Mall of Asia
July 29, 2014
NO CHEERING FROM THE PRESS BOX!
As I was wrapping up my Shakey’s V-League coverage at The Arena in San Juan City a couple of hours ago, I overheard Theodore Jurado, the hardworking reporter from The People’s Journal and Tonight and our resident volleyball expert, mumbling about sir Jun getting angry on something. Nosy as I am, I asked Teej, the nickname we are used to call him, why sir Jun is angry? He replied by saying he’ll just forward the message itself. Sir Jun is, of course, Business Mirror sports editor Jun Lomibao. Lomi to most of us. If the UAAP Press Corps is Bahay ni Kuya, Lomi is the kuya of the UAAP house. He’s also the president of the Philippine Sportswriters Association, the organization of all sports scribes from all of the country’s national broadsheets and tabloids. If you’re as dumb as this imbecile and dimwit named “D’Source” who once alluded to PSA members as “clowns,” the PSA has been in existence since 1948. Or about as old as your parents or grandparents. So there.
To my dear UAAP Media colleagues,
Let me start by revealing to you that I, not too long ago, was a campus journalist in one of the UAAP schools. The passion that we put behind our school was as intense back then as it is now. We would extremely rejoice with every victory and vehemently react against every loss. We would immensely agree with every call that favors our side, and profusely protest when it’s our boys who get the short end of it. But all of that we do in the confines of our hearts and minds—never with our voices, never with our hands and fists, never with our actions. We are journalists, never mind if we are campus journalists—a journalist is a journalist is a journalist. And because of that, we are not supposed to brandish our colors, more so do such with a press card hanging around our necks. I am writing this as a gentle reminder to you, my colleagues, about a journalism ethic that we, as champions of the vocation, should at all times be neutral, that never should we display any bias before the scrutinizing public. This, however, does not apply to all. Perhaps some of us get carried away and suddenly shed our school colors in the heat of the coverage. Thus, I—a sports journalist for 28 years—appeal to you to uphold the ethics of journalism as you exercise the privilege of a courtside view of the action, and protect the sanctity of the press card.
Thank you very much.
Sportsmaryosep’s prognosis: Oh thank you for speaking up sir. I mean, it’s already an inconvenience that the UAAP Press Room is already flooded with a sea of mostly green that some regular writers from the major national dailies had to find a place to write and file their stories outside it while these noisy kids whose deadlines are probably decades from now occupy seats and tables and use it to just chat about the handsomest players and sexiest cheerdancers in the “U-Double A-P.”
As it is, the UAAP has eclipsed the Guinness Book of World Records for number of media covering an event. It’s like the Olympics out there. Better yet, a circus. And it infuriates me more that when they go out the confines of the media center, they occupy the press row and screamed like crazy for their teams. I once caught this guy masquerading as a reporter from a reputable school in the NCAA who didn’t only cheer for his school but also heckle opposing players. I mean heckle? At the press box? You gotta be kidding me, boy. And he has a media accreditation? So I told him if he plans of doing it again, I will be forced to haul him out of this sacred place we sportswriters call press box. And then he turned meek. It’s been a perennial problem, really.
Until finally someone spoke. And I’m thankful it’s Lomi, whom we respect a lot. He’s right. If you want to cheer, remove that freaking ID out of your darn necks, go to the freaking stands, and join your freaking classmates and freaking friends and howl the way you want it. Not in the darn press box. Because if you freaking do, I will freaking use it to drag you out of there. Just kidding.
But seriously, I will just let these John Feinstein lines linger in your thoughts if you’re still thinking of going on with your miserable lives and cheer:
“What is objective journalism? There’s no such thing. None of us is objective. We all have biases that we grew up with or develop through the years. The key is understanding that you’re biased and trying as hard as you can to put those biases aside and be fair.”
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar