The country’s communication researchers, media practitioners, and political analysts converged at VSU for the national conference of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE), June 1-3.

The assembly aims to discuss about the terrain of the Philippine elections, especially on the interplay of the media, civil society, and political candidates and parties towards the pursuit of honest and fair elections.

Prof. Joeven Castro, conference’s program chair, posed a question to more than 30 participants about the emerging role of media in the national elections.

“Will the media remain as a vessel of information that simply reflects and captures political events and issues, or should it assume a social responsibility role like a civil society capitalizing on crowd sourcing or citizen journalism?” asked Prof. Castro.

The discussions in the conference, Prof. Castro said, will lead to assessing such a developing state of the media on top of its role as a vessel of information.

Prof. Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, President Barbie Atienza of the United Print Media Group and head of the Manila Bulletin External Affairs, and Mayren Cogtas, project coordinator of Dilaab Foundation, constitute this year’s panel discussants.

Three papers will be presented by faculty of the De La Salle University, University of the Philippines-Dilliman, and Far Eastern University. The papers will tackle the emerging political discourse in mainstream media.

Papers under the student category will revolve around three themes: Facebook profile of Philippine politics, creation of political agenda in the social media, and interaction between media and voters.

The presenters are students from the University of Assumption in Pampanga, Adamson University, Angeles University Foundation, University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria, Mindanao University of Science and Technology, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle in Lipa and Dasmariñas, and Lyceum of the Philippines University.

Anyone can follow a liveblog of the conference on twitter using #PACENatCon2016.