Sunday, September 29, 2013

Honing Journalistic Skills Anew

I am now a senior citizen, but yet I am still sharpening my writing skills as far as journalism is concern. I have been in writing in the newspaper as a columnist, news reporter since 1991 as I joined with the Negros Daily Bulletin.

Discussion on photojournalism principles
Now as a school principal of Cubay Elementary School, I am still making that skill as fresh as not only for myself, but also for also for my teachers, for our pupils.

One hundred sixty one teachers, both the elementary school and high school teachers hone and even update their journalistic skills in a 3-day regional training of trainers on campus journalism which started recently at Planta Hotel, Bacolod City.

OIC, office of the Regional Director, Department of Education, Mr. John Arnold S. Sienna started lecture on news writing, copy reading.

He expounded the basic concepts and principles in news writing. He pointed out some of the fundamental principles in news writing and some elements in the said writing like prominence, proximity, impact and conflict.

Steps in News Writing

Sinena lecturing
Sienna lecturing
"News is written in a very straight forward manner, presenting only facts. Hence, it is an objective retelling of an event. It does not give opinion or in any way reflect the bias of the writer toward the subject," he disclosed.

According to him, there are six steps in newswriting. These steps may include the following: 1. News data gathering, 2. Finding the angle, 3. Writing the lead, 4. Writing the lead support, 5. Writing the remainder of the story, and 6. Editing the style.

The participants as a part of their group work wrote down the principles they know about newswriting and these things were reported by a representative from the group formed.

Finally, each group wrote a sample of news based on the six types of the news. World Teachers' Day was the main issue. Every work was being evaluated based on the following style:

Fellow participant - Ailyn de la Torre
Ailyn de la Torre
1. Straight news story
2.  Summary lead
3. Wall Street Journal Formula
4. Soft News story
5. Hard news story
6. Novelty/delayed/non-conventional lead

Jessica Gela lectured on sports writing.

New Experience, New Found Friends

This kind of seminar on journalism serves as a refresher for it has been a long, long time that I had attended this kind of seminar. As far as I could remember it was sometime in 1972 that I attended journalism seminar in West Visayas State College when I was still the editor-in-chief of the College Voice, the official school organ of La Carlota City.

Fellow Participant - Sol de la Cruz
Sol de la Cruz
Nevertheless, journalism does not fade. It is a growing chronicling of events as they come along every day.

By the way, it is a pleasure that I have met 4 teachers from Kabankalan Division in this seminar. They are Ms. Sol D. Dela Cruz of Tabugon Elem. School, Ms. Ailyn Mae L. de la Torre of Bantayan Elem. School, Mr. Brandon Z. Bravo of Kabankalan National High School, and Ms. Mary Jane M. Cordero of Locotan National High School.

They very much welcome this writing seminar for they may develop and even improved their writing skills at the same time they may hand them down to their respective pupils.

I am very glad that I get acquainted with these budding journalists in the field of education.


  1. I think the learning never stops when it comes to writing. Every day with each post I read, I get to learn new stuff and techniques plus seminars are also helpful.

  2. I think that writing news nowadays is so critical because the message, the medium and also the writer/reporter are factors that comprise of the credibility of the material. Training newbies to write should be done well.

  3. The learning process never gets finished and your post just confirmed this truth.

  4. I believe that we should not stop studying and learning new things.

  5. I admire people like you who's been very passionate with your field and you always inspire people with what you do. Being humble and still learning even though you have reached so many things in your career.

  6. Newswriting is very different from other forsm of writing. I think we should never stop trying to learn something new and improve ourselves

  7. We should never stop learning. I miss news writing. I used to do that during college days.

  8. Whatever age we could be, we shouldn't stop from learning and pursuing the passion we have. You've been very busy with life, sir! more "alive and kicking" to come :)

  9. journalism is something i am really interested in when i was a student, i actually dreamed of becoming a journalist when i grow up, but alas, they are not offering the course in our local universities.

    learning sure is a never-ending process, and one is not too old to learn something new! good job!

  10. Being a journalism graduate and working as a writer for papers, it is true that newswriting is a very straightforward form of retelling events...We used to hold national writing workshops like this for those interested, and we would ask writers from national dailies to give lectures, it was always a fun and educational event.


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