#PressWithBenefits

In line with our internship program, PIA-Cordillera asked us to go to the Journalism Seminar held at the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) AVR at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Baguio City. I and 13 of my fellow interns attended the said event, and thankfully we did because it was a once in a lifetime experience. We were supposed to have a class today for Journalism 109 (Laws on Mass Media) but our instructor cancelled it yesterday, so there we were, in a whole day seminar together with friends from Mining corporations’ info officers and other interns from other media outfits. SICE and BCBC members were also there in the event.

The said event was composed of 7 segments, each having a designated speaker from various media outfits in Baguio City. The first lecture was from Sir Sly Quintos of Baguio Chronicle. He lectured about the basics of newswriting: its elements, types, parts, and news gathering as well. Also, he gave us a brief discussion of Writer’s block and what causes it. He also shared with his companions when it comes to writing, and he also gave usa brief and interesting lecture about politically-correct words.

Ms. May Anne Cacdac of Sun.Star Baguio followed after and talked about Feature Writing. She discussed what feature writing really is and how to differentiate it from advice columns. She also imparted her experiences regarding writing. She also taught us how to write a feature story and substantiate it. Questions were asked at the end of her talk and when she was asked regarding the use of some words that may not be understood by others, she told us that we also have to give writers an ‘artistic license’ in terms of writing.

The Sportswriting lecture came next with Sir Roderick Osis of Sun.Star Baguio as well discussed how sports article is made. He mentioned that some people may consider it as one of the hardest topics to write about but with thorough practice, one can definitely say that it may be the easiest writing assignment one could write about. He emphasized that to have a good article, one must be fair in reporting, just like in news. Also, he mentioned sports lingo, which might be deceptive but through careful analysis and practice it will improve along the way. He also taught us how to write a sports lead and how to structure the body of the article.

Facebook Advocacy and Iphone Photography came next after lunch. For Facebook Advocacy, the speaker taught us how Facebook has helped promote advocacy and become an agent of change, especially for the people of Baguio. Different movements were made successful through online advocacies and it’s also becoming a trend these days. Different opinions were heard regarding whether Mining Corporations should consider Facebook as a platform to voice out their statements and their explanations that Mining has in fact helped people because they were ‘scared’ of the consequences they might face online. Ms. Pryce Quintos of PIA suggested that they ‘kill that fear’ instead and use social media to voice out their side because that’s where the masses are found and reached. 

In the iPhone Photography lecture, we were taught about the basics and wonders of photography using smart phones. Several participants showed the photographs they took and the speaker gave them pieces of advice on how to improve it. Also, he showed us how we can use our smartphones to capture images and tell a story for journalistic purposes.

Richard Balonglong, a photojournalist and correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer taught us regarding Videography. He showed us the basics of using video editors and some of his works as well. Audiences were amused as he lectured regarding composition and lighting in photography and videography as well, and samples of his work which were really eye-catching. One thing we learned from him that we should plan our ideas carefully beforehand and it takes patience and courage to get the results we want to get. 

Lastly, regarding New Media, Pryce Quintos of PIA-Cordillera discussed ‘Twitter Journalism’ as a new trend in social media. She first discussed what Twitter is and what it is composed of, and also how it works. She also discussed ‘live tweeting’ or ‘tweeting as it happens’ as a form of journalism. She mentions that Twitter is a ‘virtual notebook’ and that in just a tweet, one can inform a lot of people in 140 characters or less. She also gave us tips on do’s and dont’s in tweeting, as well as the purposes of hashtags to create a community. She also asked us to create a hashtag to be used for the seminar and our group won. Actually I had that idea but I didn’t want to share it to them because I don’t think it’s witty enough and not all people can understand the pun I intended. Anyway, the hashtag was #PressWithBenefits. 

The seminar was overflowing with Journalism discussions from the conventional newswriting up to the emerging form of Journalism in Social Media. It was a very interesting seminar and I hope we could attend more. Thank you to DENR, SICE, and BCBC for that wonderful event, we learned so much and we hope we were also able to impart our knowledge to you guys as well. 😉

 

Writing dilemma

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It is officially my semestral break and I am officially alive again after I was killed momentarily by that horrendous thing called first semester. I can’t even believe I survived. I can’t even believe I’m alive. Kidding aside, I loved every single one of my professors this semester. I have 2 instructors for 4 of my subjects and they were really, really good. I mean they didn’t have to be terror to make me study the lectures. I believe that my diligence is directly proportional to kind instructors. Aside from these irrelevant things I’m saying, I am now going to reveal my problem for this semester and I guess for the next semesters to come.

