IN CEBU, the phantom onslaught of fear brought about by the new coronavirus has changed the game for local journalism. Despite the ghost punches that the disease has been delivering to the local media’s financial physique, several journalists continue to gather the truth, and deliver stories to inform and guide the public.
There were errors in reporting in the past weeks, collecting trophies of criticisms. But good newsrooms, with their flawed human machinery, always try their best to correct the errors and get the facts right.
A good newsroom is no Pontius Pilate. (Sometimes, the errors were from the sources. But journalists are virtual punching bags, always ready to absorb the blows like the Panamanian brawler Roberto Duran.) While some newsroom personnel are now working from their homes, there are journalists—reporters and videojournalists for television news, and photojournalists—who still go out and gather stories. They are on the frontlines of newsgathering; without them, television news and newspapers would be devoid of images of the pandemic on this side of the world. There is no Pulitzer Prize for them here. However, the courage of the frontliners of community journalism outweighs any medal. (By Dylan Pablo Eluardo)