On the TechCrunch issue

I will not pretend to be an authority about this TechCrunch issue, just as I do not pretend to know much about the other issues the (in)famous tech-related blog has had over the years. Still, I could enumerate some ethical concerns related to it (in an attempt to gain a grade).

1. Careless reporting

“Information is all that matters. The rest is just bullshit.”

– MG Siegler’s defense of TechCrunch

From this statement, one can infer that Siegler is not that well-grounded on the ethics of journalism (and by extension, blogging). Information is, in fact, not all that matters; the delivery of accurate and objective information is. If information is all that matters, then I can forego accuracy and objectivity since they’re nothing but bullshit (forgive the coarse language). In fact, since information is all that matters, I can just fabricate interesting and dramatic stories that people will find interesting, like what Stephen Glass did. There’s nothing wrong about that since information is all that matters, right?

2. Inevitable biased reporting

I can see only one outcome if Arrington succeeds in investing in the companies TechCrunch covers (and he remains with TechCrunch): biased reporting in favor of those same companies. Since good reviews on the products of those companies would bring Arrington profit, then it would be in his best interests to use his blog to create those positive reviews himself. Unless Arrington is some kind of journalistic saint, that happening is as inevitable as the movement of tectonic plates.

In order to back up this prediction, allow me to cite how the government websites and state-owned media companies paint their countries as heaven on earth and/or portray their enemies as evil incarnate. Follow these three links at your own risk.

3. Escaping responsibility

“I don’t claim to be a journalist.” -Arrington

One of the statements Arrington made in his defense is that he is not a journalist. And since he’s not a journalist, then journalistic standards don’t apply to him.

That is probably the most idiotic thing I’ve read all morning.

To back up my statement, let me apply the logic of Arrington’s statement to a rather severe example from history.

Everyone knows that the Nazis murdered six million Jews in World War II. Everyone also knows that the Holocaust was not only legal in Germany, it was also sanctioned by Hitler’s government. Since the Nazis are German and the extermination of “inferior” people was part of the Third Reich’s official policy, then the Allies had no right to punish the Nazi leaders they captured after the Soviets took Berlin.

Ethics is not limited by nationality or profession. It’s defined by what a person is and what he does. Since the Nazis are human beings, the principles of humanity apply to them (which led to their conviction in Nuremberg). And since Arrington breaks news (and that is basically what journalism is in a nutshell), the principles of journalism apply to him.

There are some people who say that the methods used by Arrington are the future of journalism. If this is true, then I weep for future generations, who would be deprived of unbiased and accurate news.

On Shattered Glass

Enter Stephen Glass: associate editor for The New Republic, contributing writer for George, Harper’s, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and one of the most sought-after journalists in our time. When asked what he thinks about him, a person who chose to remain anonymous said that “Mr. Glass is abundantly talented. He’s funny and fluent and daring.”

Glass’s stellar career in journalism is the subject of the oddly-named film Shattered Glass, released in late 2004.

I found the film, which is supposed to be a depiction of  too impressionistic to be true. Editor Charles Lane is obviously not a 50-foot tall three-headed monster, the main office The New Republic was not destroyed in a 30-minute long fight scene that ended in a large explosion, and the Empire State Building is obviously not a giant bear. The film’s use of CGI is also quite headache-inducing.

All the contents of the preceding paragraphs are either half-true or completely untrue, like 27 of the 41 articles Stephen Glass made during his employment in The New Republic. I even misused a quote taken from Adam Begley’s review of The Fabulist. If you don’t know who Glass is and you haven’t seen Shattered Glass, that fraudulent review probably seemed too good to be true.

The film Stephen Glass (which is very accurate, according to these Youtube videos) presents a stylized account of Mr. Glass’s fall from grace. Along with this account, the film also presents a number of ethical issues that can be related to online journalism today. Three of those will be discussed here.

The first ethical issue is purposefully giving fiction to the public and presenting them as fact. This misinformation is very easy to do now in this age of the internet since it is very difficult to verify information. Take this blog for instance. For all you know, I could be writing lies here and you will think I’m telling the truth because I’m presenting them as fact. I could even lie without consciously doing so just because I implied that my articles are untrue.

Stephen Glass’s brand of fabricating information is noteworthy because it happened during the beginning of the internet’s popularity, and it was done so elaborately with so much work involved (making websites, voice mail accounts, etc.) that a more practical person would just tell the truth rather than make things up.

The second ethical issue, trying to cover up your tracks when it is quite painfully obvious that you have lied, is connected to the first one.

Covering up the lies a person made in an article can be done more easily in this time period than it was during Glass’s time, especially since the tools for creating websites are more sophisticated and more available now than then. If Stephen Glass began his career a bit later, he may have had a better chance of fooling people with his cover-ups.

Take for instance these sites. They’re both fake (and quite obviously so), but some poor impressionable mind out there might actually believe that the subjects of these sites actually exist in real life. Like how I might have before that one rare occasion when I actually watched TV.

The final ethical issue I shall point out here is Glass’s friends’ attempts at defending him without facing the facts. This shows bias, which all journalists (be they online journalists or not) must seek to avoid. His classes or lack of sleep don’t matter, he is a journalist and fabricating stories is one of the greatest crimes a journalist can commit to the public, his employers, and his calling.

Time Capsules

When I was young, I was a fan of time capsules. I would plan on sending letters to my future self reminding in order to remind him (me?) of a variety of things – like preferred college degrees, the things I would like to achieve, and plans for world domination – and store those letters in boxes that will be hidden in some secluded spot so that I can read them later. I liked the fact that I can preserve a piece of what I know – essentially a piece of myself – and transport it to the future without the use of a modified car that needs 1.21 jigawatts of energy to travel through time.

The first form of media that I was exposed to, the books, are similar to those time capsules. They too are storehouses of knowledge, written in the past or present to be used in the future. But unlike my top-secret documents, which only I am supposed to read, books are supposed to be produced en masse and distributed to a wide audience so that they can be read by any literate person who can get their hands on them.

During my early childhood, I did not enjoy the books meant for my age that much. I also found (and still find) some of those fairy tales disturbing. I don’t care how beautiful that corpse looks like, it’s still a corpse and people aren’t supposed to kiss corpses.

As I grew up I learned to appreciate works printed centuries ago, like those by Melville or Poe or Arthur Conan Doyle. My mother introduced the Bible to me, and I continue to read and study it up to the present.

I also enjoyed action and science fiction, but I preferred sci-fi films over sci-fi books since witnessing the firepower of a fully armed and operational battle station is more awe-inspiring than reading about it. It is only now that I am beginning to enjoy sci-fi books more than films, especially after reading some of the novels of British writer Dan Abnett that tells of tales from the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium, where there is only war.

In the closing stages of my childhood I read H. P. Lovecraft’s tomes of eldritch lore. In fact, in the present time whenever I am feeling bored, I would read Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu or At the Mountains of Madness. I also read Sun Tzu and Machiavelli in that stage of my life, and they told me that most of my earlier plans for world domination will not work.

I still read books today, and my preferences on which genres to read have not changed much. The only difference now is that I have to spend my own money, so I can buy and read less. I am trying to get out of this sorry state of affairs, and I certainly shall. Soon.

I have often been told that books are becoming obsolete with the advent of computers, and that books will soon be a thing of the past. I find that notion laughable at best. As long as there are people who want to share what they want to the generations that live after them in a manner that has a more dramatic flare to it and as long as there are people who enjoy reading and writing, the time capsules that we call books will never disappear from the pages of history.

Sample youth blog article 2

Dota 2

What does a hero truly need? Is it strength, agility, or intelligence? That of course is up to the hero to decide.

After almost ten years of being a mod for Warcraft III, the highly popular game Defense of the Ancients (DotA) is finally going to have a proper game of its own.

The new game, Dota 2 (note the fact that the ‘a’ is in the lowercase), is developed by Valve Corporation, the same developer that brought us the ever-popular Counter Strike and the Left 4 Dead series. The game uses the Source 3D engine, which is the same engine used in Team Fortress 2 and the Left 4 Dead series. This means that the new game’s graphics will be much better than the old one’s by a long shot.

Based on the trailer, Dota 2 would most likely recreate the characters and the map of the old game, and would also feature the old game’s two opposing sides (possibly renamed into the Radiant and the Dire) item and leveling system. There may be other changes, but they remain unconfirmed or unknown for now. The game would also need the Steam software to activate, much like the original versions of Valve’s other recent games, like Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Whether this will affect gamers here in the Philippines still remains to be seen.

The International,” a Dota 2 tournament, is being held by Valve in Cologne, Germany. It features the 16 best DotA teams in the world, who would compete against each other for the grand prize of $1 million. I can’t believe it either.

