Archive for the “Journalism” Category

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I just woke up from a short sleep after pulling an all-nighter encoding data for my Computer-Assisted Reporting class.  Yes, encoding data, like those things you do in BS Statistics. When I took this course I thought I knew what I was getting into.  Apparently not.  Haha.

We were tasked to analyze the “agenda” of newspapers by looking at its front-page articles and analyzing the methods behind their decision-making.  It sounds easy at first but when you learn that you’d have to analyze 14 front pages containing around 7 to 8 articles each which amouns to more or less 110 to 120 cases–well, you tend to get overwhelmed. (more…)

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I attended Ms. Sheila Coronel’s Centennial Lecture last Friday, having been required by our thesis professor for reasons unbeknownst to us (aka she didn’t want to teach that day?  haha.  I’m guessing).  Prior to our prof’s announcement, I was itching to ditch my thesis class because Ms. Coronel’s lecture was related to my thesis, anyway.  Besides, I slaved over my thesis the whole night (and now I need acne cures pronto!), so I wasn’t really in the mood to study.  So at quarter to one, I was resolved to ditch class.

But the stars seem to have aligned that day: the professor promptly canceled the class and ordered everyone to attend the lecture.  If this wasn’t destiny, I don’t know what it is. (more…)

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We started out as two blocks in first year.  Over the years we’ve grown, especially one time when they seemingly opened the floodgates and dozens of shiftees and transferees were admitted to our department.

Now, we number to more or less fifty in the batch, possibly the biggest batch the Journalism Department of UP-CMC has ever had.  We’re a brady bunch of different personalities and that’s what makes us all unique.  There are blacks, there are whites, but there are likewise colorful personalities in between.  =) (more…)

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Community press advocate Pachico Seares, editor in chief of leading Cebu broadsheet Sun.Star Cebu, is this year’s Gawad Plaridel Awardee following the lead of Eggy Apostol (print), Vilma Santos (film), Tiya Dely Magpayo (radio) and Cheche Lazaro (TV).

This is the first time the award was given to a man.  All four awardees in the previous years were, obviously, women.

Seares is recognized for his outstanding work in the Cebu daily, as well as championing the cause of Community Journalism despite the harrowing trials and tremendous woes they have experienced over the years.

The award was given to Seares in a ceremony held at the UP Cine Adarna this afternoon.  Mass Communications students from all over the metro graced the occasion.  Former Plaridel Awardees Cheche Lazaro and Vilma Santos were also present. (more…)

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The past few weeks have become witness for the beleaguering of both the Mainstream media and the Pinoy blogosphere.  I’ve wanted to write about this for so long but thought of holding off some of my thoughts until all the flames thrown have dissipated.

Blogging and Ethics
Let’s start with the first issue triggered by an unsolicited comment from Dean Luis Teodoro, a staunch ethics advocate who’s also part of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).  Dean Teodoro called on Mainstream Media journalists to blog so that they could be an example for people who irresponsibly post things online, saying that these people who have no account for ethics are bringing about disastrous effects with the erroneous and sometimes maligned information they post.

Of course, the Pinoy blogging community took offense and went on a blogging tirade against the professor.  Most have resented Dean Teodoro’s comment, saying that the veteran journalist and professor had no right to impose his “ethics” upon bloggers.  Some have also criticized the mainstream media in particular, saying that most journalists don’t practice these ethics anyway, so why impose them on the bloggers? (more…)

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[UPDATE] As of 2 a.m. this early morning, Ces and the rest of the kidnapped victims have been freed from captivity, after a 24-hr ultimatum set by PNP Chief Avelino Razon.  No ransom was reportedly given to the kidnappers.  Then again, that’s what they say.

Known for being a feisty broadcast journalist (both in practice and, as we’ve seen in the Manila Pen seige, fashion), Ces Drilon is currently a captive of the famed Abu Sayyaf rebel group down in the islands of Sulu. As of today, the kidnappers have extended their deadline for the ransom money indefinitely. Which says a lot of things about the motives of her kidnappers.

Many have been said about the Drilon’s current situation. Some say she deserved it for pursuing a very dangerous scoop (motives of which are still undetermined). Some say the ransom should be paid, albeit running the risk of encouraging such terroristic acts. Others have criticized the news blackout called by ABS-CBN, crying Right to Information as their defense. Some others like me, who have seen and read one too many conspiracy theory stories, are cynical about the situation. (more…)

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A burning issue is brewing within the high walls of the Journalism Department in UP Diliman. I know this shouldn’t be a big deal to all, but to us studying Journalism in this institution, it is too much a deal to pass up.

