The Critical Role of the Media
In Promoting S&T for Developmental Growth
Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena
Department of Science and Technology
23rd National Press Congress of the Philippine Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI)
Bayleaf Hotel, Intramuros, Manila
December 4, 2018 / 10:30AM
On behalf of the Department of Science and Technology, I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the Philippine Association of the Philippines Inc. for the invitation to take part in your 23rd National Press Congress. I also appreciate that you have chosen the role of science and technology as prime movers of developmental growth for this year’s overall theme.
Indeed, it is timely for us to become more knowledgeable about science and technology in this day and age where the pace of scientific advancement and technological innovation is driving society and the economy toward new, uncharted frontiers.
Science increasingly permeates all of our lives and all of our societies and so the public should share in the fascination of science and the amazing discoveries that continue to be made.
I hold that it is important for scientists and journalists to share a curiosity about the world, to understand it and explain it. We all stand to benefit tremendously to collaborate in sharing knowledge for the greater good.
We regard media as a key stakeholder in the S&T enterprise. For most people, the reality of science is what they read in print and online. The reason is once they leave school, many Filipinos rely on media as their main sources for being informed about scientific developments and their consequences, particularly in the current context of rapid technological change.
As a result, public decision makers and the scientific community itself have focused on the role of media in communicating science activities and news and, consequently, its role in creating the image society has of science and scientists.
Media have a role to play in informing and educating their readers, listeners, and viewers on continued innovations and development in science and technology. Our aim is simple: that through media, this information can add new, practical skills that people require to solve their day-to-day problems, and to progress in their lives.
The Department of Science and Technology takes the position that we must have a healthy partnership with our country’s publisher. In a world where the public is besieged by tons of information and 24-hour news cycles that both require a platform to be heard, the publishers, together with our editors, act as gatekeepers who exercise their prerogative in determining what news and information their audience will have access to and how that information will be packaged.
That is why we are continually blessed the Philippines still has principled and knowledgeable journalists and publishers that hold sacred their duty of providing valuable media space and bandwidth to news celebrating the latest in science and technology, and accord due recognition to the men and women responsible for these outstanding breakthroughs.
We thank you for highlighting them in your printed and online pages, and our triumph as scientists is very much everyone’s triumph as Filipinos.
And we will continue to seek your help in addressing the knowledge gap by democratizing the platform that makes possible the information we generate to become of value not only to our researchers and policy makers, but even all the way to Mang Juan and Aling Maria.
Our scientists’ main task is and shall always be to advance the frontiers of knowledge in their respective fields. However, this priority can be made compatible with the task of communicating directly with the public and, more frequently, the media. Over the years, we at DOST have slowly but steadily cultivated a critical mass of communicators who have become adept and well-versed communicating science news and developments to society.
We humbly ask that you keep an eye on these communicators to help you track the latest trends and developments occurring at our home front, and we will make sure’ your media agencies will regularly receive worthy news releases that uphold the spirit of this year’s theme.
Likewise, we also hope the members of this esteemed association will continue to be a staunch partner of the Department of Science and Technology toward the success of our programs and projects, and a steward of the current generation of media practitioners that will mold and mentor every succeeding generation of science media champions.
May science news be the good news that positively impact the lives of our kababayan.
Congratulations on your 23rd year.
Maraming salamat po at mabuhat ang PAPI!