News-struck in Davao

Reporters breath news like its air for the lungs. In this job, we get paid for asking our sources to explain to the public about what have they.

At times, it sounds quite a relaxing job. You go to this event, you ask questions, you write and you file. After the battle in the newsroom, you get to sip your cup or cups of coffee at your favorite hangout and try to grab a life.

There are times, however, that one could get burnt out. I do. Technically, the job appears to be routinary. You wake up, tune in to the radio, check text inbox and mailboxes for news advisories, cover events, ask for the missing and the gaps, and simplify for the readers by demanding the source to speak digestion. Sometimes, unwittingly, I got to pester or irritate the source with my your credulity and confusion masked as if one indespensible “probing question.”

Don’t get me wrong though. This is a noble job and I swear I tried to handle it with matching nobility.

I have learned to swing with a love-hate view of this job but at the end of the day I think of the public my news agency serves and whether my “publics,” those who risk reading my reports, actually understood reality from what I wrote.

Its not easy to probe beyond what sources tell or show. What are we, fortune tellers or CSI agents armed with cunning craft?

Everytime sources offer their realities, this group of pakialameros intervenors seemed convinced. But we are actually not suppose to dive at anything fed on us. We are suppose to doubt until the source gives no room for doubt.

The goal is to be the public’s watchdog. Tall order, I echoed that.

In a corner I asked a colleague, why us? I mean why me? I could have chosen to apply for that Global Sutherland call center job! I must plead I think I could do the job of that high-paying NGO worker far better (dreaming)! I could choose to sit, listen, and just launch killer smiles to closely befriend these influential sources and use my connection to fatten my calf.

Move over man, your not a dream boy, but a watch dog. You already got your bone so go back to work. Aw-aw! Bark, bark.

Honestly, there are times I could relate to superheroes. Take for example Superman and Spiderman. Is that why they play roles of a journalist and photojournalist in their movies?

You see, this job, and I’m not blaming anyone else, is actually a clash of convictions. That is why a reporter has to stay as independent as possible. Of course not to be isolated as to seeing red to the extent of being out of synch.

In Davao City, premier city of Mindanao, as claimed, reporters swim in oceans of information, opinion, hidden truths, lies, realities, fantasies and even magic.

One has to master as many strokes as possible to get to the other end of the line. Meaning, make sense and stay within sanity zone.

Welcome to Davao City’s news jungle. Facing the mirror, I mouthed this: Don’t wish you were elsewhere yet. This is your jungle Tarzan!


About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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