To give you a backgrounder on this issue, you may want to look into the February 2008 and MayApril 2008 issues of the PJR Reports published by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR). Now as a disclaimer, I have no intention of stirring up debates or heated arguments by posting about this issue. I merely want to air my point as a student of Journalism who receives education from two of these well-respected professors who have recently engaged in a verbal tussle in print. (more…)

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498192691_c89d7f5622.jpgMa’am Janette Toral tagged me earlier and it prompted me to write about this topic. Truth be told, I got a lot of insights from the last iBlog Mini held at the College of Law–brief as my stay is–and it prompted me to be more aware of the potentials of blogging during Elections in the country. Personally, as a (hopefully) future media practitioner, one of the fields I want to dabble in is Election reporting. I don’t know why but I get the kicks out of the election season. Maybe because it’s a sign that somehow, even after all the totalitarian measures imposed upon us by the government, the elections still gives us hope and the voice to speak out what’s on top of our heads.

Anyway, going back to Ma’am Janette’s tag, elections are a hotbed of personalities slugging it out to be the next people’s choice. But more vital than personalities, I believe, are issues and their responses to them. One barometer for gauging the viability of a candidate for a certain post is his stance on pertinent issues that concern the nation.

If I were to interview any candidate, here are a string of issues I would want them to have an opinion on:

  • Foreign Policy. It’s as important as any other issue out there. Will the next president still allow himself/herself to be controlled by foreign forces (IMF/WB) or countries (US/Europe)? I believe we’ve had enough of the influence the States has over our domestic policies. It’s time to act on our own. How about JPEPA? OFWs and the Brain Drain? Exchange Rate? (more…)

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Just like I mentioned in my first-ever weekend wrap-up, we scoured my hometown last Sunday in search of survey respondents for this semester’s Extension Program of the Communication Research Department of the UP College of Mass Communication. Every semester they perform studies on topics relating to communication and media, and this semester’s study focused on the Filipinos’ Reception of TV News.

medialit.jpgThe recent word-war and mudslinging between the two giant TV networks proved to be quite a blessing in disguise for us CommRes 101 students who were tasked to perform the data gathering part of the study. I’m not really keen on doing this data gathering thing, especially that my people skills seem to dwindle as I grow older. Thankfully all our neighbors were cooperative and in fact were very enthusiastic to be surveyed.

Whenever people would see us with our survey forms and the moment we ask them if they are willing to be interviewed about the local TV News Programs they watch, they would quickly retort, “Is this AGB?” in Filipino. If there’s anything positive that this recent controversy has wrought, it’s probably the fact that people became more aware of the workings behind these media companies. (more…)

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Students of the premier state university of the Philippines have but one thing to boast about: that they are studying in the leading academic institution in the country. For years students and alumni have wrung the ears of incoming freshmen, telling them how fortunate they are to be studying in the best university there is.

We all know how UP has trumpeted its greatness over the decades. We all know of the distinguished alumni who have etched their everlasting marks in the history of our country. We all know of the great and incomparable UP culture of excellence that has thrived all throughout the years.

Modesty aside, it is therefore safe to assume that UP is indeed great. But can that greatness be encapsulated in mere humble words such as “UP: Ang Galing Mo”? (more…)

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For all it’s worth it’s practically useless to still babble about an issue that has already dissipated. In the tradition of the Malu Fernandez and Desperate Housewives issue, an act of such nature can only be dubbed as “fanning the flames that had already died.”

But as a discerning journalism student and, hopefully, a future media practitioner, I can’t help but reflect and assess the situation which has been devoted much media attention. I tried not to talk about it extensively when the issue was at its peak because the apparent bias will be, well, very apparent on me. In fact, I burst out in anger and frustration the moment I learned about it and made a blog entry that can possibly be labeled seditious if anyone attempts to file a case against me.

And so now that somehow the anger isn’t there anymore (or at least has decreased in intensity), I can now clearly give my two cents’ worth about the issue devoid of any bias and prejudices. But then again, as a disclaimer, I’m a Journalism student and, hopefully, a future media practitioner so that pretty much speaks for itself on where I stand on this issue.

Okay, let’s proceed with dissecting this one bit by bit.


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Everybody has a dream. Everyone craves for that one precious thing they long to have. And they do everything to achieve that dream. ANYTHING that could help them grab hold of that one thing which they’ve forever longed for.


