Category: Retro

Politics and Cebu media

Politicians use media for their messages to the public: information needed for them to push their program of governance and propaganda to defend themselves against criticism and win their election…

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Politicians use media for their messages to the public: information needed for them to push their program of governance and propaganda to defend themselves against criticism and win their election fights.

Through the years, media has improved technology, branched out on multi-platforms, honed skills of craft and upgraded standards and values.

That hasn’t curbed zeal and enthusiasm to exploit media as a major instrument for securing and keeping political power.

Instead, with media’s better practices, spurred by technology and competition, it has also led to more sophisticated methods of politicians in exploiting media. Continue Reading

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Bias and the future of journalism

By Dr. Resil B. Mojares Bias—a term that is not necessarily pejorative—has always characterized media from the beginning. From the introduction of the printing press in 1593 and the appearance…

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By Dr. Resil B. Mojares

POLITICAL BENT. In the 1900s, all the major newspapers of the prewar period were either owned by or allied to politicians.

Bias—a term that is not necessarily pejorative—has always characterized media from the beginning.

From the introduction of the printing press in 1593 and the appearance of the country’s first newspaper (Del Superior Gobierno) in 1811, until the mid-19th century, the printing press was a virtual state and church monopoly. The press was the voice of the ruling authorities; it was essential in the functioning of state and church, from disseminating information on civil and ecclesiastical decrees, programs and activities, and commercial information (shipping schedules, market prices) vital to the functioning of the economy, to propagating the knowledge and values useful to the formation of good colonial subjects and Catholics.

It was not until the mid-19th century that the press began to be privatized and secularized as persons and groups outside church and government came to own and operate print shops and publish materials out of them. While the state exercised licensing and censorship powers, this time marked the appearance of socalled “independent” and “commercial” newspapers. Continue Reading

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WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?

Newsroom jobs, practices phased out or changed with new technology and sharper management techniques Ask a “journ” or masscom graduate what job in a newspaper he can’t apply for. Aside…

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LINOTYPE. First introduced commercially in the USA in 1886, the linotype machine was used by newspapers and general printers to cast lines of type, rather than individual letters, hence its name, “line-o-type.” Sitting in front, the machine operator enters the text on a keyboard. The machine assembles letter molds to make a line. Heated metal is used to cast the assembled line as a single piece, called a “slug,” which awaits placing in a press for printing. After printing, the slugs can be melted again for use in other jobs. The machines and operators above are from Tri-bell Trading, Cebu City.

Newsroom jobs, practices phased out or changed with new technology and sharper management techniques

Ask a “journ” or masscom graduate what job in a newspaper he can’t apply for. Aside from editor-in-chief, a position rarely vacant, there’s no opening for proofreader. The job isn’t there anymore, hasn’t been there for some decades now.

A proofreader compares the text produced by the linotype and set up by the page composer (“cajista”) and reproduced on paper. He compares the proof with the text written by the reporter and edited by the editor and makes corrections on the proof, which then goes back to the linotypist to correct.

That job, time-consuming and messy (proofreader’s hands perpetually show ink smudges), is gone. Reason is plain: no more need to check production work with the editor’s original manuscript as writing, editing and “pagination” are done on computer. A case of technology changing work flow and procedure. Continue Reading

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Stet: Cabal or clique?

It was the mid-1980s and a period of anxiety for several women journalists in Cebu. A list of so-called leftist supporters in media was supposedly being circulated, and in it…

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NO SHRINKING VIOLETS. (Clockwise from left) Then The Freeman reporter Nini Cabaero, TV anchor and reporter Bingo Gonzalez and Sun.Star Daily reporter Edralyn Benedicto speak in a forum during the celebration of Cebu Press Freedom Week in the mid-1990s. Lelani Echaves (second from left) hosts Cebu City’s first television public affairs program, “On the Spot,” featuring Brig. Gen. Jesus Hermosa, then commanding general of the Visayas Command, with co-hosts Jane Paredes and Frank Malilong Jr. Stet members (seated from left) Eileen Mangubat, Echaves, Thea Riñen, (standing) Paredes, Melva Java and Benedicto, with Msgr. Achilles Dakay, celebrate New Year’s Eve at the residence of Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal, then Archbishop of Cebu. (Contributed Fotos)

It was the mid-1980s and a period of anxiety for several women journalists in Cebu.

A list of so-called leftist supporters in media was supposedly being circulated, and in it were the names of women journalists. We had a lot in common: In our 20s; graduates of journalism programs in the country’s leading universities; energetic; idealistic; and we were women.

We were field reporters who quickly built reputations as serious practitioners. It was a time of political instability following the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr., the staging of People Power I, and the shaky start of the Corazon Aquino presidency.

Eileen Mangubat, then Sun.Star Daily reporter and now publisher of Cebu Daily News (CDN); Thea Riñen, Sun.Star reporter and now CDN vice president for advertising, marketing and circulation; Edralyn Benedicto, then Sun.Star reporter and now bureau chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; and I, then reporter of The Freeman and later of Sun.Star and now editor-in-chief of the Sun.Star Network Exchange. We covered the political opposition, local government, the church, labor unions, protesting activists and the underground movement.

