GCJD in the Philippines

GCJD staffers visited the Philippines where they worked with journalists to help them better cover natural disasters. The center teamed up with the Rappler news agency, one of the most widely read online news services in southeast Asia. Trainings took place in Manila and in Tacloban. More than 200 professional and student journalists participated in the trainings along with hundreds of employees from NGOs, relief agencies, and non profits . 

The event comes nearly one year after the Philippines suffered two major disasters – a massive earthquake and a super typhoon. These disasters showed that the need for accurate and clear information during times of crisis is just as critical as food and shelter.

GCJD put together an all star team of experts for the event: Bill Dorman the news director of Hawaii Public Radio, Kris Van Orsdel the director of Infrastructure and Local Government programs at the New York Governor's office of Storm Recovery, Richard Dunham the Co-director of the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Shahira Amin an independent journalist and activist based in Cairo, and Dr. Jason Enia assistant professor of political science at SHSU.

The team was able to tour Tacloban to see the recovery effort first hand, and met with the city's Mayor Alfred Romualdez for a question and answer session. 

Professor Jason Enia, who teaches a Global Disaster Politics course at SHSU, prepared a short response and collection of photos based on the tour of Tacloban.

Bill Dorman reflected on the Philippines one year after Haiyan in this report.

GCJD also participated in the PH+SocialGood Summit #2030NOW. In this forum, GCJD director Kelli Arena and others discussed the vast changes affecting journalism, technology and various communities. The summit explored how story-telling has evolved through the years; how technology can be used to deal with climate change and the impact it leaves behind; and finally, how to eliminate casualties. The summits were attended by government officials, disaster relief agencies, journalists, NGO's and non profits. More than 600 people were in attendance.

Both Summits and training sessions were live streamed so people all over the world could benefit from the discussion. 

Additionally, SHSU students Matthew (Monty) Sloan, a film major, and Elizabeth Farnham, a master's student in the Public Administration program and a Captain in the Cy-Fair fire department joined the GCJD team in the Philippines.

"I learned more than I thought I would about journalism during this trip. I was truly thankful that I was picked for this year's PH+ Social Good Summit 2014. I was able to meet new people, learn about a new culture, and make contacts within the emergency management field. I learned journalists do more than what emergency mangers are aware of," said Farnham of the experience.

Monty, as a film maker and documentarian, shot footage of the whole trip, and wrote a response piece as well. Watch the video here.


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