Writing for Social Media


ACFJ offers stand-alone courses that focus on special fields of reporting, including the use of social media in cross-platform, multimedia journalism and reporting about politics. The courses are aimed at raising the bar for journalism in Asia through short-term university-based training designed for reporters, editors and professionals in allied fields.

For 2015, the program offers the following courses:

Course Schedule Application deadline
Writing for Social Media 1 June to 28 July 2015 15 May 2015
Media and Politics 20 July to 20 September 2015 30 June 2015

All courses are held online using Blackboard, an online learning management system. Students are introduced to the principles and methods of online learning prior to the start of a course.

A maximum of 12 students are admitted to a course.

Course fee: PhP 10,000 (International students pay $ 250)



writing for social media_iconThis subject aims to enhance students’ capability to use social media for journalism in four respects: as a pillar of a content windowing strategy in a news organization ecosystem; as a tool for publishing news in its nature as a content platform; as a newsgathering tool, especially as it relates to curation of user-­generated content; and as both opportunity an mechanism for community building, audience management, and overall engagement.

It aims to bring students to an enlightened phase in terms of social media usage, such that they are able to make critical decisions on strategic and tactical uses of various social networking sites, and able to harness the powers of social media in gathering, verifying, breaking and publishing news.

It also aims to give students appreciation of the place of social media in the evolution of contemporary news and information access points, and how this places pressure—or maybe cushion, in some instances—on changing practices, information flows, and business models for media. This will be crucial as students figure out the strategic and tactical uses of social media.

The course will also touch on ethical, legal or even cultural discussions social media has generated as it took center stage position in the news and information ecosystem of late. Corollary to this: the question on where lies in social media traditional journalism values, and relevant to the social media-driven or sourced storytelling.

Lecturer: Arlene Burgos

Ms Arlene Burgos is Head of Social Media and Mobile at the Integrated News division of ABS-CBN News, the Philippines’ biggest multimedia company, where she spearheads a team that has helped  propel the ABS-­CBN News’ Facebook account to the top 5 of the world’s biggest Facebook  publishers.

She is lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University, where she also finished her Master of Arts in  Journalism through a full fellowship from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Last year, she spent three months as a research fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship at the  Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, working on a paper that extensively studied  convergence models involving legacy and new media.

She worked at the Japanese wire agency Kyodo News and was editor-­in-­chief of a tabloid of the  Philippines’ biggest independent newspaper company, the Inquirer Publications. She was lead of ABS-­CBN’s Boto Mo iPatrol Mo citizen journalism project from 2009 to 2010, after  which she helped put up special sites and build digital communities for ABS­‐CBN, mainly through  social media. These communities are currently among the biggest in the Philippines. One of her  projects for the previous Philippine elections, the Halalan 2013 Mobile App, was awarded the Anvil  and the International Association of Business Communicators’ Quill awards for digital communication.

media and politics_iconThis course introduces students to the intertwined relationship between media and politics in a wide range of contexts, from closed autocracies to consolidated democracies. Drawing on the rich scholarly research about the media-politics nexus, this course unpacks  both our longstanding belief about how central the media are in fostering democratic politics and our continuing anxieties about how embedded the media are in existing political power plays. Specifically, the course will look into three key strands of scholarly work. It will present various conceptual perspectives about the relationship between (a) media institutions and political systems, (b) media texts and political discourses, and (c) media technologies and public engagement. It will also ask the students to relate these theoretical perspectives with their own experiential insights.

On completion of the course, students should be able to: (a) explain the arguments of the predominantly Western approaches to media and politics; (b) critically discuss the underlying assumptions of the Western approaches to media and politics; and (c) critically assess the usefulness of Western approaches to media and politics in relation to the diverse social and cultural dynamics of the non-West in general and the East/Southeast Asian region in particular.

Lecturer: Jason V. Cabañes
BA (magna cum laude) (Ateneo de Manila), MA (Ateneo de Manila), PhD (Leeds)

Dr. Cabañes is Lecturer in International Communication at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK, where he teaches the MA course “The Media and Democratisation: Global Perspectives”. Previous to this, he worked at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines as Lecturer (2005-2013) and as Programme Coordinator of MA Journalism (2012-2013). He also held a full PhD Scholarship at the University of Leeds (2009-2012) and an ASEAN Graduate Research Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2007). Although his primary research work is focused on ethnographic approaches to media and migration, he have also done work on media for social and political development. This includes a report on communication and anti-corruption drives in governance (The World Bank, 2008), an article on the political engagement of elite migrants (South East Asia Research, 2011) and an ongoing study about the possibility of collaboration between photojournalists and NGO workers (World Press Photo, in process).

admission guidelines_label

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  1. A college graduate with an average of B or higher*
  2. Proficiency in oral and written English
  3. Internet literacy
  4. Access to a computer with Internet connection

The application forms may be downloaded from the links below. Please submit the completed forms along with a Curriculum Vitae with a 2 in. x 2 in. ID photo.

Form 1 (1 copy) Application Form Download
Form 2 (1 copy) Employment Certificate Download
Form 3 (1 copy) Recommendation Letter Download

To be considered for screening, applicants must submit all required documents. They must also keep copies of all documents submitted. ACFJ reserves the right to keep or otherwise dispose all materials submitted six months after the start of the program.

submission of documents_label

Application forms and supporting documents must be submitted to the address below. If mailed, the documents should be postmarked on the corresponding deadline for your intended course.

Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University
Department of Communication
3/F Social Sciences Building
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
1108 Philippines

The application forms and supporting documents may also be e-mailed to acfj.soss@ateneo.edu with the subject ATTN: 2015 Certificate Courses – [Name of applicant].

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