Lawyer Jane C. Paredes, then news manager of radio dyRC and now senior manager of Smart Communications Inc.; Nene Parawan, then dyRC reporter; lawyer Bingo Gonzalez, then a television reporter and anchor and now practicing lawyer; Noemi Fetalvero, then of GMA 7 and now columnist of Sun.Star Cebu; and Lelani Echaves-Paredes, host of the local television talk show “On the Spot,” and Melva Java, then GMA 7 news anchor, but both now newspaper columnists, educators, entrepreneurs, and grandmothers.

Misunderstood, threatened

Because we gave voice to the voiceless (which is journalism’s mission), we were misunderstood, mostly by people with small minds.

We were out to do a good or even better job as journalists compared to some of our male counterparts. We exerted effort to get to the truth, resorted to “off the record” sessions with controversial news sources to have a better grasp of issues. But the threat to our safety and sanity was serious.

Then, someone thought of picking a name for the group. Some names were considered until I remembered our department publication at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. “Stet” was the newsletter name of the journalism department.

“Stet” is a proofreader’s mark to mean disregard the change and let the original stand. In the age before computers, when editing was done by hand, an editor may change a word but on second thought find the original more apt. To signal to the typesetter to let the original stand, the editor writes “stet.”

We decided on the name “Stet” for our informal group. Our practice of journalism was questioned, but we soldiered on and stood strong in our belief in journalism principles. Let it stand. Let the practice of good journalism regardless of the journalist’s gender stand.

A Manila newspaper columnist once wrote about Stet and described us as “naughty” for choosing a name that means “Let it stand.”

When night fell

But Stet was not all work. We had fun in almost nightly outings to bars, sing-along joints, and at times the beach. We finished work by 9 p.m., left newsrooms after deadline and returned home past midnight or at dawn. The group grew to include men and spouses who understood us and were behind us in the struggle to prove that women journalists can be serious and ethical practitioners in this then male-dominated industry.

Twenty-five or so years down the line, Stet is still around with the women journalists and the extended Stet (also called “Stuts”) remaining as friends and bearing witness to weddings of children, births of grandchildren and deaths of parents.

Birthdays and the holidays are occasions for us to gather, reminisce, laugh, gossip and dish out commentaries. Our favorite hangout is the Nivel house of Judge Meinrado and Jane Paredes. New Stet members and friends join our gatherings. Non-journalists in Stet include a monsignor, a priest, a justice, a judge, lawyers, an official of a regional government agency, an educator, and telecoms people. There is no application form or opening or membership committee.

With women holding leadership positions in media now, Stet has become simply a gathering of friends kept together by shared beliefs and passions.

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Beginnings of Cebu media professionalism

By Godofredo M. Roperos IN AUGUST 1947, kzRC was revived under the management of the Cebu Broadcasting Company, becoming the first postwar commercial station outside of the national capital. When…

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

IN AUGUST 1947, kzRC was revived under the management of the Cebu Broadcasting Company, becoming the first postwar commercial station outside of the national capital. When the government required in 1949 that the radio stations in the country should carry henceforth the “dy” in its name, it became dyRC. The following year, in 1950, the Philippine Broadcasting Corporation opened dyBU as a competitor of dyRC.

The friendly competition went on until September 1972 when dyRC came to an abrupt end. It was ordered to cease operation at the onset of Martial Law. When it reopened in January 1975, the two pioneering Cebu radio stations had fallen under one ownership: the Elizaldes. And it remained so until August 1999 when dyRC permanently stopped operation after 60 years of being on-air, reportedly due to heavy losses.

On the other hand, the Cebu dailies fought their way to survival through sheer courage and determination. And because the staff members in the meantime agreed to work with only the assurance that they could get cash advances when ad payments could be collected.

Professionalism in the print media did not begin until the decade of the 1980s. In a sense, until Sun.Star Daily’s entry in the print media industry, it was largely a touch-and-go affair where the paper’s next issue would depend on the good will of the printer. Continue Reading

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The Early Cebu Press

By Resil B. Mojares Excerpted from “Cebuano Literature,” San Carlos Publications, 1975 It is in the pages of local tabloids and magazines that the great bulk of Cebuano printed literature…

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By Resil B. Mojares

Excerpted from “Cebuano Literature,” San Carlos Publications, 1975

OLD CEBU NEWSPAPERS. They started local journalism. Not one paper, however survived.

It is in the pages of local tabloids and magazines that the great bulk of Cebuano printed literature is to be found. For this reason, Cebuano literary history is intimately connected with the rise of local journalism.

Cebuano journalism began towards the close of the 19th century. Though Cebu is the oldest Spanish settlement in the country, it was not until 1886—seventy-five years after Del Superior Govierno came out in Manila—that the first Cebu newspaper was established. The early transfer of the seat of government to Manila relegated Cebu to the realm of the provincial. Since then Manila has been the center in the centrifugal dissemination of, among others, western technology in communications. Continue Reading

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