UPJC urges public to join the fight for press freedom on its 63rd anniversary

Given the recent state attacks against the media, the UP Journalism Club’s (UPJC) 63rd anniversary will be devoted to engaging the public to join the fight for press freedom.

UPJC, with its mantra of critical thought and action, believes that the struggle for a free press goes beyond the media practitioners; it is ultimately the public who needs to realize that it is also their freedoms that are at stake, should these attacks continue.

This year, the UPJC Week will be held from Feb. 18 to 24 in different venues around the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Campus in line with this year’s main objective.

Below is the final list of activities and their respective schedules:

Feb. 18 ONLINE PUBLICITY WAVE: Who are we?
To establish trust and credibility, UPJC will introduce itself to the public, through the release of online publicity materials that tackle who the organization is, what it does, and the members that carry on its advocacies.

Feb. 20 ON-GROUND EXHIBIT: When did the fight for press freedom begin?
The on-ground exhibit aims to give context to the involvement of the student movement, and, of course, the UPJC, in the struggle for press freedom even before the Marcos era. It will feature the history of the organization since its inception in 1954 in an interactive format. We plan to hold it in a shared student space with the most traffic–either the AS-CAL Steps or the CAL lobby.

Feb. 21 ACQUAINTANCE PARTY: Where does discourse happen?

In line with the organization’s ongoing recruitment campaign, the members want to introduce to the applicants that the friendships we build inside the organization are grounded upon discourse–the exchange of ideas and opinions about relevant and pressing issues of society. That said, UPJC will hold an internal event for its members and applicants in CMC Skywalk, the organization’s home in UP, that seek to trigger each one to further their awareness and/or beliefs about the current status of the country through a speed debating game.

Feb. 22 TROLLING OF EXHIBIT: So what happens when there is no press freedom?

To show the public the dangers of not having a free press, members of the organization, and partner organizations from the College of Mass Communication, will be tasked to vandalize, ruin, and ultimately censor the on-ground exhibit. The performance seeks to represent the current attacks against information, and the media; the invalidation of the State and its army of trolls of the need for press freedom in order for democracy to survive. The activity will be filmed and showcased online through a stop-motion video, debriefing the public about why the exhibit was trolled.

Feb. 23 BOOK LAUNCH: What do we want the public to do?

In line with the campaign’s theme, UPJC will launch its literary folio, Journeys, which features member contributions in the form of poetry, short stories, photos and sketches, through an open-mic event to be held at the Freedom of Information (FOI) Garden at the College of Mass Communication. Themed Himagsikan or rebellion, the open-mic event seeks to encourage the audience to come up on stage and share their own stories and ideas of defiance. Rather than being a one-way showcase of the members’ pieces, UPJC recognizes that rebellion is being one with the people whom we, as student-journalists, want to serve.

Feb. 24 FACT-CHECKING WORKSHOP: How can the public help?

To fight for press freedom, one must first recognize their right to know the truth. In the proliferation of false information and the hype of revisionism, the public are nonetheless confused as to what in their everyday reality is true. To address this, UPJC will hold a day-long workshop on fact-checking, among other topics, for high school students (and the general public, if they wish to attend) in order to equip them with the proper tools to manage the media they consume.

The UP Journalism Club (UPJC) is a nonprofit, non-aligned, academic organization based in the College of Mass Communication that caters to all students in the University of the Philippines Diliman with a passion for journalism.

Founded in 1954, UPJC is an ever-growing pool of young student-journalists who strive to be in service of the university, and of the Filipino people through projects and activities that promote a media-literate and critical society.