THE ASIAN CENTER FOR JOURNALISM

The rapid pace of technological change, stiff competition from other media, threats to press freedom, and complex social issues have made the job of running a newsroom more complicated and challenging than ever. The Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University was established as a response to meet these challenges.

Also known as the ACFJ, the Asian Center for Journalism is dedicated to the promotion of excellence in journalism in Southeast Asia. It aims to foster a free, viable and responsible press that will nurture the public discourse essential to an informed practice of citizenship and democracy.

To help working journalists sharpen their newsroom skills, the ACFJ offers both online and on-campus courses. The ACFJ is a joint venture between Ateneo de Manila University and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a private, non-profit foundation that seeks to promote liberal democracy, constitutional government, and a social market economy.

History

The Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University was inaugurated on June 8, 2000 at the Ateneo Professional Schools, Rockwell Campus.

The Center, as Thomas Bernd Stehling, former Representative to Asia and Media Project Director of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, puts it, is a different school of journalism from among the existing ones in Asia. The Center serves as a training ground for working journalists from around the South East Asian region where they gain academic training. Degrees up to Master of Arts can be acquired through a tie-up with Ateneo's Department of Communication. With the use of modern communications technology especially through satellite and the Internet, journalists can participate in the program through distance learning. This enables them to attend classes and forums without leaving the workplace temporarily or perhaps even permanently.

Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J. stressed that Ateneo's core curriculum - based on the liberal arts, social sciences and natural sciences - will provide the base and background for a free and responsible press. Journalism is a service to the people, and service to our neighbors requires "well-grounded and solid learning" as well as the skill in effectively communicating such learning and ideas to others. "In earlier days, this was translated into the core values of Sapientia et Eloquentia."

More than a showcase of a high degree of training, both technological and academic, the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism aims to provide an ethical foundation, a form of ethical navigation system for today's practitioners of mass media.

Mutual values and beliefs have made the KAS and the Ateneo determine the goals and the direction of the Center. Former President Corazon C. Aquino, in her address, calls the goal of the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo as the search for truth in a safe environment, with competence and with ethics. She stresses these points because "no other profession takes on so large a province of truth as journalism" and that journalists are tasked to search for truth "throughout the human condition wherever lies have made it worse."

Summing it all up, she hoped that if the Center succeeds in just one thing "let it be how to find the story, how to verify it, how to complete it, and hot to tell it well. For it is through the stories that we are able to connect with each other, and achieve the all embracing community in which we were meant to live in peace and harmony."

Present during the event were Most Rev. Bishop Francisco F. Claver, S.J., Apostolic Vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe; H.E. Wolfgang Goettelmann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Philippines; Fr. Carmelo A. Caluag II, S.J.; Dr. Anna Miren Gonzalez-Intal; Dr. Alfredo R.A. Bengzon; and other key administrators, faculty and staff. Other representatives from the Diplomatic Corps, as well as major publishers like Mr. Raul L. Locsin of BusinessWorld and Mr. Teodoro L. Locsin of Today, also graced the launch with their presence.

Mission / Vision

The Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University (CFJ) seeks to:

* promote excellence and professionalism among editors and reporters in Asia
   and the Pacific.

* to ensure continuing professional growth of Southeast Asian journalists by:
-  conducting courses on the craft and best practices of journalism
-  promoting a culture of learning in news organizations - initiating discussions
    of issues and corresponding action

* to foster unity among Southeast Asian nations by

- promoting the exchange of news and commentary among Southeast Asian
  nations
- encouraging dialogue and solidarity among the region's journalists and news
   organizations