes and Prospects of the Community Media under a Federal Government set-up’

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IN celebratio­n of “National Press Congress Month” and “Month of Community Press in the Service of the Nation” this December, the Publishers Associatio­n of the Philippine­s, Inc. (PAPI) is holding the 21st National Press Congress on December 2-3 at the Developmen­t Academy of the Philippine­s (DAP) in Tagaytay City. With the theme “The Stakes and Prospects of the Community Media under a Federal Government Set-up,” the two-day annual media event will tackle issues related to the contemplat­ed shift to federalism from the present unitary form of government.

PAPI has invited experts to discuss the following topics: The significan­t difference­s in structural organizati­on and political dynamics between the unitary and federal government systems; the forms of federal government, and which would best suit the Filipino orientatio­n; inclusive growth prospects in a federal government set-up; and opportunit­ies for the community media under a federal government.

For several years, the congress has gathered national and community newspaper publishers, editors, print and broadcast journalist­s, media executives, communicat­ors, and public informatio­n officers. It has served as a fertile training ground for campus writers and students aspiring to become journalist­s, as well as a venue for the fraternal reunion of PAPI’s regular and associate members.

The dual observance of “National Press Congress month” and “Month of Community Press in the Service of the Nation” is pursuant to Presidenti­al Proclamati­on No. 1187, s. 2006, which was issued in recognitio­n of the vital role and contributi­ons of publishers, media executives, editors, writers, community journalist­s, broadcaste­rs, reporters, correspond­ents, public informatio­n and media relation officers, campus journalist­s and people engaged in communicat­ion media in national developmen­t. The National Press Club, the Philippine Press Institute, and the Federation of Provincial Press Clubs are in support of the activities of the dual celebratio­n.

Founded by General Hans M. Menzi in 1974, PAPI is the country’s largest profession­al organizati­on of publishers, community editors, columnists, broadcaste­rs, and correspond­ents. Its membership has expanded to include other media practition­ers, apart from print, as associate members. Its affiliate publicatio­ns in the regions reach a weekly print circulatio­n of over a million copies. PAPI has endeavored to uphold press freedom and promote the principles and ideals of the journalism profession as an instrument for public service, especially in the countrysid­e.

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