ILO helps introduce “Labour migration reporting” in Filipino journalism education

News | 02 September 2021
The International Labour Organization has been engaging with media professionals in the Philippines since 2017. This work, carried out within the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR), aims to equip current and future media professionals with the necessary skills to inform public debate on labour migration issues.

Building on the interest of journalists and journalism educators, the project partnered in 2020 with the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) to develop and pilot an elective course for journalism higher education institutions (HEI). This work led to the development of a course syllabus under the stewardship of AIJC director Ann Lourdes Lopez and project consultant Charles Autheman.  Over the course of several months the content of the course was gradually put together with inputs from labour migration experts, journalism educators and journalists covering the migration beat. An inventory of global and local resources for reporting on migration and labor migration was also developed. Alongside, discussions were carried out with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Committee for Journalism to ensure that the course would be in line with national journalism education requirements.

Once finalized, the syllabus was presented to journalism schools and faculties around the country and interested faculty members were invited to several online presentations of the content. These webinars enabled the identification of a core group of 11 HEI and as many motivated teachers who accepted to experiment the teaching of this course with their students for the 2021-2022 school year(1) . One-on-one mentoring sessions were organized over the summer of 2021 to address the specific concerns of each teacher and adjust the syllabus to the local specificities of each classroom.

On 2nd September 2021, the ILO and AIJC convened a webinar with the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) titled: Integrating Labour Migration Reporting in the Journalism Curriculum: The Philippine Experience. Supported by the World Journalism Educators Council (WJEC) and UNESCO, this event gathered the key artisans of this initiative, including one of the teachers piloting the course: Julit C. Jainar, college instructor at the Department of Journalism and Communication, University of San Jose-Recoletos.

The development of a course syllabus on labor migration will go a long way in further enriching the existing journalism curricula in universities and colleges in our country today."

Prof. Ben Domingo, Chair, Commission on Higher Education Technical Committee for Journalism
One week prior to the webinar, Ms. Jainar had met her students enrolled in the elective course for the first time. She shared some insights about their expectations and interest in following this course. As young adults growing up in Cebu, many of them have stories of “OFWs” – overseas Filipino workers – in their family or community environment. Being able to connect their interest in journalism with issues that are close to them is a source of motivation. Let us hope that the content of this new elective course will help them inform their fellow citizens on important labour migration related issues.  

1. Seven journalism educators will be pilot-teaching the Course on Reporting on Labor Migration during the first semester, 2021-2022:
  1. Ms. Julit Jainar – University of San Jose-Recoletos
  2. Dr. Bella Villanueva – Kalayaan College
  3. Asst. Prof. Rosario Barrios – Colegio de San Lorenzo
  4. Mr. Renz Kevin Alcazar – Cavite State University
  5. Ms. Celeste Virginia Ylagan – Lyceum of the Philippines University
  6. Asst. Prof. Adelle Chua – University of the Philippines
  7. Asst. Prof. Renalyn Valdez – Polytechnic University of the Philippines