Sorry not sorry


dilettanteBEING the custodian of the Varsitarian’s online platforms allows me to monitor the reactions of our readers, which include negative criticism. As such, it has become easy for me to accept that we cannot please everyone with the work we do. But what I find appalling are the baseless and vicious remarks about the publication each time it reports about licensure exams.

Last Oct. 7, when the Varsitarian broke the news on Twitter that UST was named third top-performing school in the mechanical engineering licensure exam, with an improved 92-percent passing, there was a flood online of congratulatory greetings for the passers and for UST’s mechanical engineering program.

But there were a few who made it an opportunity to take a swipe at the publication. One Twitter user posted a screengrab of the official results and said, “Hindi na tayo tatrash-talkin ng Varsitarian.”

The Twitter user must be referring to the article, “UST Posts Lower Passing Rate in Mechanical Eng’g Board Exams,” published in October 2015. It reported that UST’s 63.21 percent passing rate was lower compared with the 2014’s 92.03 percent passing rate.

Every time we publish an article about a decline in UST’s score in the board exams, we are met with the same accusations of being inconsiderate campus journalists.

“Parati silang (Varsitarian) gumagawa ng headlines na palait kapag hindi maganda results ng board exams. Hindi lang sa [engineering],” another Twitter user said.

Someone even suggested that Varsitarian staff members “shut up” since they do not take board exams.

These reactions are understandable considering that Filipinos are known to be very sensitive. But they should also understand that the Varsitarian merely reports the official figures from the Professional Regulations Commission and other official examiner boards. And its reports are almost always comparative—they compare the present performance with previous performances.

What the Varsitarian does is simply get the information and report with comparative analysis. Some articles include interviews with deans and program coordinators to provide more insights about the results.

Definitely the Varsiarian does not report purposely to cast UST in a bad light.

In any case it is always a struggle for campus journalists to report about something that would put UST in bad light. It is the same heart-wrenching feeling the Varsitarian staff gets when it reports our athletes’ losses in the UAAP. Because before we are Varsitarian staff members, we are first and foremost Thomasians.

We, too, take pride in the achievements of UST and are crushed when it delivers comparatively not as well.

But each time we take on reporting duties, we are forced to draw a line and uphold impartiality. As campus journalists, our duty is to deliver only the facts and not to stoke the ego of onion-skinned Thomasians.


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