ACFJ Alumna is new Bandera Editor-in-Chief

Arlene Bongon-Burgos, MA Journ Batch 2005, is the new Editor-in-Chief of the tabloid Bandera, sister publication of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Arlene belongs to the inaugural batch of nine MA Journ students who signed up for the program when it opened in 2003.  She was previously Bandera's managing editor and executive editor.

Before Bandera, Arlene was a staff reporter of the Kyodo News Agency's Manila Bureau. The masteral project she submitted for her MA program, "Seeing in the Dark, Coverage Despite a Blackout: The Angelo dela Cruz Abduction," was part of the anthology Blood On Their Hands, published by ACFJ in 2007.

ACFJ Alumni Association Formed

Seventeen graduates of the Asian Center for Journalism’s MA Journalism program became the first members of the ACFJ Alumni Association.

The Association was formed at the close of the Second Forum on Emerging Leaders organized by the ACFJ, whose participants included  the Center's MA Journ graduates. The forum was held at the Diamond Hotel in Manila from May 2 to 3, 2007. 

The ACFJ alumni see the Association mainly as a venue for alumni exchange, where members could share information and sources on ongoing stories, and as a forum to discuss journalism issues such as ethics.

Since the program started in 2002, 31 individuals from South and Southeast Asia, most of them working journalists, have graduated from the ACFJ's MA Journalism Program. The Program itself is a pioneering effort to provide working journalists with access to a Master's degree through online learning.  Scores of others have also taken part in the various diploma courses and seminars offered by ACFJ.

The Association's organizational set up is still being finalized but members have decided to consolidate alumni based on country.  The following were named country representatives: Bert Apostol for the Philippines, Vanitha Nadaraj for Malaysia, Vasana Wickremasana for Sri Lanka, Shita Laksmi for Indonesia, Dev Chatterjee for India and Som Ratana for Cambodia.

The members elected K.Y. Pung of Malaysia as chairperson and Luz Rimban as secretary.