Eileen Mangubat, Philippine journalist, reflects on Typhoon Haiyan

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan ripped a path of devastation through the Philippines and at the time, journalists from all over the world were dispatched to Tacloban, the hardest hit city. But Eileen Mangubat says for local journalists the assignment posed unique challenges.

Mangubat is the 2013 Marshall McLuhan Fellow

People commute through a flooded street amidst the rubble after a downpour in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, central Philippines November 14, 2013. Philippine President Benigno Aquino was under growing pressure on Thursday to speed up the distribution of food, water and medicine to desperate survivors of a powerful typhoon and to revive paralysed local governments. (Edgar Su/Reuters)

Typhoon Haiyan ripped a path of devastation through the Philippines in November 2013, becoming known as one of the worst storms ever to hit land. 

At the time, journalists from all over the world were dispatched to Tacloban, the hardest hit city in central Philippines.

But for journalists living in Tacloban, the assignment posed unique challenges. 

"Where I come from, that's where the storm really hit," Eileen Mangubat told CBC Radio's Rick Cluff on The Early Edition. 

Mangubat is the editor of Cebu Daily News, a local newspaper in Cebu City. She said local journalists faced the unique challenge of covering a story that also affected them personally. 

"We had trauma debriefing sessions for our staff," said Mangubat, adding that some veteran journalists assigned to cover the story had trouble normalizing the disaster and reporting on it. 

Mangubat has been named the 2013 Marshall Mcluhan Fellow by the Embassy of Canada.  

As part of a two-week tour of Canada, she is speaking on the challenges faced by the local press when they were both victims of the typhoon and at the same time bearer of news.

The Philippine government says at least 6,166 people were killed, 28,626 were injured, and 1,785 are still missing.  

Mangubat's lecture is at 6:30 p.m. PT on Monday February 17 at Vancouver's The Network Hub, 422 Richards Street.  

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Cebu Daily News is a local newspaper in Tacloban. In fact, it is a local newspaper in Cebu City.
    Feb 19, 2014 8:15 AM PT