Fans of the old game would undoubtedly be glad to get their hands on Dota 2. However, the fact that is appears now to be nothing more than DotA with improved graphics, people who are tired of DotA‘s repetitive gameplay may want to skip on it.

Sample youth blog article 1 (may or may not be actually youthful)

When Freedom is Abused

Mideo Cruz and his ‘Poleteismo’ have been the stuff of news reports for more than a week now. The issue seems to have taken a backseat next to the growing dengue crisis, the renewal of the ‘Hello Garci’ scam and Paris Hilton’s visit to the Philippines, but it’s still there. It also doesn’t seem to show any sign of being resolved soon. If anything, the case filed against Cruz would be forgotten for years until something happens and the media decides to bring it up again, like any other high-profile case. There is nothing new under the sun, it seems.

Still, the ‘Poleteismo’ issue got me thinking about a few things. Is the freedom of expression really absolute, or does it have limits? Is the concept of art still too vague?

I believe that like all freedoms, a person’s freedom of expression has its limits. While Cruz is free to express himself through art, he is not free to offend the sensibilities of other people. And other people are also free to criticize him and his work.

I remember reading that Cruz said that he didn’t really mean to offend anyone, and that his true intention was to provoke critical thought. If that is so, then why didn’t he think critically about the possible consequences of making his piece like that?

And if the artists who defend Cruz are really defending his freedom of expression, then why are they stopping his detractors from expressing their freedom of expression by dismissing their actions as religious myopia? What, are there different rules for artists and different rules for common people? If that is so, then artists can just go about insulting the sensibilities of other people and not suffer any consequences just because they’re artists while other people can be sued for libel or slander. That’s a tad unfair, if you ask me.

While I think that the overreaction of the Catholics is a show of their narrow-mindedness and their fanaticism and I do not support them one bit, I am still more disappointed at Mideo Cruz and his fellow artists. They are supposed to be the more learned of the opposing sides, but they’re doing the same thing that their opponents are doing, the only difference being that they’re using fancier-sounding words. For some reason, they seem to have forgotten that with the freedom of expression comes the duty of using that freedom responsibly.

pinoyteens.net – For the Filipino teenager, by the Filipino teenager

Pinoyteens.net prides itself in being “the first and only youth site for Filipino teens, by Filipino teens.” It aims to be “informing, educating, entertaining.”

The site has a number of posts about various subjects ranging from tips on schooling to the posters’ thoughts on life to DotA. The quality of the site’s articles vary. One thing that they all have in common is their tendency to be written in the first person point of view, like most writings by teenagers. That form of writing is quite effective for teenagers, so it’s all good. The grammar of some posts still need improving, though.

The site’s posts are relevant to teenagers and to the citizens of Davao, home of the site’s community. This seems limited for now, but the site’s scope could widen with more members.

The site has a small but dedicated community manning it, and in time and with a little more effort it can grow bigger. It is also pretty easy to find the site, especially if one looks from Google. All in all, this is a pretty promising site with the potential of becoming the center of a large and thriving community for Filipino teens, by Filipino teens.

Making a youth-oriented blog: a guide for old coots (like myself)

First of all, I must confess that I am not the final authority when it comes to the subjects of the youth, blogging, and youth blogging. My own parents once remarked that I was “born old,” there are people out there who have more experience and skill in blogging than myself (and I shall be making use of their expertise for this post), and my interests do not conform to those people in my age range, hence my parents’ “born old” comment.

While I am clearly a hopeless amateur when it comes to the subjects of youth blogs and how to make them more attractive to young people (or more specifically, people ages 15 to 24 years old), I can call upon the data I have garnered from years of observing the target audience for almost two decades, which I will make use of in order to finish this work, thus fulfilling a certain class requirement.

Now then, suppose you want to make a youth-oriented blog. How do you go about making it attractive to the Filipino youth?

1. Listen to Sun Tzu.

“Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for a hundred battles.”

“To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

“The reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass that of ordinary men is foreknowledge.”

Blogging, just like a lot of other things, is like war. You, the blogger, are a general commanding a blog-fortress, and you are mandated by the Son of Heaven to defend the Empire’s borders from the barbarous hordes of readers. In this case, your enemies are the Filipino youth. Your enemies are numberless, remorseless and unpredictable. Plunging into combat without having any knowledge of your enemies can only lead to a crushing defeat.

As a blogger, the first thing you should do is to know your readers. Who are they? What do they want? What are their habits? What are they interested in? Once you know of that, you can amply prepare and write things that would impress them. As Sun Tzu said, the wise general conquers and surpasses ordinary men through the use of foreknowledge.

