22 October 2013, 9:20 p.m. – NATIONAL Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose urged aspiring writers to be resilient in upholding the truth even amid public criticism, as he opened the 15th edition of Inkblots, the UST National Campus Journalism Fellowship.

“It’s hard to tell the truth in this country where there is an absence of a critical tradition and where hypocrisy is so pervasive,” Jose told more than 300 Inkblots fellows in his keynote speech at the Albertus Magnus Auditorium yesterday.

Other speakers for the opening day were Inkblots pioneer and Philippine Daily Inquirer senior reporter Christian Esguerra (news writing), litterateurs Rebecca Anonuevo and Danilo Francisco Reyes (literary), and Manila Bulletin editor Nestor Cuartero (feature writing) who brought actor Tom Rodriguez as guest in his interactive lecture.

The three-day conference is sponsored annually by the Varsitarian.

Inquirer assistant sports editor Francis Ochoa, who talked about sports writing on Day 2 of Inkblots, held a mock press conference that featured football superstars James and Phil Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong of the Philippine Azkals, and PBA player Chris Ellis of Barangay Ginebra.

Social media poses a great challenge to print journalists, Ochoa said. But sports writers can still be relevant in the age of new media because of the discipline of verification that they practice.

“As print journalists, you validate what social media posts,” he said. “Print journalism is not dead. Print journalism as we know it is dying. But the very technology that kills print media is the same technology that keeps it alive.”

Ochoa added that a print journalist’s role should not end with merely verifying what’s in social media.

“You have to stand for something. You have to find an agenda and really fight for it. Once you have decided on what your agenda is, keep this in mind: don’t let your writing get in the way of a good story,” Ochoa said.

A story should not simply be a showcase of one’s writing prowess, but should focus on the subject, he said. “Listen to the little people. Sometimes they have more compelling stories,” he said.

UST journalism professor Felipe Salvosa II (campus paper management), ABS-CBN senior news reporter Willard Cheng, Inquirer art and design director Lynett Villariba, and Kikomachine Komix author Manuel Luis “Manix” Abrera (cartooning) also graced the second day of the fellowship.

Tomorrow, the last day of Inkblots, invited speakers will lecture on online journalism, photojournalism, and opinion writing. There will also be a panel discussion on Catholic journalism and media ethics. The Inkblots closing ceremonies will be capped by a Fellowship Night.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.