The 2024 National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) kicked off on July 8 at the Carcar City Oval with an opening ceremony attended by around 3,000 student journalists and their school paper advisers.

Photo Courtesy of Facebook/National Schools Press Conference.

Carrying the theme “Galing, Talino, at Husay ng mga Batang Makabansa sa Diwa ng MATATAG na Adhika,” the week-long event will run from July 8 to 12.

Hosted by the Department of Education's Division of Carcar City, NSPC 2024 provides a platform for young journalists from public and private elementary and secondary schools to compete.

The individual events comprise of news writing, feature writing, sports writing, science and technology writing, editorial writing, copyreading and headline writing, photojournalism, editorial cartooning, and column writing.

The competition also features group events such as radio and TV scriptwriting and broadcasting, collaborative desktop publishing and online publishing. 

A school paper contest will judge layouts, page design, and content in both English and Filipino for elementary and secondary school publications.

Vice President and outgoing DepEd secretary Sara Duterte, in her keynote address, emphasized the importance of accuracy in journalism by urging student journalists to differentiate between opinion and fact.

“Unang-una, kapag opinyon ninyo ang sinusulat ninyo, never assume anything. Wag ninyo ipaghalo ang assumption at opinion – magkaibang bagay yun,” the vice president said.

“Pangalawa, never print or post or circulate something that you know is not the truth. ‘Wag ninyong gawin na sirain ang buhay ng ibang tao, sirain ang imahe ng ibang organisasyon or ng mga tao na alam ninyong hindi totoo. Never assume and dont lie sa inyong trabaho,” she added.

Cebu Province Governor Gwen Garcia echoed this statement, referencing media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote, “The medium is the message,” and highlighting the significance of a platform in shaping how audiences perceive information.

“Whether by print, broadcast media, social media, it is always the medium that is the message, and it is the medium that shapes people's opinion and cultures,” she said.

Garcia also highlighted the importance of ethics in guiding young journalists through the challenges of the media field, where situations may not always be clear-cut. 

“Ethics is a personal choice,” the governor said. “We may go through reams and reams of lectures, lessons, and books. But in the end, confronted with a situation where you must decide, above all, let your personal ethics prevail.”

The NSPC is an annual event that brings together campus journalists from across the country to hone their skills and compete. It aligns with the goals of Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013.