Conflict Sensitive Journalism training for journos covering Bangsamoro

LIBERTAD, MISAMIS ORIENTAL —– Seven selected journalists, covering the Bangsamoro region and a peaceworker in Lanao del Norte, finished on Saturday (November 14), a three-day training and workshop on Conflict Sensitive Journalism (CSJ) held at the Jazh Dreamland Resort in Libertad, Misamis Oriental.

Organized by the non-government organization (NGO) Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) and supported by the DW Akademie, the training sought to expand the proficiencies of the media practitioners in writing and handling conflict sensitive stories specially conflicts within the Bangsamoro region.

Seven journalists and a peace worker in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City recently completed a three-day training on Conflict Sensitive Journalism organized by the Nonviolent Peaceforce and DW Akademie: (seated left to right) Bonita Ermac (Manila Bulletin), Roxanne Arevalo (ABS-CBN), Rigine Clyr Arraz (, Divina Suson (Philippine Daily Inquirer/, Merlyn Manos (GMA 7), (standing from right to left) Ghiner Cabanday (DXIC RMN Iligan), Nef Luczon (Philippine News Agency), Elnathan Brant Ermac (Pakigdait, Inc). and resource person Ryan Rosauro
(Philippine Daily Inquirer). (Photo: Nonviolent Peaceforce/DW Akademie)

The participants were as follows: Elnathan Brant Ermac of a non-government unit (NGO) Pakigdait, Inc., Ghiner Cabanday of DXIC RMN Iligan, Nef Luczon of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Divina Suson of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and, Bonita Ermac of the Manila Bulletin, Merlyn Manos of GMA 7, Roxanne Arevalo of ABS-CBN News and Rigine Clyr Arraz of

“The workshop also wants to help the journalists to positively influence the outcome of conflict, through understanding its nature and dynamics, and learn the various ways to analyze it,” said NP Communication Officer Marlon Dedumo.

He added that NP has been accompanying the peace process in Mindanao for 13 years as the first international NGO which was invited to become a member of the civilian protection component, to monitor and report on the situation of civilians and assets in conflict-affected communities in Bangsamoro. 

“Considering nga dako gyud ug influence ang media o mga journalists sa mga conflicts, kaning CSJ nakita namo nga pamaagi arun mahimong kusgan nga peace force ang atong  mga journalists labi na karung panahona nga naa sa transition phase ang atong bag-ong Bangsamoro Autonomous Region,” Dedumo said. 

The CSJ course aims to develop a consciousness among participants that part of their professional duty is the building of peaceful communities.

As such, the course introduces them into the concept of conflict sensitive journalism as a pathway for media to positively influence the outcome of conflicts in society.

The course also provided an in-depth view of the Bangsamoro transition which resulted from the landmark peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

This way, the journalist will have a working knowledge of the current state of the peace process as well as the outcomes still to be expected.

“I’m grateful to the NP for organizing this event. As a peace worker and content writer of Pakigdait, learning to properly cover an event thru the lens of a conflict sensitive perspective would prove beneficial because how news and stories about conflict is written directly and indirectly affects the peace situation in Mindanao”, said Pakigdait content writer Brant Ermac.

The course was a mix of lecture and workshop activities that drew on the existing knowledge and attitudes of participants regarding key aspects of their professional journalism practices.

There was also a deep conversation and exchange of views by participants led by one of the resource persons, Ryan Rosauro, Bureau Chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, regarding the experiences and practical reporting in the field as well as helping one another to think of a good story that is worth writing throughout a conflict from past issues in relation to Bangsamoro areas.

Another CSJ course for journalists covering the Bangsamoro region will be conducted on November 18-20 in Cotabato City.