‘Don’t break courage, stick to truth,’ Rappler managing editor urges 21st Inkblots fellows

Rappler Managing Editor Glenda Gloria delivers the keynote address in the 21st Inkblots. (Photo by Mary Jazmin D. Tabuena/ The Varsitarian)

RAPPLER’s managing editor urged the campus press to join the fight versus fake news, lies and half truths, during the opening of the 21st Inkblots, the annual UST national campus journalism fellowship on Jan. 6.

Glenda Gloria, a UST journalism alumna, said the tremendous amount of false information on social media empowers criminals, terrorists and the corrupt, and reminded journalists to “not break courage” and stick to the truth.

“Fake news is the defense of the incompetent. Do not tolerate lies, half truths and aggressive propaganda. Tell your own stories and counter lies with your stories,” Gloria said in her keynote address which opened the three-day conference centered on the role of the campus press as monitor of power, organized by the Varsitarian, the 90-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas.

UST journalism coordinator and Varsitarian assistant publications adviser Felipe Salvosa II moderated the plenary panel session themed “The Press Under Duress,” which included ANC anchor Christian Esguerra and veteran journalist and editor Vergel Santos.

“Understand that democracy does not guarantee freedom of the press, what democracy guarantees is plurality of the press. You can have as many news organizations that you can have but that doesn’t guarantee that you can get any fairness, any freedom,” Santos said.

Philstar.com editor in chief Camille Diola stressed the importance of the campus press in being the voice of the student body.

Diola said campus journalism has the responsibility to report on matters that will affect its audience.

Editorial designer Tony Hirro encouraged the fellows to not overdo the execution of concepts and ideas in artworks and layouts.

“We tend to overdo and overthink the artwork. Creativity is about simplicity. By simplifying, we can highlight only what is essential,” Hirro said.

Joselito Zulueta, senior editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and publications adviser of the Varsitarian, tackled campus writing and publishing in his lecture.

“You have to create a mission in forming a publication, being part of the opinion makers, truth seekers, and information handlers,” Zulueta said. “The campus paper is a social register, a part of the community. It fosters solidarity and a sense of belonging. It sets the agenda of news.”

Award-winning documentary photographer Ezra Acayan explained in his talk how photojournalism allows the subjects to tell the story themselves.

Aside from focusing on the human element, truthfulness is also important in photojournalism, he said.


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