The final week of my internship at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation was mainly spent with a group of visiting journalists from the Philippines. The group attended the program, “New European Trends in Electoral Reporting”, which ran from Monday through to Thursday. The program was aimed at educating the journalists in the latest techniques of political journalism in the lead-up to the Philippines elections, which will be held on the 9th of May. Featured were a number of presentations by experts on politics and political reportage in the European Union.
On Tuesday, the group had the opportunity to participate in a round table discussion focusing on the upcoming Philippines elections. Experts on the Asian political scene were present at this event, providing a European perspective on the political situation in the Philippines. The group identified a lack of objective, fact-based political journalism as a critical issue in Filipino politics. One of the group members, Bart Guingona, explained that journalism in the Philippines often assumes a tabloid form, failing to hold politicians accountable on critical issues such as corruption and violence. As an organizer of the MediaNation Summit of the Philippine News Media, a national conference of news media bodies in the Philippines, Guingona advocates for competent political reportage as a means of exposing corruption and providing easily accessible political education. Our guests were very satisfied with the program, and aim to apply the skills they learned during their coverage of the upcoming Philippines general elections.
In summary, I have greatly enjoyed my internship in Brussels and I am very grateful to all the staff at the FNF for providing me with this opportunity. My mentor, Hävard Sandvik, has done an excellent job in integrating me into my role within the Foundation. I’ve worked with Hävard on a variety of tasks over the course of my internship, from writing promotional material to organising events. It has been a great privilege to have been able to experience this opportunity. I am very thankful to Paul McCarthy, and all the staff at Mannkal, for doing an outstanding job organizing the scholarship. I am especially grateful to Ron Manners; without his generous financial support none of this would have been possible. I feel that I have benefited greatly from the time I spent in Brussels and I look forward to continuing to build on my knowledge of liberal values as I commence my second year of study at the University of Western Australia.