Saturday, September 21

The Flame launches official website

The Flame staffers and participants of How Press Works 2.0 pose with guest speakers Dino Maragay of philstar.com and John Nery of INQUIRER.net. photo by Marylou C. Sausa
The Flame staffers and How Press Works 2.0 participants pose with guest speakers Dino Maragay of philstar.com and John Nery of INQUIRER.net. photo by Marylou C. Sausa

THE FLAME, the official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB), took the challenge of adapting to today’s technological world as it launched its official website during the seminar titled “How Press Works 2.0: The Changing Landscape of Journalism” last Friday, Oct. 23, at the Faculty of Civil Law lobby.

The Flame Editor in Chief Arnel Arevalo instituted a milestone in the publication’s 51st anniversary with the launch of its official website: abtheflame.net.

“As we embark on this new journey, the challenge remains the same. The landscape may change but the rules should never be altered,” he said.

The website, created by Information Technology students Joel Louie Llorente and Maria Kristel Estrada, will deliver stories inside and outside the University like its print counterpart, catering to the Artlets who spend ample amount of time online.

Moreover, Rappler’s Research and Content Strategy Head Gemma Mendoza, philstar.com Content Manager Dino Maragay, and INQUIRER.net Editor in Chief John Nery challenged the different publications and journalism students in the University to practice responsible campus journalism in the digital era.

Mendoza considered the social media and its users the “game changers” in spreading stories because of the former’s multimedia capabilities. “On [television]…you see video; on radio, [you hear] audio; on print, [you see] pictures and texts; on the web, [you see] everything.”

She also said the online medium enabled journalists to exhaust every available means, resulting to better storytelling and improved reach to particular audiences.
The Rappler head encouraged campus journalists to innovate in order to reach more people, make them care, and make change happen.

“Basically, that’s what we want: to stir people up, go beyond not caring, and really look at the stories as what can be done… that’s the reason why we innovate.”

Likewise, Maragay said news consumers expect stories to be delivered in real time, searched easily, optimized across all screens and platforms, and presented in various formats with premium content at little to no cost.

“We want our news to be customized so they will fit for us,” said the former Flame Assistant News Editor, adding that today’s generation is already in the “age of Google.”
He also said journalists must be “tech-savvy” or knowledgeable in using modern technology and engage readers through various channels in order to meet netizens’ expectations.

Instead of seeing social media as a threat, Maragay believes that it is a tool for better reportage as it increases a journalist’s sense of responsibility, adding “it’s always better to be right than first.”

Moreover, Nery explained the shift from print to online platform, enumerating the three roles of media as standard, search, and social.

“Standard media has a certain kind of news chosen by the professional gatekeepers; search media has a very personalized meaning of news, social media, from the term itself, gives you a socially defined meaning of news.”

He added that success in standard or traditional print media is measured in setting the agenda while the aims of search and social media are finding useful information and driving conversations among people, respectively.

The Associate Editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer also advised journalists to embrace social media instead of underestimating them.

“It is time for journalists to realize that there are other kinds of news…the news is defined in many ways now. There is news as defined by standard that is not going to die, but then there’s also the news as defined by search and by social,” he said. “We should be able to work, in all three media roles.” F MIKKAH F. FACTOR

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