Cebu media celebrates 30th edition of press freedom week

TWO years after celebrating the Cebu Press Freedom Week (CPFW) online due to the pandemic, the CPFW this year marks the return of some in-person events — a volleyball tournament, forums, the Cebu Citizens-Press Council en banc meeting and closing fellowship of working journalists.SunStar Cebu acts as the lead convenor of the 30th edition of CPFW, which runs from September 17 to September 24.SunStar Cebu editor-in-chief Cherry Ann Lim on Sunday, September 18, said this year’s CPFW is not all about journalists having fun as the event is also a platform where journalists can promote media literacy and reach out to news sources, including students who could be future journalists.This year’s CPFW celebration, she said, is also significant as on Wednesday, September 21, marks the 50th year since the declaration of martial law.Lim said the CPFW is celebrated in the week wherein the date of martial law’s declaration falls, to remind all citizens about the most flagrant violations that occurred during this period.“We should always be vigilant so that this will not be repeated. Everyone has to remember what happened so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past,” she said.Opening massSome journalists attended the opening mass for this year’s CPFW at the Cebu Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Pedro Calungsod at the Archbishop’s Residence’s compound in Cebu City on Sunday.Fr. Jonathan Rubin, who presided over the mass, highlighted two things for the press freedom celebration: the sense of gratitude to the things that past journalists did and the sense of hope-filled vision towards the future with much needed discernment of the glaring realities in the present.“Logically, there is no such thing as press freedom week if there were no individuals, whose rights were violated and whose freedom was constricted,” he said.Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Cebu Chapter president Fr. Roberto Ebisa concelebrated the mass.Rubin reminded the faithful, particularly journalists and other media workers, not to forget those who fought for freedom during the weeklong celebration of press freedom.Rubin said it is a must to pose a question “how do we understand freedom?” amid the presence of social media, which has become a convenient space for different kinds of expressions.He said social media has been “sadly abused” by some netizens by sharing lies.“Freedom is never about being, having, doing, saying, posting, sharing whatever we personally want,” he said.Apart from that, Rubin said freedom that is expressed and restricted for personal cause, gain and interest is not freedom, but selfishness.He said freedom essentially means doing the will of God and for everyone to remain harmoniously united with Him along with His other creation.