Public Lecture - In Perpetual Peril: The Culture and Practice of Community Journalism in the Philippines

Monday, September 26, 2011
Novella Room, Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street)

The Faculty of Information Coach House Institute at the University of Toronto and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are pleased to announce a McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology public lecture:

"In Perpetual Peril: The Culture and Practice of Community Journalism in the Philippines"
Carolyn O. Arguillas, 2011 Winner of the Marshall McLuhan Prize

5 p.m. Monday, September 26, 2011
Novella Room, Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street)

This talk will describe the day-to-day issues and the numerous institutional and cultural problems faced by provincial and community journalists in the Philippines, especially in the conflict-affected areas of the southern part of the country. It will highlight the ethical dilemmas and the practical realities of day-to-day reportage in the restive parts of the southern Philippines, using the bloody Maguindanao massacre of 2009 (where 28 media workers were killed) as a case study. Ms. Arguillas will also discuss the prospects of peace journalism in her country, and will explain the cooperative business model of her news organization, Mindanews.

Sponsored since 1997 by Sun Life Financial Canada, the Marshall McLuhan Prize is awarded annually by the Canadian Embassy in Manila to the first-prize winner in the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards, which recognize excellence in investigative journalism. As the 2011 winner, Carolyn O. Arguillas will partake in a study tour across Canada as a fellow with the McLuhan Coach House Institute in Toronto. Upon her return to the Philippines, a series of forums is organized in key cities around the country, where Ms. Arguillas’s Canadian experience will be shared with communication students and members of the local and community media.

This talk is part of the McLuhan100 series of centenary events in Toronto. McLuhan100 is a collaboration between the City of Toronto, the Faculty of Information’s McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, and Mozilla Foundation. McLuhan100 has been financially assisted by the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Celebrate Ontario and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation, the City of Toronto Economic Development and Culture Division, and Mozilla Foundation.


Carolyn O. Arguillas is a journalist based in Davao City. She has been extensively covering the conflict and peace processes in Mindanao for the past 27 years. She has worked as a Mindanao reporter for Veritas Newsmagazine and the Manila Chronicle; Mindanao Bureau Chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; editor-in-chief of MindaNews, the daily news service arm of the Mindanao News and Information Cooperative Center which she co-founded in May 2011; and editor of Our Mindanao magazine.

She received her BA from the University of the Philippines and her MA from the Konrad Adenauer Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University. In 2003, she attended a summer course on media and peace-building at the University of Sydney. She has taught Reporting about Conflict and Peace to journalism students at the Ateneo de Manila’s Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism.

St. Scholastica’s College Manila gave Ms. Arguillas a lifetime achievement award in the 5th Hildegarde Awards for Women in Media and Communication in March 2011. She was the Rotary Club of Manila’s Investigative Journalist of the Year in 2010.