Journalism and technology


I feel a deep sense of contentment as I sip a scaldingly hot cup of instant coffee this morning, a Sunday.
I have just finished my column for The Daily Guardian-Western Visayasfor tomorrow and submitted it by email.
I am “back in the groove” as a full-time journalist.
Often, I look back to my early days as a journalist and find amusement in comparing the tools of the trade.
Back in the 80s, I pounded out my stories on a manual typewriter, consuming reams and reams of bond paper every year. I was the type of writer who didn’t like to see many corrections, which are typed-over with x’s. I would often rip out the bond paper on the typewriter and replace it with a fresh blank page until I am satisfied with the copy (the technical journalism term for news story).
The first time I had my hands on a personal computer was sometime in 1985. My friend Joseph Marie Maravilla Alba ran a computer training school near our editorial office in the Yuhum Bldg. and he allowed me to write my columns and editorials on a PC/XT. It had a green monochrome monitor with RAM of only 64KB! Files had to be saved on 5 and 1/4″ floppy disks.
Writing became a totally different experience when I started using a computer. Not having to type-over with x’s the errors was a liberating experience for me. It allowed me to concentrate on the thinking part of the writing, not the mechanical act of typing.
In 1991, my mom Linda Mejorada gave me a Tandy laptop computer from RadioShack as Christmas gift when I visited her in New Jersey. I felt I was in heaven. It had an LCD screen and 256-kb RAM. The files were stored in a smaller but bigger capacity 3.5″ floppy disks. Battery life was only 2 hours. I was so proud to own that.
After that, computer technology spun so fast that laptop models became obsolete in less than a year. I haven’t been without a laptop ever since.
In the late 90s, Palm rolled out its PDAs with handwriting recognition. For almost a decade, I was hooked to the brand, changing models as often as they came out in the market. I switched to Blackberry about seven years ago because I needed the push-technology for email.
I had been a Windows guy until three years ago when Rommel Ynionintroduced me to Apple. He gave me an Apple Mac Air and iPad (which was followed by a MacBook Pro). Now my loyalties are divided. I switch back and forth between my Windows gadgets and my IOS gadgets (I’m writing this on an Apple Mac Book Pro).
I dumped Blackberry last year after it failed to keep up with the advances made by Android devices. Sometime in October 2013, Samsung came out with its Note 3, and Smart offered it under a postpaid plan. Mine had just expired and I was persuaded to try the Note 3.
That switch to Samsung was one of those giant leaps for me in picking gadgets for the trade. It put me connected to the Internet 24/7 and provided almost every tool I needed as a journalist. It has a great camera. I am enamored with its S-pen technology for my notes.
At this point, I feel I have more than adequate in terms of technology needs. But those engineers at the computer and smart phone companies aren’t getting tired of making innovations and introducing new technology. 
In the end, being a journalist isn’t really about technology. These gadgets won’t make you a good writer. They do make life easier though.

 

 
 

 

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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