MUCH has changed in the landscape of journalism over the past years, with the proliferation of fake news websites and political demagogues attempting to discredit the press.
Now more than ever, journalists ought to, as veteran broadcaster Pia Hontiveros once said in an interview, “do our work well,” to counter this so-called “existential crisis” in the industry.
Now more than ever should young journalists be fuelled to pursue the profession, to strive to improve the industry and be heralds of truth.
As an AB Journalism student and a campus editor, I cannot stress how important journalists function in a democratic society. But very little space is given to discuss the role campus journalists play.
It is easy to dismiss campus journalism as mere child’s play, with the thought that these writers are just students and they have far different concerns from national affairs. This should not be the mindset.
In a forum on campus journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University, Inquirer.net editor in chief John Nery asked what the difference was between campus journalists and journalists who worked for actual news organizations.
Nery explained that both share the same objective of delivering relevant information to their audience.
Campus journalists merely operate in and cater to a smaller community.
But this must not be an excuse for campus journalists not to concern themselves with issues of greater importance.
For instance, the Varsitarian is an example of a campus paper that continues to spark discourse at the national level.
Most notable was when it exposed corruption in the University’s mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), prompting the abolition of mandatory ROTC and the passage of the National Service Training Program Act.
Other campus papers should not be afraid to expose wrongdoings and challenge the status quo in the communities they serve.
They must realize that they are not just publicity tools of their schools.
Young writers must show that they can voice sensible and strong opinions. They too can start conversations.
Grateful as ever
Words are not enough to express my gratitude to the Varsitarian. When I first entered the ‘V,’ I never realized how much time and effort the publication would demand.
I was suddenly forced into new routines and work habits, to deal with different kinds of people, and to discover parts of myself I never thought were there. It takes a lot of passion and dedication to survive an environment that gives you a glimpse of an actual workplace.
There were times when the stress felt unbearable but in the end, my love for the publication prevailed. As cliché as it sounds, it is true that one does not give up easily on things they hold close to their heart.
Despite all the hardships, I remain indebted to the ‘V’ for taking me in and honing my writing skills. Above all, I am thankful that the ‘V’ has molded me into the strong-willed person that I am today.