UNLESS you're a Mass Communication or Journalism graduate, you might have not thought of venturing into working as a media personality. Some say it's a dangerous job, while others say it's too tiring and difficult.
But for people who have chosen this field and have entirely embraced the everyday grind of being a reporter, it's a surprise to see them every day with new learning, lurking somewhere at the corner.
Below is a rough schedule of what a reporter's day might look like -- how it starts and how it usually ends, particularly that of a SunStar Davao reporter as it may not be the same for everyone.
When people ask, “What time do you report to work?” We usually do not know exactly how to answer because the truth is that we don't have a specific time in. We are "on-call" 24/7, which means our report to work would depend on what time a press conference is called or a big event for coverage broke out, what time President Duterte arrives, or what time the interview with a specific source is.
Press conferences usually start at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Depending on the reporters' respective beat, they are distributed to different press conferences wherein authorized people and personalities are to give statements on certain issues and events.
It is important to note that the reporter had done background study or a quick Google search on the topic at hand to avoid getting lost while the discussion is ongoing. It is equally important as well that they bring with them a recording instrument.
But the reporter's best friends are a notebook and a good pen. Even when you have recorded everything, it is still very useful that you have jotted down what you think you need when writing your story.
Press conferences usually end by lunchtime. Ambush interviews are being done especially if there are questions that might be too awkward or answers that are too lengthy to answer upfront at the presscon.
Around lunch time, reporters rush back to the office. There’s no time to waste for the clock is ticking. A good 10 to 15-minute lunch will do.
In a day, reporters are required two or three news articles and they are to finish writing before 3 p.m. From lunchtime until the middle of the afternoon, the office is quiet except for the busy, angry tapping of fingers on the keyboard trying to weave stories out of the earlier coverage.
On lucky days (which is almost every other day), an officemate celebrates his/her birthday, a private company sends out their thank yous, or someone brought in some food to share from their late coverage. In spite of the busy fingers, tapping immediately stops when someone says, “Mangaon ‘ta ninyo! (Let’s eat)”
It’s always a joking matter that SunStar Davao reporters are very much in love with food and no articles pleading to be written could ever stop them when food has arrived.
But still, after getting (or fighting for) their share, reporters are back on their desks to write again and the busy tapping resumes.
Coverages do not only happen in the mornings. They are also sometimes scheduled in the afternoon that is why reporters should be very fast in writing their stories to avoid being late for afternoon events.
It’s not always all serious work. Aside from having a deeper understanding on the issues at hand, reporters are given the chance to make friends, see, and talk to their co-reporters from other publications, radio, or television media. Davao media friends will always make the coverage more fun, no matter how serious it gets.
If lucky, and Mayor Sara Duterte or President Duterte is not in town to call the reporters for coverage at the middle of the night, the reporter’s schedule ends up as early as half past six. This is where personal time comes in.
This is where they have the freedom to go to a gym, meet non-media friends, or to go home and sleep to gain more energy for the next day's grind once again.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on September 08, 2017.
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