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Monday, March 05, 2007

A special note...

Dear PhilMADE Partners and Friends,

Time and again we have said how powerful the media is in setting the political agenda and influencing the people’s way of thinking. As such, partnering with media is one of the key strategies in doing advocacy campaigns to ensure success. However, it must be understood that while they (Radio, TV and Print) are main sources of information, they are also sources of “entertainment”. This is why some stories and articles are still written in a sensationalized manner in order to get published and catch attention. Same thing goes with alternative media, particularly indigenous theatre. Though tapped for advocacy purposes in some areas, it is still primarily a source of entertainment in these communities. But as Prof. Randy David wrote, in effect, in one of his recent columns, "Media" as “a social institution” that moulds the public’s mind, should enrich the flow of information in society. And this is done not only in increasing the volume of information but by presenting views that deviate or at times clash with the standard and accustomed ways of seeing things.

It bears stressing that it is when people are faced with unorthodox information, laid down and introduced with such compelling evidence and bases that we are provoked to think and question “truths” we were conditioned to believe in. And this is how advocacy work beginsthis is how change eventually takes place

As media practitioners and advocates, I do encourage you to be unrelenting with our advocacy on RH, Gender and Population issues and concerns, linking it with poverty and sustainable human development... even outside and beyond this project. I hope that you use the “power of communication” you are all so gifted with, either through your articles, photos, radio programs, and theatre performances in educating the public and bringing up front the key issues that needs consideration, especially during this very crucial time of the national and local elections.

You are vital to achieving development and I am quite hopeful that in due time, perhaps may not be in ours but for the future generations to come, things will get better for them...

Working for the same things, sharing the same vision and goals… we’ll surely see each other soon…

Keep up your good work guys! More power!

Sincerely yours,

Russel Aleta F. Solitario, Ll. B.
Project Manager, UNFPA 6th CP
2005-March 15, 2007