Simply put, 2010 was the year this blog boomed.
The were simply sidebars to the year’s big stories, as seen from the front lines, and told online. With great help from the still-growing social media, they’ve reached a larger audience.
It was the year PinoyJourn gained its identity as a back-story blog. And what stories to tell, especially from the provinces.
Revisit this blog’s most-visited 2010 posts and relive a bunch of firsts–both for this writer and for this country.
It’s been an interesting ride for media, too. The way we gather and deliver news continues to change, and more so has the content matured. We said good-bye to a number of industry hallmarks. We’ve also seen how trivial or frenzied the field can be.
The most-read post stands out. Incidentally my first for 2010, its hits remind me of the many more readers this blog can reach. Also, of the other stories–beyond news coverage–I can strive to tell.
It gets better this 2011.
1. Inspiration in a tragic city
– Funny, a lot of people search online for guillotines. After “A Tale of Two Cities,” I’ve slowed down on reading new books until I could write about them. Lance Catedral’s short and sweet read reviews tell me it can happen.
2. August to August: A first year of firsts
– Again shows what online snooping can do. Few noticed the post until a friend and colleague figured in showbiz gossip. Many still search for her name and land here. Her career, meanwhile, continues to rise.
3. Covering the Webb release:
· Awaiting freedom, awaiting justice
· In Bilibid, BF: A wait ends, a wait goes on
– No missing the supposed climax to the “case of the decade.” In the most extreme blast from the past of 2010, we ’90s babies reencountered the real-life drama that dominated our parents’ era.
4. Pagharap ni PNoy sa Pinoy
– I dabbled writing in Filipino after one of my bosses encouraged me to practice. The “think English, write Tagalog” scheme unwittingly shows though. I still prefer to keep the blog English-dominant because of the online audience. But when there are stories best told in my own language, I hope to churn out another.
5. Virtual wars (or Leveled up election coverage)
– The end to my first string of posts from out of town, covering the May vote in Maguindanao. Few wrote on the renewed discussion and participation sparked by the much-anticipated Halalan and Eleksyon 2010 coverages. This was an inevitable post after reading over and over the CMFR’s monitor of the 2007 elections and seeing that we did not disappoint.
6. Held hostage: On the ground
– People ask if I felt scared meters near death, and I still think the adrenaline just won over. The resounding debate that followed online and in my own college cautioned me from posting an account. I resolved instead to tell what I saw straight and with the least garnish.
7. An affair with gunfire
– Most of the fingers that pointed after the hostage crisis went to the apparent ineptness of the Aquino administration in handling it. Weeks later we visited Nueva Ecija to see a show of force from PNoy and the authorities–both figuratively and literally.
8. PROBE nation
– Philippine TV saw the end of long-running public affairs shows in 2010. The most lamented was Probe, pioneer of all. Yet from death, life still rises. The Probe Team’s alumni continue to lead the industry. The group left is busy producing investigations and specials. Some still hosted by Cheche Lazaro.
9. Covering typhoon Juan:
· Hurdling through Juan and Murphy
· Ground shots, top shots
· Telling ‘people’ stories
– Acting as a quick reaction team for breaking stories is no stranger, but leaving the same night for a story 370 kilometers away is a first. We arrived to find my dad’s home province ravaged. And as if there were not enough problems to cover, we faced our own just to tell them.
10. Growing up with CNN
– Book reviews aside, I’ve planned and planned to write those “coming of age” and #sentisabado posts once I get the coverage backlog over with. They merge two elements I’d want to work on this year–feature writing and history. The year is young, and so am I.
· Top stories from Mendiola
– A series of unexpected assignments to this street for some weeks has led my boss to kid that Mendiola is my favorite place. It has the potential for explosion and mundaneness, perfect if you want a break from a busy or lazy routine.
· Return: Live from Maguindanao
– Maguindanao has become another ‘favorite’. We returned there as the country revisited the worst massacre of the decade.
· To an overturned satellite van
– Our remote team is somehow affected by the loss of our sole trusty satellite-bearing van. It gave out still in coverage, and we said good-bye to quick transmissions from out of town.
– While low among the most-visited, I consider this series of posts one of my most storied this year–all written succintly, on time, and in narrative detail.