Democracy at Stake: How media battles the disinformation phenomenon


A special talk with Philippine ABS-CBN news correspondent and McLuhan Award for Investigative Journalism Christian Esguerra.

Date & Time: Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EST
Location: Rogers Communications Centre (The Venn, RCC 103)
80 Gould Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2M7

About this event

Join the School of Journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University for a special talk with Philippine ABS-CBN news correspondent and McLuhan Award for Investigative Journalism, Christian Esguerra. Esguerra will present the topic: “Democracy at Stake: How media battles the disinformation phenomenon” in which the he discusses the nature of the disinformation phenomenon in the Philippines, how it affects the country’s democratic processes, and how media and stakeholders counter threats to the propagation of lies and truth-telling. His presentation will discuss the question: “In a time when truth and historical facts are being compromised, how can the media help in minimizing the threats and propagation of disinformation?”

This event is presented by the St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, in conjunction with the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines and the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Journalism.

The event is generously supported by the McLuhan Foundation.

The event is free and open to the public. You are encouraged to register online below.

The incumbent Marshall McLuhan Fellow is Christian Esguerra, political journalist, multimedia anchor, and journalism educator. Mr. Esguerra hosts a popular online political talk show tackling burning issues on politics and governance, and is devoted to advocacy combating disinformation. He is the former anchor and managing editor of the hard-hitting political talk program, “After the Fact,” on the ABS-CBN News Channel, an 24/7 English-language channel in the Philippines.

He began his career as a reporter with the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2000 then joined ABS-CBN as a news correspondent and anchor in 2015. He teaches political reporting and journalism ethics at the University of Santo Tomas where he is also a researcher at its Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities.

He was awarded the Marshall McLuhan Fellowship in 2020. In 2019, he received the Award of Distinction from the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, and the Titus Brandsma Award for Emergent Leadership in Journalism.

Register at:

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.


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