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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Manila Standard: No frills, no spins

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It was not so long ago when this writer was still tinkering with some random stuff at home, until a lightning bolt struck this guy’s subconciousness in the form of a broadsheet. 

The year was 2007. The very first iPhone, that had forever changed the way we look at our mobile phones was launched into life. Facebook had already gained a foothold competition. Nokia was still the undisputed global cellphone maker. Baggy pants were at least still a thing, and most of all, life’s simplicity still reigned supreme above all complexities. Welcome???

I was still a Grade 3 student at that time at the Don Bosco Makati, figuring out what I was doing with my life. I was still in a tussle with a pad paper, a Mongol pencil and spelling class when my grandfather, oozing with sidereal erudition, approached me and obliged me to stop reading tabloid newspapers and start rewiring my brain cells to broadsheets. He personally believes that some tabloids would serve news that is not going to be beneficial to the everyday life of Juan. He strongly believes in the principle of delivering the news brief and concise, direct to the point. By and large, he advocates for back-to-the-basics journalism. One that is pleasant, fair and objective. That’s where THE Manila Standard kicked in.

Each afternoon, after he (my grandpa) would play a series of Rock n’ Roll classics and a bit of Frank Sinatra, a bit of Elvis Presley, a bit of The Beatles, a bit of Tom Jones, he would make sure before he teaches me my very first “guerrilla” journalism class, I would have Yakult and Ensaymada on the dining table. And then off we go,  with my grandfather transforming into a mentor. He would oblige me to read two broadsheets a day and then would require me to write a summary on how I understood the news stories that piqued my interest, so it was postulate that we were like having a book report. 

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The very first headline I remember was about the Glorietta blast. Imagine a 10-year old kid venturing into making a habit of reading the newspapers daily. That was a larger-than-life kind of news for me. Woooooaaaaah! I can unequivocally tell that, that news story shocked my innocent mind to the core. Thanks to the Manila Standard’s reportage, I fathomed the news in a clairvoyant manner. It had sparked the cynic, pragmatic me (actually, up to the present time) wherein during that time, had the zeal to ask questions, to be “makulit,” that a usual 10-year old kid wouldn’t ask, like for instance – “Will the mall owners file a petition at the CA? What will happen if the court denies it? How about the insurance claims policy?” And that would pave the way for me to research further for cross validation of the said news story.

This newspaper has shaped me into how I view and treat the news today. “No frills, no spins. News you need for the day.” That’s what this newspaper stands for in my personal point of view. I consider this paper as the tool to understand the business of news further and as a “stepping stone” in why I chose to take up Communication Arts in college. Contrast to what some people believe, nope, it isn’t true that millennials don’t read the papers anymore, there are still some people, who still love flipping the pages from that greasy physical copy of the morning paper.

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