As a matter of fact, and I bet you didn’t see this coming, I have a dream. (Pardon this little Martin Luther-King homage) Aside for my dreams for my life and career, I have this one very materialistic dream.


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Several months ago, the National Press Club commissioned the Neo-Angono Artists Collective to do an 8-foot mural on the topic of Press Freedom. Here’s is their final product:

Click Thumbnail to enlarge

It is a very compelling representation of the past and current state of Press Freedom here in the Philippines, what with freedom fighters Chino Roces, Marcelo del Pilar, Ninoy Aquino, Eugenia Duran-Apostol, Letty Jimenez Magsanoc and several others depicted in the painting.

A unique feature of the mural is the fact that the faces of the people in this man-on-the-street scene are media figures, press freedom icons and presidents of the National Press Club seen mingling with common and unnamed people. They are depicted or cast, not in their usual fighting stance, or projected stereotypically, but in a light and casual manner to suggest that journalists are like everybody else in the streets; that despite the threats to their lives for telling and reporting the truth, the journalists’ passion redounds to the same dream of ordinary citizens who want nothing more than to reap the benefits of transparency, public accountability and good governance, a society free from the clutch of poverty and corruption, and advancing press freedom – ideals which journalists fight for.

A similar distinct feature of the mural is that writers and journalists in various moments of historical juncture are (re)contextualized and reconfigured.

For this reason, it might initially escape belief and comprehension – and even solicit fun – that Joaquin “Chino” Roces is preventing a child (symbol for an emerging imperialist America) from shooting a bird resting on the street signage titled “Kalayaan”;Marcelo del Pilar rummaging through a garbage can for a cigarette stub and being furtively handed a letter by Mariano Ponce under a street sign labeled “La Solidaridad”; Eugenia Apostol smirking on the declaration of Martial Law; Epifanio de los Santos and Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc debating on the hot issues of the day; Antonio Luna, also an NPC hall of famer, being interviewed by journalists covering a rally of protesting journalists; or Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino listening pensively to Dr. Jose Rizal’s point on the issue of abduction and the “desaparecidos.”

From the Neo-Angono Artists Collective Website


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Photo from

*Please see update below… waaaay below. =)

Just a few hours ago, I turned in my last-ever requirement for the sem. It was a photo-essay plate on my joyride adventure to Old Manila aboard the Pasig River Ferry boat (which can also be found here). I had mixed feelings, even though it went by as quickly as I imagined it would. Holding the piece of delicate paper on my hand, I trudged the halls of Masscomm one last time, feeling the feeling of the floor on my feet, the dirty walls, the brightly-lit corridors… but beneath all the physical traits that will make me miss CMC sorely, I believe I’ll miss the CMC people more than the actual place.

I walked up the stairs, and the place was very quiet. It felt like Wednesday when half of the university doesn’t have classes. Masscomm is unusually silent, like somebody just turned the mute button on. It was eerie. Masscomm is never this silent. Good thing great friends IA and Elsie (along with her boyfriend Frank) greeted me as I reached the stairs’ landing, lest I cry of too much sentiments and memories of that god-forsaken place.

I opened the department’s door and the usual quiet Ate Racquel greeted me with her usual stillness and impeccable silence. I rushed to the pigeon hole and dropped my plate off as quickly as I could. There. It has ended. It felt nothing. At first. Like it’s just usual. Ordinary. Normal.

Maybe I forgot how it felt being free. Because right now, I feel like screaming… I’M FREE! SHET!! I’M REALLY REALLY FREE! I think I’m having a Cristina moment right now. I’m free. Damnit! Damnit! Oh, take this off! Get this off! I can’t breathe!


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So now it comes to a close. History has been written. Former President Joseph Estrada has been proven guilty of plunder, but got acquitted for perjury.

I’ll leave the political and legal analysis to the experts and lawyers, but here’s what I have to say. I don’t feel vindicated by Erap’s conviction. No, not at all. Why? Because it didn’t feel like we triumphed over evil at all. Yes, we ousted a President who has been proven a plunderer, but unfortunately for we have replaced him with someone even worse.

Erap’s conviction, for me, was all just a ceremony 6 years in the making. Had this present administration proven its worth, I would have been entirely happy of kicking Erap’s ass out of the palace.

And while the media was all hush-hush about this recent development, I appear to be too indifferent to care. As a matter of fact, I slept through the entire coverage.


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