Forcing your target audience to like something because it’s in your blog does not work. If it does, then there would be no unsuccessful blogs and websites. The people of the internet has highly discriminating tastes, and a single lowly blogger such as yourself cannot change that. If you want your blog to be successful, then appeal to what your audience wants.

2. The KISS principle. I learned this principle from a book several years ago. K.I.S.S supposedly means “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” a statement which I believe requires no further elaboration.

Besides keeping your blog’s content simple, you must also keep it conversational and impersonal to the best of your ability. I have observed that Filipinos, especially the youths, generally prefer informal conversations to formal ones, and reading materials that have a conversational tone to them than more serious-sounding ones (Case in point: Filipinos are more aware of the existence of Bob Ong than of Jules Verne). It should be safe to assume that Filipinos would prefer more conversational-sounding blogs over preachy ones. A little humor may also go a long way for your blog.

Be warned, though: you can sound informal, but you must not sound too informal, which will distract your reader too much. All things in moderation, nothing in excess.

3. Keeping up appearances. You must also be careful about your blog’s design. Make your blog too minimalist in appearance and it becomes boring. Decorate it too richly and the readers might be distracted from what they are reading. You must keep the content as the central focus of your webpage’s design since content is what really matters in a blog (obviously).

Your home page is the public face of your blog. It must be attractive enough for the readers to want to look at the other parts of your site, but not too attractive or the readers will pay little to no heed to the content. The number of links and such things in a home page is also an important point to consider. Too little it would become difficult to navigate the site, and too much and the home page will look cluttered and it will also be too difficult to navigate the site.

Consider the following home page designs. The first one from the left has some pieces of appealing artwork, but unless they are links to different parts of the blog they are of little use to the site itself. If I were to visit the site that uses this as a homepage and those pictures are not links, I would stop to look at the pictures, look around for a while, then leave. The second one is a fine minimalist design that would keep my attention to the content, but it somehow lacks the links that would allow for easy navigation. The third design seems to strike that balance of design, organization and number of links, and the fourth one seems so cluttered that I cannot decide what link I will click first. While the fourth design would work for a gaming website (that’s actually a design for one), it cannot work on a blog.

Pictures are also an important part of your blog’s design. My observations suggest that people – especially young people – prefer blog posts that have pictures in them than large walls of texts. Pictures or links to such can also help you explain what you want to explain. In fact, I would put more pictures here if this computer I’m using isn’t throwing a tantrum on me. I would try to fix this as soon as I’m able.

4. What does that have to do with me? This is the question that any youth-oriented blog should keep answering in their posts if they want to keep their readers’ attention to them.

Whether the Filipino youth want to admit it or not, in general they are more concerned with their personal needs than to the needs of their society as a whole. Therefore, if you want the youth to listen, tell them that what you are saying is relevant not only to society, but to their lives and that of their families as well.

Generally, the Filipino youth can also empathize with others of their age group as well. Putting the experiences of other youths in your posts from time to time could lead your readers to keep returning to your blog for more.

5. No, the OTHER youthblog.com. Most of the time, people will get to know your blog through search engines or social networking sites. This means that giving your blog a generic-sounding name will lessen the chances of people finding out about it. Your blog’s title itself should be unique and interesting-sounding, which would attract people to it. The tips listed here might be useful.

Along with an interesting title, interesting design and content may also help improve your blog’s discoverability. If your blog’s design is appealing enough and your content is interesting enough, then your readers will likely want to share your blog with their peers, allowing your blog to be known with minimal effort on your part. This technique is called viral marketing.

6. We are Legion. The youth – not only those in the Philippines, but young people everywhere – seem to have an insatiable need to interact with other people, especially other people in their age range (hypothesis: this phenomenon has a biological cause). A smart blog creator can exploit this by allowing the readers to interact with each other and with the blogger. Things like chat or comment may go a long way to the blog’s success. In fact, giving the readers some space to write on in your blog (like a comment box in every article or a chat box if you’re sure it won’t distract your readers) may form a community of your readers, which would result lead your readers to visit your blog again and again.