(Take time to admire the photo I posted above, come on)

You see, I’m a Journalism student, so technically, I have Journalism subjects. On one of my subjects called J102: Newswriting, we are obviously tasked to write news article per beats. Yes I was able to accomplish those writing assignments, yes I got good grades, but for me it just doesn’t stop there. I want to improve my writing skills (or if I do not have the ‘writing skills’, I wanna have one).

I think I have problems with my writing style. Honestly, if I were the reader, I’d be bored and opt to die instead. No actually I was exaggerating. I have very minor problems on grammar, but I don’t like the way I write. It’s just like I don’t feel anything about my article. It’s just like that — a plain old article.

This problem stems from what I was always told before I even took my majors. Be objective. I write objectively that it comes to the point wherein everything I tell becomes boring. I know my intention is to write news, not to mind other people’s feelings, but sometimes I feel that you should, without the expense of sensationalism.

So this semestral break, I’m going to study or learn everything I can in order to improve my writing abilities. Aside from watching Breaking Bad, I think I should start improving because this is my course. No matter how much I force my parents to transfer me to another school, I guess I’d have to stick with this course.

Which makes me a little sad because I want to shift to Marketing/Advertising.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Journalism. But it’s just that it upsets me every time I try to write a news article, I end up feeling like a student version of a plant.

I’m getting all the help I could get from the net, books, and other bloggers.

I wish I could still improve. I should. Next subject I’m going to take up would be Comm 199: Communication Research. I’d be dead if I don’t improve. So dead.

There’s no ‘I’ in trust, but there’s ‘I’ in believe… as well as in shit.

Just a few weeks ago, my brain was busy performing death-defying stunts by searching for lost words and lost concentration for my papers in my Journalism 101 class. Believe me, I had writer’s block since I had to do papers for a subject this semester. I literally ran out of words to use and essay formats to begin with and so the effect was, I was unable to produce a good outcome. I don’t consider doing my articles the night before the deadline as cramming, and in fact, I, a professional crammer, believe that cramming produces better outcomes. If I may say so.

We had to do 4 major papers for the class: 1 news writing, 1 campus news writing, 1 feature writing (includes proofreading), and 1 personality profile, (which includes the layouting).

If it seems easy to all of you, then… okay. I might just be the dumbest person alive.

It was freaking hard! We had to conduct a survey which tested our confidence and alertness while interviewing random people. It also tested patience (when people don’t want to be interviewed huhuhu ) or (when people divert the topic to a whole new world of irrelevance). I admit, I was on the verge of thinking if I really was meant for this course.

I just did what I had to, but to my surprise, I got a good score. Although my draft had a better score than my edited work (how can I be so stupid?), it turns out, I think I’m good to go.

Not before we had to do another news-writing exercise. This time, no more drafts. I was kinda hopeless while I was doing the article because I was panicking that I may have the same article with my other classmate because I am a freak and I like excessive freaking. Turns out I did well. Praise the Lord, and the other gods and goddesses who supported me with this article. ☺☺☺

The next article we had to submit was a feature article. This challenged me so much because I wasn’t able to accumulate information from first hand accounts, which led me to consulting the internet to whatever info I might be able to get. It was a great miracle to find a website containing their info, and I expounded on them through my article. I thought that I might get a poor score with this because honestly, I don’t have a wide range of vocabulary for me to consult from. I’m not a fan of flowery words, and I only use simple words that are really simple that even a kindergarten student might make fun of me. Aside from that, I was late for class and the deadline was 7:15 am sharp. And in that moment, I swear I was dead. Holy shit. I woke up at 8 am that day, to think that I had to pass my edited article by 7 am. I was never late for a class. And no, I was never a delinquent student. I never planned to be absent for a subject. I never planned not to submit an article. I was your goody-goody student. But then, fuck bad luck. Fuck bad luck that I edited my article beforehand, yet I forgot to mention the things needed to include with the article. Shit, I said. Hoping that my instructor would not shout at me in front of my classmates, I carefully walked through the room and apologized for submitting late. Good thing, she wasn’t mad. Or maybe she knew I hadn’t taken a bath yet. Lol.

