Monday, June 05, 2006

First day of classes, back to coverage

I got up early this morning.

I just thought of reliving my college days when I have to rush to the bathroom at 5:30 in the morning, go to the chapel to pray for an hour, have coffee and a piece of bread, and rush to the highway for a ride to Espana.

I did almost the same routine today. I just sat down the whole morning in front of my old university, watching people pass by, counting jeepneys going to Quiapo.

The excitement was still there, but by mid-morning boredom came. Before noon, I received a text message inviting me to a press conference. It has been a long time that I attended a press conference to cover. Most of my time have been spent in the newsroom. I saw the invitation as an opportunity to test myself, to know if I still have it.

I still did have it. I even had a scoop. I realized that a lot of young journalists now lack the patience we had in the past. Is it because of the mobile phones, the new technologies?

They also go in groups. They came as a group and leave as a group.

This afternoon for instance was a rare opportunity to the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, through a telephone interview, many things. The reporters did a lot of follow-up questions. They asked about Jose Maria Sison's reaction on the killings of activists, the peace process, etc. The questions were very intelligent, the answers were long-winded. The reporters asked profound questions, Sison gave profound answers. Who would use profound answers in straight news stories?

Then they left at three in the afternoon with stories in their mind of Sison's reaction to the killings, Sison's reaction to the statements maded by the government and the military, etc.

My only question to Sison was, "Is there a possibility that you will enter into formal peace talks with the Arroyo administration?"

He said: “Pwedeng matuloy ang talks kung ang prejudicial questions are resolved."

So what's new about it? What's news? It's not really an important statement.

It's news because Sison said in 2002: "It would be more productive to resume the peace negotiations after [Arroyo] ceases to be president."

That's a policy statement turnaround. That's news.

I still have it, thank God.

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