Bicol Area 4 Rotaractors take the lead to fight against infodemic

By Belle Ashley Macalintal | Posted on December 7, 2023

The fight against misinformation and disinformation has never been more critical. Recognizing the power of informed youth, the B-YNFORMed 2.0 seminar was organized in 2023. This event brought together young leaders to address the challenges of the infodemic. The B-YNFORMed 2.0 seminar took place on October 20, 2023, at the Jessie M. Robredo Amphitheatre in Naga City. This seminar was the second installment of the YNFORM event, following the success of the YNFORM Capacity Training Development in Cubao, Quezon City, in which eight Bicol Rotaractors represented the Bicol region during the three-day CapDev.

The B-YNFORMed 2.0 seminar was made possible through the effective collaboration of various organizations, including the Rotaract Club of Naga, The Democrat, and the Rotaract Club of Ateneo de Naga University. They joined forces with the Youth-led Network for the Right to Information (YNFORM), while JCI Naga Inc. and the Rotary Club of Naga Caceres co-sponsored the event.

Attendees included invited youth representatives from various school organizations, as well as out-of-school youth actively participating in the event.

Morning Panel Session with the topic: “Blurred Lines: Facts and the Court of Public Opinion.” with Ms. Kyla Casulla, a 4th AB Communication Student.

The morning session featured enlightening discussions on the theme, “Blurred Lines: Facts and the Court of Public Opinion.” The panelists included Ms. Nikayla Karell Odi, the Regional Cluster Head of Sirang: Bicol Region Cluster, and Ms. Kyla Casulla, a fourth-year AB Communication student. They explored the challenges of distinguishing factual information from misinformation, with HCP Hannah Ibarra of the Rotaract Club of Ateneo de Naga University serving as the moderator. These discussions aimed to shed light on the complexities of the current information landscape.

The afternoon session delved into the role of social media in disseminating information. Ms. Antonette Eduardo, a TV News Anchor at ONE MEDIA TV48 Naga, led the discussion on “Scroll Out the Troll: A Media User’s Guide to Social Media Information Literacy.” Her insights emphasized the importance of responsible social media usage and information sharing. Ms. Berlineth Nymia Montes, one of the YNFORM Bicol Representatives, tackled the crucial topic of “Informed Citizen: Basics of Identifying Facts and Misinformation in Different Platforms.” With Nicol de Jesus as the moderator, attendees learned valuable skills to distinguish between facts and falsehoods across various media platforms.

Closing Message from Rtr. Belle Ashley Macalintal, the Overall Chairperson of B-YNFORMED 2.0

Following a full day of engaging discussions, Rtr. Belle Ashley Macalintal, the Overall Chairperson of the event, shared her closing remarks. She also shared her personal experience as a delegate during YNFORM 2022. Her journey exemplified the transformative power of informed youth actively participating in the fight against the infodemic.

Participants during the commitment signing

To conclude the seminar, participants made a symbolic commitment by signing a commitment wall. This act represented their dedication to combating the spread of false information, which poses a significant risk to the public information ecosystem. It also serves as a catalyst for raising awareness among young people, further strengthening the fight against the infodemic.

The B-YNFORMed 2.0 seminar highlighted the vital role that young leaders play in addressing the infodemic. By providing them with the knowledge and tools to identify and combat misinformation and disinformation, this event empowered the youth to become essential assets in the battle for a reliable, trustworthy digital information landscape. The collaborative efforts of various organizations underscore the collective commitment to creating an informed and resilient society.

Photos: Harvee Cabal, The Democrat

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