I just came home from a contract signing with Inquirer Publisher Isagani Yambot (read: I was late! Kahiya!). I gotta give it to that man! He was very down to earth and very approachable. He even had some McDo merienda delivered for us! Haha!
Photo-ops and some kamustahan transpired. He was really talking like our father and us his children (haha tama ang Daddy Yammy Yambot! Pero more like Lolo! Hehe sana hindi nya to nababasa =P). Had a lot of laughing moments, like this one:
JM: Sir sa Inquirer po ilang beses na na-stop ang press?
IY: Umm… onti pa lang, siguro mga once or twice.
Claire: Ah yah I remember sabi ni Ma’am Khan sa US daw twice pa lang na-stop ang press, yung when Titanic sank and when namatay si JFK.
Claire: JFK po.
IY: Ah akala ko GMA eh! *laughs*
Haha. He was sooo cool. He even proposed a dinner with other Inquirer scholars. Haha! Looking forward to that.
Anyway, after much talking we landed on the topic of our campus publications. Royce took out a copy of the Collegian and Sir Yambot asked how it was doing. To our surprise, all three of us Iskos and Iska had only one answer: progressive, STAND-UP, somehow leftist. We told him it was red, and he noticed how it was literally red (because of the cover).
UE had the same situation, where oppositionists dominate The Dawn (tama ba?). UST’s Varsitarian, on the other hand, is somehow having problems with the intervention of their administration.
I find it somehow sad how the Collegian has become ultra-progressive nowadays. Everything is tinted with a tinge of red. You find it rare to find articles there about student and faculty achievements, developments in discipline, academic milestones. I mean, these are–just as much as the nation’s issues are–important facets of an iskolar’s life.
Remembering I grabbed a copy of the Collegian this morning, I took it out on the bus on the way home. The first article I read was about how the stand of the USC about TFI and STFAP took so long to be agreed upon. While I do not condone the administration’s railroading and subsequent implementation of the said measures, I find it quite pathetic for the Collegian–headed by a Journalism major, no less–to be unfair on ideas and opinion not in accordance with theirs.
Just look at these paragraphs in the USC article:
“USC vice chairperson Viktor Fontanilla, member of Alyansa ng Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katuwiran at Kaunlaran (Alyansa)…”
“Fontanilla and his Alyansa colleagues in the USC…”
While I am not a member of Alyansa myself, I find it appalling that they had to mention, and furthermore stress, someone’s affiliation just to highlight a dissenting opinion. I look at Shan Abdulwahid’s (USC Chair) and Sarah Cabrera’s (USC Councilor) names and just had to ask why they have not been labeled as members of STAND-UP? Ano ‘to, dahil kabilang party sila parang outside of the USC na sila? Why such discrimination?
Apparently, there are some who are really disappointed with the Collegian, and they haven’t failed to make their opinion heard. They had the guts to tell it to Collegian’s face (and everybody’s faces behind Collegian, for that matter). Some Mr. Ponce wrote quite a few issues back about how he viewed the Collegian as targetting the so-called elitist students of UP through one of its published articles. The editor in chief published a rebuttal. Here’s a reaction from the current issue:
“Elitist or not, Mr. Ponce is a UP student, is he not? I thought the Collegian was supposed to stand up for the collective views of the students. It’s unfair to gang up on Ponce, and others who think along his line, just because he espouses different views and comes from a different background. We are all entitled to our ideas. We’re free to think outside popular opinion. Mr. Ponce’s guts in expressing his seemingly unpopular views is commendable. Hail to the free exchange of ideas!” -Carmela, UP Law
Where can you find a campus publication so critical of the nation’s leaders? Only in UP. But somehow the Collegian has gone a bit far. Where can we find updates on what’s happening at the school? There are meaningful events that could have been covered by the Collegian. Issues are important, but they’re not the only ones that are important to a student’s life, more so an Iskolar’s life. Why has the Collegian deviated so far?
Another text message sent to the Collegian asked why they have not published an article about the death of a certain Psychology professor. Why, because it doesn’t matter? What is the Collegian’s concept of news? As far as I can see, all the Collegian publishes are views. And, quite sadly, views by only a small percentage of the entire UP community. Aren’t we supposed to be entirely represented in the Collegian?
Mimi asked why we can’t have a school paper like the Guidon of Ateneo. Sadly, all I could say was that the Collegian is very different in nature from the Guidon. The Collegian has been through a lot of things, including being a bastion of press freedom during the Martial Law years. But, I ask, isn’t the Collegian going too far? Three years ago it wasn’t like this. Three years ago there can still be a hint of decency I can give for the Collegian. Three years ago I willingly take home three copies of the Collegian to give out to my friends, who are members of their respective school’s publication. Now I don’t think I could gladly do the same.
The Collegian, sad to say, has really become a lip service, reduced to a tool used by a mere fraction of the entire studentry. Not all students in UP has the same view as the Collegian. While I find it noble their fight and coercion of the government to pay attention to education, sadly, all I can say is, sometimes we are too immersed with ideals that we fail to see what is real. The times have changed. And the present University Student Council is a sign of that change. For years one party has dominated the USC. Now another party is gathering clamour and support from the studentry. Shouldn’t they take that as a sign?
And what could the Collegian say when the fight against TFI and STFAP fails? Students studying in UP can no longer be called “Iskolar ng Bayan” because they dish out their own cash to pay for their education. Can they be compelled to adopt such views? “Ang Iskolar ng Bayan, may alam, may pakialam”, sabi ng isang famous line ng STAND-UP. Pano ‘pag wala nang Iskolar ng Bayan? (Na hindi malayong mangyari) Ang mga estudyante ba ang kailangang tumanggap ng kung anuman ang inilalathala sa Collegian? O dapat bang ang Collegian ang mag-adapt para sa mga pinaglilingkuran nito, ang mga estudyante?
Pula lang ba ang kulay ng aktibismo?
No wonder not many journalism students are interested to join the Collegian. They don’t espouse and live the journalism we see, breathe, and feel everyday. “Relevance, Context, Integrity,” sabi ni CheChe Lazaro. Yun yon.
Just thinking out loud. My opinion.