Cabaero: Joys of journalism

Beyond 30

KEEP those things that bring you joy. This is the line that made famous Marie Kondo, author of “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.”

But to know what to discard and what to keep, you should know how and why a thing is of value or what it is that you do that gives you joy.

To mark the start of Cebu Press Freedom Week 2019, let me enumerate what sparks joy in today’s journalism. Let this be a reminder of why we do what we do and an invitation for others to join media.

Being a journalist means being where the action is. You have to show up, you have to be there. In the process, a reporter learns skills unheard of in other professions. He or she reads confidential documents upside down as it is placed on a government official’s table or goes down a long stairway backward while interviewing a news source going down the steps. Rides a helicopter, goes to the mountain, crosses seas to witness history on the run.

Be Jack or Jane of all trades. An editor tells a reporter to understand an issue or an event to be able to write the news. Whether writing about power rates and supply, jeepney or taxi fares, saltwater intrusion and financial scams, a reporter should do research, ask questions, understand to be able to inform others. Journalists take complex matters and translate them into the familiar for a mass audience.

Ask questions of decision-makers, public officials and prominent figures. Dedicate yourself to the facts. Know when a government official is guessing or lying. The public does not have the same ability to demand answers from those in power so they rely on the press to monitor government, represent them and pose those questions.

Play and experiment. Media today are technology-driven and multi-platform to remain relevant to a mobile-first audience. With fast-paced innovation (and plenty of hyphens), the production and distribution of news go beyond the traditional. Newspaper companies are growing their digital strengths and television networks are tapping the internet for its benefits and reach. College graduates and those who grew up with gadgets and the internet can find in journalism a new playground.

Get training and learn more. Training institutions and universities, including Harvard University, grant journalists learning opportunities to update skills and expand networks.

These are among the facets of journalism that spark joy in practitioners, that make them stay, that inspire them to continue to do what they do. Young professionals are invited to join the fun.

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The fiesta mass in Cebu for the Our Lady of Peñafrancia, patroness of Bicol, will be held today, Sunday, Sept. 15, at 5:30 p.m. Venue is the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish-Capitol, N. Escario St., Cebu City. Fiesta activities were organized by the Bicol Association of Cebu Inc.


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