Associated Press Manila chief correspondent Jim Gomez delivers a testimonial during the 'Valik-Varsi' Grand Alumni Homecoming marking the 95th anniversary of The Varsitarian on Jan. 14, 2023.

Associated Press Manila chief correspondent Jim Gomez urged the Varsitarian to help make UST a “dead end for fake news” as the publication celebrated its 95th anniversary with a grand alumni homecoming on Jan. 14.

In his testimony during the “Valik-Varsi” grand alumni homecoming attended by some of the country’s most notable journalists and writers, Gomez said campus journalists must make factual reporting their “weapons” in the fight against fake news, misinformation, and disinformation.

“I know they (Varsitarian staffers) are already fighting a battle against disinformation, pero let’s make a dead end for fake news. Walang fake news sa UST! Let’s slay this monster with the power of facts,” he said.

Gomez asked the current set of Varsitarian staffers to pledge to consciously combat fake news in the University by “getting serious” with their responsibilities as campus journalists.

“Kami pa-retire na. Some of us retired. So, we’d like to get commitment from the current Varsitarian staff, [and] UST as a whole, a passion, a beacon, and a beachhead in the battle against disinformation,” he said.

An Arts and Letters alumnus, Gomez was a Varsitarian news writer from 1984 to 1985.

He was on the inaugural staff of the Philippine Daily Inquirer before moving to the Japanese news agency Jiji Press. He has been working for the Associate Press since 1996.

Other prominent Varsitarian alumni who attended the event included former UST rector and Commission on Higher Education chair Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., communications scholar Crispin Maslog, former Sen. Francisco Tatad, award-winning fictionist-essayist Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, renowned artist Remedios Boquiren, Manila Bulletin columnist Nestor Cuartero, award-winning poet Vim Nadera, former presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas, BizNewsAsia Publisher Tony Lopez, and musician and broadcast personality Lourd de Veyra. Alexandra L. Mangasar


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