When dealing with the Filipino youth, it would be safe to assume that the more interactive your blog, the better, as long as those features do not distract the readers from your blog’s content. Once again do I say to thee: All things in moderation, nothing in excess.
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Now then, let us take our thought experiment to its next stage. Suppose I were to make a blog directed toward the Filipino youth. These are some things I would do:

– The blog will focus on one or two things that the young people are interested in. For instance, I was informed that the young people of today are interested in news about the newest gadgets, music, sports and video games, so I will concentrate on at least one or two of those, like combining news about gadgets and video games. If I am not familiar with what I am writing, I would do in-depth research on the subject. For instance, if I were to write about a video game, I would make sure that I actually played said video game so I can write about it effectively.

– I could also discuss more mature things like politics and the economy in a youth-oriented blog, but I will do so from the youth’s perspective. In fact, I should make a sample of a political article told from the perspective of the youth in a future post.

– To sum up what I want to put as the content of my youth blog, let me enumerate all them again: things the youth are actually interested in, articles whose content are verified by research, and analyses that take the perspective of the young people themselves.

– Since my blog is directed at the youth, I will take their thought process into consideration when writing my blog posts. If I want to write a blog about opinions on political issues, I would keep my language informal and conversational and I would look for the opinions of other young people and add them to the blog so that my readers will know that other people from their age group have opinions on that issue, which means that they should too.

– I would keep my posts concise and straight to the point, which let the readers read them with little to no distractions. I could also allow people to comment on my articles and show their opinions on the issue I posted about. My articles will encourage discussions among my readers. They can also contact me after every article and I will respond to them as often as I can.

One particular youth-oriented blog that I found quite effective is There is no fear in love by someone who calls herself Jee Geronimo. It is about religion, which ensures that it would have a steady stream of viewers (religion and the religious is quite a permanent society after all). Its blogger has broad knowledge of what she’s talking about, based on the content of the blog’s posts. The blog itself has a minimalist design that keeps its readers concentrated on the content. It has a unique name as far as blogs of that sort goes, which means it can be easily discovered. And its many re-blogs and followers are proof that it has quite a community centered around it. In short, it is very effective in what it does.

Now that I finished writing this, I just realized the most important resource any person who wants to write a youth-oriented blog should have: time, lots and lots of it.

An Analysis of News Websites: The Philippine Star (www.philstar.com)

The Philippine Star

The Philippine Star is often hailed as one of the three most popular English language broadsheets in the Philippines, along with the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Manila Bulletin. Founded in 1986 by Max Soliven, Betty Go-Belmonte and Art Borjal, it has endured for more than two decades and has become one of the most-read newspapers in Metro Manila.

The Star has several sister publications: Pilipino Star Ngayon (Filipino language tabloid), The Freeman (English newspaper printed in Cebu), Banat (Cebuano paper), and People Asia Magazine (English language magazine).

Overview – http://www.philstar.com

The times are changing, however, and being successful using one mass media technology is no longer enough to survive as a media outlet in this age of quick-and-easy information. This is especially true when it comes to newspapers, whose readerships are not as large as before because of the presence of other mass media technologies that can relay information in a manner that is both faster and more appealing to the public.

Because of this, it was necessary for the Philippine Star to find a of keeping itself alive, preferably by making use of the newer mass media technologies. Thus, the website http://www.philstar.com, official website of the Philippine Star, was born on August 2000 as the online edition of the Philippine Star and has “grown in content and reach over the years” (About Us, http://www.philstar.com).

The Home Page

As one can observe from the picture above, there is an abundance of ads in the site’s home page and the different kinds of articles are separated from each other, the same kinds of articles being located in the same box. Of note here is the positioning and prominence of the top news stories for the day, whose box is located in the point where the reader’s eyes are likely to be resting in. The presence of distracting ads to the left and pictures in a slide show to the right may distract the less focused of readers from the day’s top news, though.

This is the second part of the home page, which shows web specials in the box located at the right, videos in the one in the middle and sports news, entertainment news, columns, health and lifestyle news, and science and technology news in the box to the left.

Of note in this portion of the home page is the reel in the bottom part of it that shows features, opinions, letters to the editor, “good” news, articles from Starweek Magazine (a weekly magazine, as the name suggests), tourism news, an inbox that shows the readers’ messages about their opinions on different issues, and a link to the Young Star page. This reel seems out of place and should probably be moved to either the upper or lower portion of the page.

This is the last part of the home page, which shows news concerned with overseas Filipino workers, the day’s weather report, the condition of some Philippine stocks, and other things that may interest people, and some links that provide information about the website and the Philippine Star newspaper. I can’t help but wonder what will happen to the other parts of the site if the links to the entertainment section were in this portion of the home page.

