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Running a campaign based on falsehood is disingenuous—PR president

“If you’re running a campaign based on ingenuity, lies, and falsehoods, that is a clumsy and amateurish campaign,” German said.

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UST Journalism professor Christian Esguerra moderating the webinar entitled, “Truth Well Told: Political PR & Advertising.”

Running a political campaign should be fact-based and sell on its own merits, president of the Agents International Public Relations (PR) said on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Alan German, president of Agents International PR, pressed on the importance of upholding the truth when running a political campaign for a candidate.

“If you’re running a campaign based on ingenuity, lies, and falsehoods, that is a clumsy and amateurish campaign,” he said.

When UST Journalism professor Christian Esguerra asked if PRs have always upheld the truth or have ever truncated it on behalf of their clients, German emphasized that “spin doctors” have three jobs during the campaign: applaud, attack, and avert. 

“We applaud our candidate, we attack our opponent, and we avert bad news. We are flower rangers, we have to put the wilted and unsavory facts about our clients behind the fragrant blooming flowers,” he said 

“But having said all that, truth matters, truth is upheld,” he added.

German clarified that they never made up false information about the candidate—or even when attacking an opposing candidate—because it is not only bad business practice, but it is also disingenuous. 

“When I attack my opponent, and I do, I will not engage in fake news […] mag-uungkat ako ng mga issue-based at fact-based na dumi and I will shed light on it. I will put a spotlight [on it], but I will never be disingenuous,” he added.

Negative campaigning

Esguerra also asked lawyer Rejie Jularbal, the legal counsel of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas, if negative campaigning is allowed by the law.

“Kung titignan natin ang batas, it appears to allow negative campaigning kasi if the campaign is defined as influencing for or ‘against’—so if it’s against, it includes negative campaigning,” Jularbal said. 

When asked about the limits of this kind of campaigning, Jularbal said that it is all seen in libel cases. 

“If the network or broadcast station looks at it, there are certain ethical standards—but again, nasa network ‘yun or nasa kandidato kung hanggang saan nila itutulak ang kanilang posisyon,” he added.

Authenticity in political campaigns

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Political strategist and columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manuel Quezon III, said authenticity is about perceived truths becoming the truth. 

He said the point of it is that campaigns are based on what voters are trying to find in a candidate. 

“May role ba ang katotohanan sa kaganapan ngayon? Yes and no dahil iba-iba ang mga dinadala natin sa mesa when it comes to expectations—it will be tailored fit to our expectations or particular audience,” Quezon said.

“It’s not necessarily lying, but [it] is just tailor fitting it to their audience,” he added

The webinar entitled, “Truth well told: Political PR & Advertising” is a webinar series hosted by the Philippines Communication Society, in partnership with the University of the Philippines and TVUP.

Annie Asistio
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UST Tiger Radio bags award in int’l college radio competition

The radio broadcasting arm of the University wins Best Audience in the 11th edition of World College Radio where 24 college radio stations from across the world participated.

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Photo courtesy of UST Tiger Radio

The University’s radio broadcasting station, UST Tiger Radio, was recognized in the 2021 World College Radio, a competition based in the United States.

The College Radio Foundation on Tuesday, Nov. 23, named the station, the lone representative of the Philippines, for having the Best Audience in the 24-hour global marathon of the World College Radio.

Now on its 11th cycle, the event saw 24 college radios across the world, from Asia and Europe to Latin America. With the theme, “In Tough Times, We Thrive,” the event highlighted the global efforts made by university radio stations to keep their production alive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiger Radio’s theme for this year was #USTResilientRadio, which showcased the station’s measures in treading on and adapting to the so-called “new normal” in radio production.

Eric Galang, the MOR station head and an alumnus of the Faculty of Arts and Letters’ Communication program, was the special guest for Tiger Radio’s Off-Air segment. There, he talked about radio and the impact it made on his life.

Other college radio stations recognized were England’s Surf Radio for Best Music Selection, Best Programming, and Best Overall Effort; USA’s WMSC 90.3 for Best Audio Production; Colombia’s Estación for Best Promotional Effort; and Sweden’s K103 Gothenburg Student Radio for Best Use of Theme.

