UNDER the changing landscape of media in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, the newly elected officials of the Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ) see more challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
Defense Press Corps president and now CFBJ president for the year 2020 to 2021, Arnold Bustamante said he steeled himself to accept the huge task and enjoined other members to help.
Bustamante told SunStar Cebu: “This is a big responsibility and truthfully, I am afraid. But since this is God’s will, I will accept this. We have a lot of plans for CFBJ that were derailed by the virus but we are hoping to push through with them next year.”
With 20 years of experience in his belt, Bustamante is a radio anchorman and reporter in DYHP, a reporter in CCTN and a news correspondent of Superbalita Cebu.
Bustamante assured that there will be no monopoly in the decision-making among the group members.
He also emphasized the need for regular testing among the media especially with the ongoing free swab test program between CFBJ and the Department of Health 7.
“I will request DOH 7 if we could expand this to every member and if the vaccine will be available, CFBJ members would be able to have it for free, too,” he said.
Bustamante succeeded CFBJ outgoing president Mitchelle Palaubsanon of The Freeman during a virtual election on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
For incoming vice president Herty Lopez, the advancement of technology proved to be highly effective in terms of conveying the news to the public while still keeping oneself safe from Covid-19 transmission.
Superbalita Cebu correspondent Herty Lopez said: “We don’t need to go to the field to get the news. We use different modes of communication to connect with our sources and we continue to serve the public despite the threat of Covid-19.”
He encouraged mediamen to never give up because the media will always exist even if the world is filled with fake news and the year is full of challenges.
“Let us always remember that the truth will always prevail,” he said.
Le Antojado, DYLA reporter, Banat News correspondent and the new CFBJ secretary, said despite limited movement as part of safety protocol against Covid-19, the media in Cebu continue to serve the public especially in these trying times.
She said:”To all mediamen especially in Cebu, this is the time that the people really need us. So despite our limited movement because of the pandemic, let’s make sure we can still give them accurate news and information and of course, also stay safe for ourselves and family.”
Calvin Cordova, who was re-elected as CFBJ treasurer, assured he will “help ensure that funds are all accounted for.”
“It is through transparency that we can repay our colleagues’ trust,” Cordova, a reporter from Manila Bulletin, said.
He said journalists in Cebu defy fears and anxiety just so they can provide the public with timely and relevant information.
“In this time of pandemic, the public needs journalists now more than ever what with fake news and disinformation having become prevalent in the advent of new digital technologies,” Cordova said.
The CFBJ is an organization composed of legitimate news practitioners from established media outfits in Cebu. (JOB)