I was always asked by many why I did not get English as my field of specialization rather than Biological Science. They assert that English is of great help especially in campus journalism where I am into. At first, I am mum about it until one day I proved them wrong. Biology, the science of life, also helps me in my journalistic adventures.
During my Microbiology class, our professor introduced to us the culture media which he defined as the nutrient substances that are used to cultivate microorganisms. Upon learning about it, I myself contemplated and thought that if Science has a culture media, then Journalism shall also have one.
Campus journalists like me uphold responsibility thru unbiased and impartial reporting- not prejudiced and unfounded. Being in the field is not that easy, I am under scrutiny of innumerable eyes and countless ears inside, outside and around the university. I would receive variety of reactions-some compliments, bad feedbacks and worst… hysterical reactions, which I find very ridiculous! I always love criticisms, both constructive and destructive especially about my write-ups. With the freedom of expression I have, I always make sure that I write in the interest of my readers and not of my personal aggrandizement. I have always been telling my colleagues that we are not writing to impress but to express what we feel with a given limitation.
Thus, culture media is very indispensable that every campus journalist should adhere to. Culture media here would refer to the culture that media should portray toward a responsible press and accountable reporting. This culture media shall be constituted with the five vital cultures that a campus journalist should cultivate upon himself – the culture of responsibility, culture of credibility, culture of humanity, culture of accuracy and culture of fairness.
I know that everyone is aware of the tragic nightmare that transpired in the heart of our nation last August 23 just this year when a former Manila police officer hijacked a tourist bus in an outrageous attempt to reinstate him in the government service. The horrible-quite-hilarious scene, which left eight foreign tourists and the hostage-taker dead, was witnessed in the four corners of the globe through our local media.
Personally, I felt terribly ashamed of this bus siege debacle which ran for 11 hours; it seems that it’s a drama in the television as local media covers it live. Yes, I would conform that the media committed feckless reporting and irresponsible coverage on this heartrending crisis. But the media should not solely be blamed on this bus carnage for I strongly deem that media just carried out their responsibility to give the important updates for the people .
Divergently speaking, the culture media is very necessary especially in this situation. A journalist should have the culture of responsibility which means that journalist should think if reporting such situation would help in the resolution of the problem or would just aggravate the situation. The culture of credibility which illustrates one’s trustworthiness in delivering the facts to the public. The culture of humanity or the significance of the news in promoting peace and unity and fostering brotherhood among the people. The culture of accuracy or giving precise data for public’s information. And the culture of fairness which ensures the objectivity of the report being conveyed.
This article was published in the Divergent Column of the author in the Technoscribe, the official student publication of Ramon Magsaysay Technological University – San Marcelino Campus, San Marcelino, Zambales, Vol. XII No. 1 issue (June – October 2010).