Articles

It is no secret that the Philippine Star’s motto is “truth shall prevail.” And it is also no secret that all media organizations – the Philippine Star included – promise objective and factual news to the masses. My examination of the news articles in philstar.com seems to suggest that the site keeps this promise, based on my observations of the content of the news articles and on the number of articles that talk about one event (in this case, the resignation of Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, which is the most popular news in the site by my second revision of the article’s draft).

Philstar.com also allows people to comment on news articles, both on comment boxes under each news article (with the proper restrictions, of course) and on polls like this one: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=713028&publicationSubCategoryId=522

Still, it might be more convenient for the readers if all the articles that tackle a single issue had links with each other, or if there were some sort of timeline that discusses the flow of important events.

Design

The website has several different design schemes for its different parts.

The design scheme shown on the page pictured above is used in the pages that show links to headlines, opinions, business news, and entertainment news. The lifestyle section also has a design that is quite similar to this one.

In my opinion, the placing of the ads in this scheme is the best of all the schemes in the site because it is less distracting than the other option, which is shown in the scheme below.

This is the design scheme for the pages that feature all national news articles, including the top news stories. In my opinion, the fact that the ads are in one big block would distract the reader from the news article (it sure distracted me).

Still, I consider the simplistic design of this part of the site as the best design scheme in the website since it doesn’t distract people from their articles.

This is the design scheme for sports section. Judging from the fact that it is almost as extensive as the main page itself, one can see how much importance the site’s developers put in the sports section.

Upon further examination, I noticed that the design for sports news articles is a recolored version of the design for the news article. This means that I still have issue with the positioning of the ads.

The Young Star, which is directed at the youth in general and teenagers in particular, also has a different design scheme, which is undoubtedly created with the purpose of encouraging a younger audience to read. It seems effective enough, according to the results of the experiment I conducted using teenage family members.

Conclusion

While it can be said that philstar.com still has some shortcomings (like that large block of distracting ads), it can become more effective and attractive to the readers with a few minor alterations to its design.

A Working Student’s Saturday

The life of a 3rd year student studying in the journalism department of the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication is not an easy one. At this time, it is expected that one would have completed all his general education subjects and could now take on electives related to his course, which of course require more time and effort to pass. And if a student did not do too well in his earlier subjects and has to take more, he would be busier, and his life would be harder than usual.

This is the dilemma of Mr. Adrian Herico, an old acquaintance of mine. He has served me well as an asset in most academic matters, but our different schedules hinder that from happening this semester (more work for me, unfortunately). Still, to be able to contact a fellow shiftee to the college – an old companion at that – after a fruitless search for potential interviewees is very welcome, especially if it may help with a writing exercise.

Since he is a shiftee to the college, Mr. Herico has to take more subjects than usual if he wants to graduate on time. Because of this, he had to take an advertising class from 9 am to 1 pm every Saturday, a day which he onced used to rest and to finish his requirements.

Because Mr. Herico’s Saturdays are dedicated to going to class, he cannot do other things he usually does during Saturdays like his work for his family’s business, visiting his mother and siblings over in Laguna or finishing that sound file he has to do for a broadcasting subject. Since he has part-time work and other such things to worry about, he is busier than the normal college student. However, he cannot use his Saturdays to finish what he needs to do.

The determined student does not give up though, still carrying on and hoping that he can pull off a miracle and graduate in the near future so he can continue to support his family.

Online Journalism: East vs. West

The Italian political thinker Niccolo Machiavelli once asserted in his the Prince that individual people are generally self-serving, and in his the Discourses Upon the First Ten Books of Titus Livy that while a multitude is wiser and more constant than a single ruler, a democracy is bound to fall into anarchy anyway as part of the natural cycle of states.

If one looks at the people and society of the West, he can see that Machiavelli was right. Since Western – especially American – society is very individualistic, and because of that the main concern of people in general is profit. This is seen in all walks of Western life, even in the field of journalism, which is geared towards serving the public by providing information.

Even online journalism is not spared from the Westerners’ penchant for profit. The fact that quick-and-easy forms of providing news, such as the use of social networking sites to deliver reports stripped down to their most basic facts, started in the West gives credence to this claim.

While online journalism in the West is geared towards making money, its counterpart here in Southeast Asia is geared towards providing information for the sake of service. This is proven by the relative prevalence of citizen journalism in the form of individual blogs that provide news and opinions of issues in this part of the world. While citizen journalism also began in the West, it became more prevalent and significant here in the East, where the mainstream media is considerably less free than it is in the West.