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Building Communities: The Evolving Role of Journalists in Covering Human Rights Stories in the Philippines

The Philippine Studies Group at YCAR is pleased to host a morning with Rapplers’ Jodesz Gavilan, the 2023 Marshall McLuhan Fellow – Philippines.

Gavilan is an investigative journalist, researcher and podcast host. She has been an investigative reporter and researcher for the independent news outlet Rappler since 2013.  Aside from being a reporter, she also hosts and produces “Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories,” a weekly podcast series on Rappler that dissects and deep dives into the pressing issues in the Philippines.

The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines awarded her the Marshall McLuhan Fellowship in 2023 for her “unique commitment to investigative journalism, to informing the public about decisions and policies that affect their lives in support of the public interest,” and her commitment to inform, “to enable meaningful public engagement on issues in service of the public, and illustrate how investigations, facts, and transparency can ensure meaningful democratic accountability.”

In her talk, Gavilan will discuss the journalist’s expanding role that goes beyond reporting to include working on how to create impactful solutions to social challenges. Her presentation will explain how journalism can be more than truth-telling but also as an advocacy for collaborative action.

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About the Marshall McLuhan Fellowship.

The Marshall McLuhan Fellowship is the Embassy of Canada’s flagship public diplomacy initiative in the Philippines.  Launched in 1997, it is part of our advocacy to encourage responsible journalism in the Philippines with the belief that a strong media is essential to a strong democratic society.

Every year, the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) assists the Embassy in choosing a Filipino journalist whose work has contributed to positive changes in the social arena or at least has raised the level of public discourse in a relevant issue usually concerning governance and human rights.

The program provides the winner with a two-week speaking and familiarization tour of Canada. This will be an opportunity for the Fellow to interact with media counterparts, and to discuss significant current issues on governance with Canadian government officials, academic interlocutors and members of civil society.  The Fellow will also have the chance to speak at the McLuhan Salons in the University of Toronto. Upon returning to the Philippines, a series of forums is organized by the Embassy to be held in five key cities around the country to enable the journalist to share experiences in Canada with students of communication and members of the local and community media.

Aside from contributing to good governance by raising transparency in the public arena, the McLuhan Fellowship also aims to create in the long-term a critical group of influential media personalities with good knowledge and interest in Canadian issues or at least the values Canada stands for:  democracy, good governance and human rights.


Feb 05 2024


10:30 am - 12:00 pm


Room 857, Eighth Floor, Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus, York University and virtually via Zoom
Room 857, Eighth Floor, Kaneff Tower, Keele Campus, York University and virtually via Zoom


Philippine Studies Group at the York Centre for Asian Research
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