Journalism in the Philippines

Posted at 11/28/2012 12:31 PM | Updated as of 12/01/2012 3:01 PM

Seeing that journalism has lately become a focus of public interest, I feel it my duty as a practicing journalist to earnestly answer this specially prepared, long and comprehensive list of utterly bogus random questions about my profession:

1. What's so special about being a journalist?

For one thing, it allows a writer (like me) to use the plural pronoun and morph into the dreaded "Editorial We"

2. What's so special about this "we" thing?

Aside from me (that is, "us"), only three other types of people can use it: Emperors, the Pope and people with tapeworm

3. Why do Philippine national dailies run even the most bland headlines right across the page as if they were major events? ("TRICYCLE WON'T START, FLAT TIRE SUSPECTED")

The reason is that current printing technology is unable to run headlines across two or four pages. They're working on it

4. I'm thinking of getting into journalism. What satisfaction can I get out of being a journalist?

You'll safeguard democracy, expose corruption and be idolized by the masses

5. Really?

We're lying. Politicians will hate you, readers will think you're corrupt and warlords will be anxious to introduce you to their backhoes

6. That sounds depressing

If you want depressing, you should read raw unedited copy

7. It must be hard dealing with raw copy of starting reporters, right?

We're talking about that of old time journalists and columnists

8. Have you calmed down from ranting now?

More or less. We're still hyperventilating a bit

9. So tell us, what unique things can someone who becomes a Philippine journalist look forward to?

That someone can look forward to repeatedly using "resulting to" until large numbers of readers commit suicide or die of apoplexy

10. What else?

That someone can confidently lead a story with "Majority of Filipinos" when what that someone actually means is "Most Filipinos"

11. You seem to be harboring grudges?

Deep-seated ones

12. Come on, there MUST be pluses to being a journalist?

Well, you get to go out and meet lots of interesting famous people and dine on them

13. Did you say dine ON them?

Sorry, prepositions are a perennial problem in Philippine journalism. We meant dine FROM them

14. That doesn't sound much better

Shut up we're a journalist

15. Will I make lots of money if I were to become a reporter -- wait, why are you crying?

Sorry, it's been a long since we've laughed so hysterically

16. Are you saying Philippine journalists aren't paid well?

Oh no! You have discovered the industry's darkest secret! For that you must suffer abominably. You are hereby sentenced to spend a night at the National Press Club

17. Is corruption a serious problem in journalism?

Not that we're implying anything, but have you thought about how many journalists go on to become politicians?

18. Is it still a standard practice for journalists to receive or ask for envelopes full of cash?

Not as much as before, thanks to direct deposits to ATM accounts and over-the-air phonecard loads

19. How about gifts?

Thank you very much. Just put them on that table

20. No, I mean how do you feel about gifts being given to journalists?

This is wrong, but it's such a revered tradition, many people are sentimental about it and don't want to give it up.

21. Sounds like a crap excuse

Shut up we're a journalist

22. How has the Internet affected Philippine journalism?

We're happy to say that most senior editors and reporters are finally making breakthroughs in accepting digital technology

23. Such as?

For one thing, they've finally figured out how to turn on and shut down their computers. This is a good sign. Before you know it, they'll be calling themselves "social media experts"

24. What's the difference between bloggers and journalists?

One usually has a steady job and respectable income

25. You mean the journalists?

We mean the bloggers

26. Is the Internet blurring the lines between bloggers and journalists?

Yes, bloggers are pretending to be journalists while journalists are pretending to understand the Internet

27. Assuming there are Philippine journalists who are corrupt, lazy, ill-trained and pretentious pseudo-writers, will the onset of blogging change this?

Definitely. It will democratize the media playing field and allow ordinary citizens the opportunity to become corrupt, lazy, ill-trained and pretentious pseudo-writers

28. Bloggers vs Journalists Deathmatch: Who will survive?

The commenters

29. Is it true that journalists look down on bloggers?

Give them a break, journalists need something to look down by

30. You mean "look down ON".

Shut up we're a journalist

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.