Coping with the new forms of journalism

On blogs, cable news and radio, they take aim at the print.  They provide people with social media tools to gauge the trustworthiness of specific news outlets and individual stories, with less genteel intentions.  Why wouldn’t they? As one wag said, newspapering has always been a boisterous, brawling affair.

I write all the time, it’s a metabolic necessity for me. I love it, as it is more fun than anything.  It is a tactile, physical pleasure.  I am not one of those who despairs about the printed word. They are the primary carriers of ideas, and I write when I get impatient, depressed, or overjoyed.

I write with a stylus pen on a yellow tablet in my room, on airplanes, beauty parlors — anywhere. There is the itch to write and I would explode if I couldn’t scribble.

I have practiced target shooting with Ramon Tulfo, fainted inside the death chamber, walked all over a thousand corpses at the Ormoc City flood tragedy, ran around with the intrepid photographer Edong Reyes between hails of gunfire in the bloodiest coup de etat during President Cory Aquino’s reign, told off by a Prince and had tucked to bed a super playboy celebrity.  This is my job.

News magazines here is a serious industry, catering to the needs of a public that wants to be told what’s new, what they should know about.  To cater that need, I did not do justice to that reality, because no matter what happens  during an interview, once it ends, I can’t think of any other loyalty other than the pressure of an immediate deadline.  The style and tone of the editor and between circulation figures and advertising revenue, somewhere the subject is lost.

I’ve always searched for the truth or essence behind each person, story or experience. Ironically, sometimes it will come from something I’d previously ignored: an uncomfortable silence, a small misunderstanding.  Some scattered thoughts that had been compressed into a sound bite or the dramatic I’ve chosen to ignore.

We spent time working on our stories, but actually, it is the waiting for just one moment of truth or authenticity.  After all, you can tell a lot about a person or experience in a minute. But how can one choose the right minute?

I write at home, in bed, even as everyone tells me I am going to ruin the bed.  My two small grandchildren would crawl on the bed, run around and put their arms around my neck. I had to have that!

With my pointer I’ve learned to point and peck on my Ipad.  I don’t know how to use the keys so I just poke and poke. But what is  certain as the sun, this is what I will do  the rest of my life!

Yet, for all my projection of confidence, (through sheer will) your Moonlighter confronts the future with fragility.

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E-mail Mylah at moonlightingmdl@aol.com

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