But then, I got a good score. Not that high, but better from what I expected. So much better. To think that I submitted late, that I fucked up while interviewing, wasn’t able to capture a decent photo for my article, and the worst photo caption dumbest error committed by yours truly, I barely even had the hopes of myself getting a 3.0 for this course.

The last article was a personality profile. I lost all hope I had for being a professional student because I had an on the spot interview for my subject. So the story goes like this: I had set an interview we both agreed upon the week after I gave him my request letter. I asked him if I could take a photo of him teaching inside the combative room. He agreed, and I appeared. LATE. No, there wasn’t a scheduled time but I wanted to capture shots while he’s already teaching, so that there’d be no awkward moments. Turns out it was their last day, and they were already leaving when I arrived. So instead, I just took some photos of them while taking the exams. I’m such a fool.

And then dun dun dun dun, my interviewee asked if I could do the interview after his class. Without thinking twice, I said yes. Without even thinking. I didn’t have my questions with me, nor my recorder was charged, and everything was a disaster, I thought to myself. I had to do it, so that I’d have time for myself to edit my work. It turned out okay, because my questions weren’t sourced from the net, but from what he was telling me. By his answers, I was able to formulate a question, without having to skip topics and return after.

While I was doing my article, I admit I had a very, very, very, hard time. I couldn’t think of how to elaborate the facts I got from my interviewee. I was afraid I might not be able to produce a good article. I was MORE AFRAID that I might not get my facts explained in 3 pages-maximum.

In the end, I got a high grade, really. Hahahahaha I can’t believe my luck!

So what’s my point, you ask?

Nothing, I just had to blog something I’m happy and proud of. 🙂

But really, there’s no ‘I’ in trust. I had trust issues since college and I never really trust anyone or anything since then. (except with that april fools google nose shit. I trusted you, google!!!) What’s nice is that there’s an ‘I’ in believe. As long as you believe in yourself that something might turn out well amidst all these circumstances, there’s hope. Sure, you don’t trust yourself that much because of the past decisions you made that you now regret, but there’s no harm in trying. Sure, there are lots of shit in the world, but don’t let them get in your way. Don’t let the shits you’ve accumulated control your life. The problems will vanish by itself, we don’t need to bury them inside our hearts.

So when you think you don’t have the guts to excel in your chosen field, think again. In one way or another, you will.

Journalistic Tendencies

I remember in our Humanities class, our instructor asked if there were bloggers in the class. I raised my hand, and he asked what blogging platform do I use. He was surprised that I’ve tried almost everything — from Friendster to Multiply, to Livejournal, to WordPress, to Tumblr, and back to WordPress again. The main blog I use is Tumblr, but that’s just full of personal shits and I want to recreate something new, without having to be too formal, and without having to be too informal too. I chose WordPress over all those platforms because of its minimalist aspects and I just have different feels over different platforms. I want to improve my writing skills, because I’m a Journalism major after all. I need to practice so that I would not make a fool out of myself  during news and feature writing exercises.

I’d also like to practice photojournalism and online journalism because they would help me so much in my future career. I admit I’m no good when it comes to writing. When I was in highschool, I’ve always thought of being able to write just depends on your emotional feels, but when I entered the terrifying collegiate world, I learned that there are many factors to consider when writing. I’m actually taking up Journalism 101 and I think I’m doing okay except for the fact that sometimes my brain only functions at lunch so the quiz scores I get are pretty much unacceptable. Haha! But I think I’m doing fine with my writing exercises for news as of this moment. 🙂

I admit I’m not good with accepting compliments and constructive criticisms. But I’ll appreciate if you take the time to read my posts and comment on some aspects (grammar, style of writing, punctuation misuse, wtf-are-you-writing-about kind of topics, irrelevant sentences, newly invented phrases, are-you-an-alien kind of writing, and other whatnots).

If that’s the case, I’m going to thank you for making me improve in writing by doing so. You are all much appreciated.