Congressman proposes basic journalism as mandatory subject in senior high » Manila Bulletin News

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Amid proliferation of fake news

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By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado has proposed that basic journalism be made mandatory subject in the senior high school in the wake of the proliferation of fake news.

(photo by pixabay)

He said Congress must pass a law that would strengthen the journalism skills of the youth as a basic tool to preserve the freedom of expression as part of democracy and promote responsible and ethical social media.

“It is high time to introduce the senior high school students the basic journalism course and teach them the responsibility as the nation’s guard and use their right and journalism ability ethically as responsible citizens or netizens,” Alvarado said in filing House Bill (H.B.) 6092.

Based on the record of the Department of Education (DepEd), around 1.3-million students entered the senior high school for school year 2016 to 2017 under the K-12 program.

“The freedom of expression is very clear in the Constitution that gave a vital role in our democracy, but the abuse and misuse of performing such right is now happening where the so-called netizens are exercising their freedom to express in the various sites without the idea of the real essence of freedom of expression, ” Alvarado said.

“A wrong practice of free speech is a violation of human rights and we must build a nation that has democratic maturity, ” he stressed.

H.B. 6092 or the proposed Basic Journalism Act of 2017 mandates the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)  to provide a technical basic journalism program based on professional standards without conflict with the existing journalism courses offered by different colleges and universities.

The mandatory course would provide the students their knowledge for prevention of cybercrime law,  ethical and professional social journalism, anti-cyber bullying awareness, promote self-social media regulation, posting of credible information to help and build a credible nation, and anti-fake news.

The TESDA is tasked to monitor the implementation of basic journalism as a technical course.

Along with the DepEd expert course providers and other stakeholders, the TESDA is mandated to formulate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.

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