Founded in 2010, the College Radio Foundation has been holding the World College Radio competition, which gathers international radio stations across the globe to share their best practices in production.

Paolo Alejandrino is a marketing content strategist for UST Tiger Media Network.

Paolo Alejandrino
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UST to expand F2F classes for certain programs

UST is eyeing to submit their applications for the resumption of limited in-person classes in proposed academic programs before December upon the approval of the University Crisis Management Committee.

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Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

The University will be expanding in-person classes to other programs where the intended learning outcomes cannot be fully achieved with Enriched Virtual Mode of instruction (EVM), Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Cheryl Peralta and secretary general Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said in a joint statement.

According to them, UST is eyeing to submit their applications for the resumption of limited in-person classes in proposed academic programs before December upon the approval of the University Crisis Management Committee (UCMC).

“These will mainly be skills-based courses that require in-person instruction. We will likewise determine which year levels and courses will be prioritized per program to progressively increase the number of students and academic staff who will enter the campus at any given time,” they said.

“As soon as the proposals of academic units are approved by the UCMC, the retrofitted facilities are ready for visit, and the documentary requirements have been completed by the academic units, we can submit their applications even before December as was relayed during the town hall meeting with CHED,” the statement said.

This is in line with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ approval of  Resolution 148-G. This entails the Commission on Higher Education’s proposed phased implementation of limited face-to-face (LFTF) classes for all programs under Alert Levels 1,2, and 3 released on Nov. 16.

In a press statement, acting Presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said that “phase one of the implementation of LFTF classes will commence on December 2021 onwards, while phase two will begin in January 2022 onwards.”

Since June, the University has already started LFTF classes for medical and health allied programs.

On the University’s preparedness

Already-established institutional health protocols and standards for the current LFTF programs in the University shall be upheld during the resumption of expanded in-person classes.

The health protocols include the protocol for contract tracing and reporting of cases; for screening and detection, containment, and lockdown; for referral and transfer; and for isolation, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing.

“Our academic units are preparing the face-to-face training plans appropriate to their programs, consulting with stakeholders, coordinating with the Facilities Management Office (FMO) for the retrofitting of facilities, the Health Service for orientation on health protocols, and OVRAA for preparing the documentary requirements,” the statement read.

Moreover, the University’s digital IDs will be utilized to log contract tracing and health declaration features of Thomasians participating in limited in-person classes. Thus, students will be required to update their health conditions, vaccination status, and any contact with COVID-19 patients in the Thomasian Online Medical Services and Support (ThoMedSS)  website.

Health information collected through the new automated system will be monitored by the UST Health Service.

Angela Gabrielle Magbitang Atejera
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Thomasian artist bags 1st place in global art competition

Bricx Martillo Dumas, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts and Design, led the competition among 208 applications from 58 countries.

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"Nexus" by Bricx Martillo Dumas. Photo courtesy of DigitalArt4Climate and Bricx Martillo Dumas' Facebook page.

A Thomasian alumni won first place in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) art competition on Sunday, Nov. 14.

Bricx Martillo Dumas, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts and Design, led the competition among 208 applications from 58 countries.

His winning piece entitled “Nexus” showcased a hand holding a cigarette and a plastic material against a plain red background. This was the only entry from the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Four winners were selected through online public voting using Facebook reactions. Dumas’ art has garnered 825 reactions as of writing.

Dumas said that joining the competition was his chance to both represent the Philippines and advocate for climate action.

“Eight years ago, my hometown suffered from the wrath of [Super] Typhoon Haiyan. It changed my life forever. Should we wait for another typhoon stronger than Haiyan just to realize that this world is suffering from mass extinction? Or should we be the change that this world needs? Our time is now,” Dumas said in a video by DigitalArt4Climate.

“Nexus” was one of the selected 30 creations “with a great level of art skills and unique ideas about climate action” that will be auctioned off by DigitalArt4Climate to support the Sustainable Development Goals and UN Agenda 2030.

“DigitalArt4Climate” is an initiative in partnership with UN-Habitat that utilizes its resources for climate empowerment.

Larraine Castillo
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