More radio reporting bloopers

Fire call in Barangay Baldoza, Lapaz, Iloilo City.

Anchor:  Gina-interrupt naton anay ang ini nga programa para sa isa ka flash report gikan sa aton patrol. Patrol, please come in.

Lady reporter 1: Naga sunod kita subong sa mga firetrucks sang BFP nga madasig nagapadulong sa Barangay Baldoza, Lapaz. Makita na naton subong ang maitom nga kalayo.

Anchor: Maitom nga aso (gently correcting her).

Lady reporter 1: Ay huo gali, maitom ng aso.

Anchor: Kuhaon naton ang report gikan kay Lady Reporter 2. Lady Reporter 2, please come in from your location.

Lady reporter 2: Tama ka dako na gid ang maitom nga kalayo sa sunog nga nagaluntad diri sa Baldoza, Lapaz.

Anchor: Maitom nga aso buot mo silingon (with no sign of exasperation).


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.




Embracing the fear of failure

The fear of failure is what stops most people from pursuing their dreams and achieve success in life.
But I am one of those few who learned to embrace failure. That’s because I learn and grow because of failure. This is a positive attitude that my experiences as a writer, journalist and sports enthusiast have taught me.
As a writer and journalist, rejection was part of the initiation into the craft. No writer has reached far in the profession without his/her share of rejection, of articles and stories landing in the trash can, or copy that comes back with so many editing marks the original is hardly recognizable.
The same is true with sports. I played chess, tennis, basketball competitively in high school and college. No athlete comes close to winning a medal in competitions on a smooth and easy path. Victory is the sweet product of defeat in the early stages of his/her development.

Are bloggers ‘substandard’ journalists?

The sudden departure from the world of blogging by a respected writer for The Atlantic Monthly has raised questions about the relevance of this online platform and whether those engaged in the craft less of journalists than those in print. As a blogger for more than four years now, I disagree with the points made by the writer, Marc Ambinder. Good bloggers endeavor to check and double-check the facts, as credibility is just as important to us. Without credibility, we cannot hope to gain readers.

Maybe the biggest issue is the “personal angle” into every blog post. The bias of a blogger is plain and clear to the reader. But the reader isn’t really unaware of that. People who read blogs want to get perspectives on issues that interests them. And the blog is the best platform to obtain that kind of writing online. In this day and age, it is impractical to be subscribing to different newspapers and magazines just to get variety of opinions. Online journalism — blogs — is the avenue to which readers can explore for this purpose.

Here’s a link to the article that came out on the Poynter Online website: