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Archive for May 2014

I found this entry from an old blog of mine when I was looking for inspiration to pick up blogging again. I still find it relevant to my life, especially that I am an online journalist who lives in a much faster news cycle.



i’m taking a cue from 5 things you should know when dating a journalist. (which is a little too arrogant for my taste. no wonder the author is still single).

here is my version, philippine context.

1. we’re perpetually poor. we cannot take you to fancy restaurants—unless we have gift checks. since we’re poor, expect us to to go dutch.

2. we drop everything when our desks a.k.a editors call to do some breaking stories.

3. we are forever tethered to our laptops and cellphones because of item number 2 above. no, it’s not because we’re having an affair or we have another boyfriend in another city or building. it’s just when the mother ship calls, we have to answer. live with it.

one classic example was our colleague who lost everything to tropical storm ‘ondoy’ last year. the only ones she was able to save were her children, the shirts on their backs, her cellphone and laptop.

4. we are not part of the philippines as we are not covered by regular, special or any other holidays. sometimes long weekends as a result of public holidays being moved to monday or friday mean more work for us.

5. we have irregular working hours. sometimes we can work at home but sometimes we can log in 14-hour day workdays. deal with it.

6. we wake up at 9 am (if we really want to be sprite and early) because of item number 5 above. so don’t call us in the morning. we’re not half-human before 9 am.

7. we just love our coffee. some of us run on caffeine because long press conferences and senate hearings make us sleepy. just look at the roster of senate front-runners: bong, jinggoy, lito lapid…

8. we’re assholes and bitches by nature (the degree varies from one journalist and news organization to another) because we have to be. i haven’t met any shrinking violet journalist or if ever there was one, she/he would have been out of the business within a year. we deal with some of the country’s most powerful, famous/infamous, richest and brightest/dumbest. we have to be tougher so that we can talk to them at eye level. if you can’t take that, then i’m sorry we are not for each other. move on.

9. we may sound like we are name-dropping on purpose when we talk about our day-to-day affairs with you. some of us do but most of the time we barely notice that we already sound like arrogant fools. but no, that’s life for us.

10. we lead interesting lives. that’s one aspect that attracted you to us. we are interesting. we must be knowledgeable about so many things so that we can write about anything—even if we really don’t know anything at all. we like to bluff our way out of any article or situation.

11. and we lead dangerous lives. and most of the time we live for it. as one older colleague said, “yey may libel [case] na ako! i’m made!” talk about being twisted.

12. we’re grammar nazis/snobs. even if some of us are grammatically flawed.

13. we always carry big bags. especially women journalists. we have to have our: digital recorders, digital cameras, notebooks, tons of pens, laptops, 2 cellphones and/or wireless landline, chargers for all of our gadgets—on top of our regular stuff like kikay kits and whatnot.

14. we like gossip. we like to gossip. that’s how we get our leads.

15. we work hard, we party hard. we like our beer. and karaoke. if you can’t dig it, then we are not meant for each other.

16. we are jaded. the greatest cynics of this country.

17. we like interviewing our dates. that’s how we get our information. if we cannot pry it out of you, then we talk to different people who orbit you or those people who may even just be remotely related or known to you. that’s how we operate. if you can’t take the hot seat, then get out. but that’s a shame—that means we really like you.

18. we always have deadlines. sometimes deadlines come first before you do. because deadlines can really kill us. our editors are nasty beasts, especially when they haven’t had their coffees. we’re talking, walking time bombs.

19. we easily get bored. if you’re an uninteresting person, then good luck, we won’t be seeing you ever again!

20. we’re hard to pin down. we cannot exactly tell you where we would be at 2 pm because we might be a) doing an ambush interview and God knows where that would be; b) we may be chasing a story and God knows where that would lead us; c) unless there is a press conference scheduled at that time, we cannot tell you exactly what we would be doing then.


life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
May 2014
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