deadliest deadline

meandering thoughts on the beat

Monday, February 27, 2006


we had an emergency meeting last Saturday on what to do in case the government gets really serious on its crackdown on media. i have to admit i came into the meeting thinking the government would not go as far as closing down our paper. but i soon realized that, as one of the bosses said, it would be foolish to underestimate and overestimate the situation. for as long as the state of national emergency is still in effect, the possibility is always there. i was more concerned whether 1017 would have a chilling effect on our coverage. thank God I was wrong, silly me. but it helps to keep our guard up regarding this because after all, the reality is that the owners do have interests that need to be protected. i also brought up the point that even on our level, in our beats, we should initiate and engage our colleagues, especially the "misinformed" or the "uninformed," on the issues at hand. as reporters of the biggest newspaper in the country, it behooves upon us to take the lead and explain why this is an issue that goes beyond the Tribune. that it goes against the very grain of the freedom our profession upholds. Caloy was right, there is an attempt to destroy our journalistic way of life. so we must rise to defend it.

marooned in the Marines

i am still a little groggy from the coverage of the Marine standoff inside Fort Bonifacio. as it is, i have yet to figure out what really happened. To a certain degree, i was sure this was "Plan B" of the "coup" that didn't happen last Friday. but as usual, i was wrong hahaha. i think something or someone prevailed upon the Marines not to move, thereby saving us from another shooting spree. what or who this was i have yet to find out. unfortunately, the Palace was in spin mode again as Defensor called on media not to cover the standoff. but by that time, we were already inside the Marines compound! media, faults and all, will cover the event whether the Palace or anyone like it or not. what was the hell was he thinking? its the context silly. fortunately, there are some journalists who didn't lap up the palace spin hook, line and sinker. someone commented that it looked like the Marines were actually more relaxed than media, who were scurrying around. i thought there was a lot of scurrying around because we didn't know half of what was going on. media does get a little frisky when it doesn't have the complete picture. add to that, the bosses screaming on the phone and asking us the same question: what the hell is going on? hahaha on a personal note, i thought we wrote the better story as compared to the competition. of course, reading the printed story now, i couldn't help feeling i could have done better. but i know under the circumstances, that was the best. it always helps to think you could have done better, keeps you sharp for the next main event. thought for the day on journalism: thinking you didn't do as good as you did today, keeps you sharp for the coverage tomorrow.