There are no shortcuts to great journalism: Assistant editor

There are no shortcuts to great journalism: Assistant editor
KEYNOTE speaker Karen Davila.
PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

MAINTAINING accuracy in the content of journalism in the digital age was the focus of "Inkblots 2015," the 17th National Campus Journalism Fellowship held from Dec. 1 to 3.

The event was organised by The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas.

ABS-CBN broadcaster and keynote speaker Karen Davila stressed the importance of accurate information amid the popularity of social media.

"A trained journalist will make sure that information is accurate," Davila said. "People will forget who

got it first but they will remember who got it wrong."

Christian Esguerra, also of ABSCBN and former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, echoed Davila's sentiments. Discussing newswriting, he told participating fellows to be "careful between facts and claims.

There's a difference between news and truth." INQUIRER Sports assistant editor Francis Ochoa, who talked about sports journalism, also discussed how multimedia has changed the landscape of journalism.

But he pointed out that "relevance is about better content, not platforms. There are no shortcuts to great journalism." The session with Ochoa had former UST Growling Tigers players Dylan Ababou, Jeric Teng and Jeric Fortuna in a mock press conference.

Meanwhile, Radio Veritas host Fr. Nick Lalog and Union of Catholic Asia News reporter Joe Torres, talked about Catholic journalism.

"The media must serve as an independent monitor of power," Torres said. "We share in the power of God in communication," said Lalog. "Media is the technique, communication is the person."

Back to basics

Veteran journalist Jairus Bondoc went back to the basics of journalism, journalist, "one has to master the language."

UST Journalism professor Felipe Salvosa II, who also serves as assistant publications adviser of the Varsitarian, stressed on the need for a digital first strategy direction of campus publications.

"The digital first strategy doesn't mean you will abandon print; rather, it is to vastly improve the print edition," he said.

Nestor Cuartero, long-time Tempo entertainment editor, noted in his feature writing lecture how "there is a

growing convergence between news and entertainment," which is the challenge for future journalists.

Cuartero also brought with him actor Enchong Dee for a mock press conference.

Comics artist Manix Abrera's lecture on cartooning emphasised the importance of storytelling.

"When you create comics, always think that this is a storytelling tool and the story you are making is very important," he said.

ABS-CBN multimedia news deputy "foundation of basics that help in adapting to the digital era."

Meanwhile, Palanca Awards recipient Eros Atalia posed this thought-provoking question in his talk on Philippine journalism: "Isn't the purpose of newspapers to reveal the truth and to educate the masse (Hindi ba tungkulin ng dyaryo ang maglantad ng katotohanan, mag-educate ng mamamayan at itaas ang kamalayan?)?"

The lectures drew participants from high schools, colleges and universities across the country.

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