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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Newspapers: "Pambalot ng Tinapa" at Iba Pa! Do You Agree?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Soooo a lot of newspaper...s are getting flak for having an erroneous Mary Jane Veloso headline.

Newspapers won't give you breaking news stories (as if that wasn't obvious enough). Most newspapers are complete by the afternoon or evening of the day prior to it being sold. First edition papers are printed in the wee hours of the morning and the reprieve didn't happen until, probably, the same time. It's regular practice to print and distribute what was news at the time of printing. It could be said that they could have made a plan B for it, and that's true (I guess that's what Manila Bulletin did). However, the update could also be included in the later editions. The medium isn't the most 'editable', so please, let's not crucify newspapers for their "wrong headline".

p.s. Kayo na, Manila Bulletin!!" - Erika Pascua

Newspapers cannot give you breaking news, or headlines, since they would require time to print the papers to make it for tomorrow's daily distribution. In cases like an event happening at a time out of printing hours, it will really be very hard to keep the headline accurate.

This is why it is understandable that one broadsheet had an erroneous headline. They may have shared false news but thanks to online media, we were able to spread the correct news before majority of the Filipino woke up the morning after the supposed to be execution.

There were some newspapers that made considerable efforts to give a more updated headline even if it meant reprinting the headline, distributing batches with different headlines,  and wasting a few pages. The cost of ink and paper were negligible - all for the sake of accuracy and reliability.

Mary Jane Veloso's reprieve was great news for all Filipinos, but sadly the 8 others on the list to be executed now have grieving relatives. Not everyone were saved. But we were glad a fellow Filipino was granted an extension to life.

But we are not here to talk about Mary Jane Veloso, but about how timely it is to discuss whether the printed paper is still a reliable source of news and information.

We all know that it's a lot easier to update people via online sites like online counterpart of the publications and blogs, and most especially social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc., so why do we need to keep printing news on paper? Well, at least for Metro Manila and bigger cities, everyone has convenient access to news via Internet-connected smartphones already.

Is it about time that we stop using the printed form? We get to save trees for less paper requirements and we are given ease and convenience in making updates or corrections. The best thing is that the information will always be online for future reference, feedback via comments and inquiries from the public will be quick, and anybody can immediately post wherever the correspondent or editor is based.

Many of us don't even read the newspaper at all (well at least in our home). Some would just read the headlines, entertainment and/or comics sections. When the day ends, the newspaper would serve its final purpose as "pambalot ng tinapa" or something similar.

At the office, the newspaper subscriptions are just meant to be sort of  "decorative" items for our office lobby, so guests waiting will have something to read aside from the magazines. Just as magazines are becoming obsolete, many would prefer to keep hanging on with their mags because of the glossy pictures. So we see a lot of these news papers and magazines only at hotel lobbies, salons, beauty parlors, medical clinics, coffee shops, etc.,

Sadly, the printed form is now merely an opportunity for business owners to cut out the pages where they are featured and hang them on their walls.

Marketing would admit that the best way to make their products and services stand out among the rest is to give it an online presence. 

This is why bloggers have proliferated since many companies are now recruiting their services for their reviews and features. It's definitely more affordable for them since many would accept just complimentary tokens in exchange of posting their press releases, and some bloggers would even offer their services for free. But that shouldn't be the case since these acts would just lower the credibility of bloggers, and make online media another source of "biased" news and information.

But the future is so clear. Online media is here to stay and the printed form is nearing extinction just like dinosaurs.  They've already banned "plastics" from groceries, department stores and supermarkets since plastics are non-biodegradble. Soon they will also get rid of paper bags when they realize we are threatening our trees. So that leaves us with no more printed forms unless they get to create an alternative item where to print the news.

But there's already the smartphones and tablets where news, information and entertainment agencies can send in updated and timely data that perfectly fits the interest of the users. They are most useful especially now that there could be more possible ways to increase battery power aside from using power banks. Sooner or later, we will be reading the news from our gadgets. That's a sure and definite thing to expect.

You are now reading this opinion from online... so you're one of the many people out there that needs less convincing.

*Photo credits to Brandon Cueto

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