by JULIA MARI T. ORNEDO
Campus journalism is its own reward. Working in a student publication offers little prestige and even less money, yet the Flame has been kept alive for over half a century by generations of Artlets who cared more about journalism and serving the Faculty rather than what they can get out of it.
At the Flame, we are not motivated to do our best work by a hefty compensation or the promise of prominence. Instead, what keeps us going is the sight of Artlets eager to grab their copies of our issues as soon as they land in newsstands, students who reach out to us to know when or how they can obtain copies of the latest issue or Dapitan, and the fulfillment of seeing our hard work published, whether online or in print.
There are legions of campus journalists all over the country who are so dedicated to the work that they do despite all the obstacles that come in the way of doing it. For our thesis, I had the pleasure of meeting the editors of Tinig ng Plaridel, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.
Their stories resonated with me because so much about our publications are the same: the small office that could hardly fit 10 people, the meager budget, the lack of manpower. But on the flipside were the similarities that mattered more: they, too, endured martial law, and they, too, have staffers who are willing to take on tasks that go beyond their job description for the sake of reportage.
As an editor, I have always lamented our lack of manpower knowing that we can elevate our work further if only we had all the hands that we needed to do it. But I also know that campus journalism is a vocation—the long hours of work that we put in can only be done by people who share our same fiery passion for and devotion to the job.
As I leave the Flame to do journalism in the “real world,” my only call to Artlets is this: if you have within you even a mere inkling of interest in the campus media, try your hand at it. You will be surprised at how much more growth you are capable of achieving and even more surprised by the impact your work will have on other people or the institution at large.
The past four years that I have spent working for the publication are easily the most equally challenging and rewarding years of my life so far. The Flame allowed me to soar to heights I never even dreamed of reaching; it took me under its wing a clueless freshman and it will now send me out into the world an experienced reporter. I pray everyone receives the same love and nurturing that this publication gave me. F
This is for all my previous editors who never gave up on me and entrusted me with leadership of the Flame despite all my poorly written articles and late submissions in years past.
This is for the staffers and apprentices of the Flame who we will be leaving behind: I see all the hard work you have put in for the publication this year and I appreciate you dearly for it. Know that I will always be rooting for your growth.
This is for all my friends who tirelessly cheered me on, especially Deips, who has given me the gift of a friendship unlike any I’ve ever known—one where I am always understood deeply and feel no hesitancy to bare my heart.
This is for Ian, my associate editor, my thesis partner, my best friend, and the better half of my heart. You have been my rock throughout college. No part of it would have been as meaningful to me as it was if I did not have you to share it with.
This is for my family, most of all my parents, whose endless support and love has given me the strength to chase my dreams.
This is for my lolo and lola. All of it has always been.
Editor’s Note: This column was originally published in Vol. 54, Issue No. 4 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link.