UP Diliman Broadcast Media Arts and Studies students led webinar series focusing on the effects of digital and emerging media on social issues. The webinars were streamed live on BMAS Facebook page from January 11 to January 12, 2022 with Professor Jane Vinculado, BMAS 121 Instructor and Assistant Professor moderating.

January 11, 2022, Rainier John Suarez, the national president of the National Alliance of Youth Leaders (NAYL, Inc.), was one of the guest speakers of “TOGETHER APART: A Webinar on the Implications and Affordances of Conferencing Apps.” Suarez shared his insights on how conferencing apps have been adopted for the context of mobilization and community building.

“Because of this pandemic, conferencing applications have been the connectors between people, conduits of information, and an essential element or tool for socialization,” Suarez said while mentioning how conferencing applications have helped his organization reach more, including creating coalitions. “We are focusing on voter’s education and engagement. Many organizations right now, with the help of online conferencing, of course, were able to build coalitions. We will be amplifying each other’s effort, and we will be sharing our networks so we can have more range and engage more people in the process”.

The webinar titled “Anong Say Mo? The Role of Social Media in Political Campaigns and The Youth Vote,” hosted by Jose Kyle Gabriel Lagdameo, Campaign Manager for Youth Vote Philippines emphasized how influential the youth are in the digital space as creators of online narratives,

“It’s how strong the narrative is, and how strong the narrator is, how strong we are,” Lagdameo explained. “That’s why we have to identify ano ba ang identity natin and what matters to us. Because that’s how we make our narrator voice in the online setting. When we know what we are talking about. And we have conviction over it. And to do that, we have to vote.”

Meanwhile, Mara Ruiz, a Digital Marketing leader, talked about the role of social media in political campaigns.

“Social Media is just a tool,” Ruiz pointed out to the attendees. “It may be powerful but ideally, we control the tool. As the youth, as the voter, sige go ahead post but what’s important is have a real-life conversation. Tao sa tao, huwag DP sa DP lang.”

She added: “Organize online but show up offline. Mag-organize kayo ng activities niyo to introduce your candidate online. More importantly go out and vote. If you can’t vote, converse and convert if you can, kung sino pa iyong talagang kailangan i-sway.”

The final webinar “Alt + Ctrl +Del: Debunking Alternative Truths, Controlled Narratives, and Deleted Histories” on January 12, 2022 featured Rambo Talabong of Rappler, Jose Mari Lanuza of UP Manila Department, Political Science, and “JM” a political content creator and influencer. These guests answered questions from the hosts as they shared their studies and research about TikTok, including how it is used for political disinformation. DZUP

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