Writing for a Campus Paper
I started involving myself with campus journalism back in high school when I was appointed to join a campus journalism seminar. Unlike my classmates, that was my first exposure to the craft, and I have fallen in love with it ever since. It also served as my entry to our campus paper.
I still cannot understand; I became the chief editor of our campus pub but halted my involvement when I entered college. I never had the chance to write for it even though I was a member of my first college’s student pub.
When I transferred to my current university to finish my undergraduate degree, I was privileged to accept our university student publication. Through it, I was able to be exposed to the people’s woes, be involved with social issues, and be informed of what my environment is really up to.
Upon graduation, I never imagined myself writing again for a school publication. Then Medicine happened.
The writing was a Refuge.
I transferred schools after enduring endless troubles in my academic path. I thought I would never survive college with all its challenges and demands. College was not hard. The hard thing was maintaining my sanity because of previous blunders I had.
When I saw the recruitment poster for my paper, I felt a slight nudge in my chest telling me to apply. But if not for my girlfriend’s coercion (haha), I would not have applied. I was accepted, and it was awesome.
I enjoyed all the tasks given to me. I savored every interview I did, loved all the events to cover and visit, and adored all the precepts of campus journalism. I just recently realized that writing became a way for me to unload some baggage. I was really into writing.
Writing must be for the People.
But I felt something lacking in my craft. I desired more. Then I was exposed to the idea that writing is a way to serve the people. And with campus journalism’s rich history in the Philippines, the focus must be realigned to the people.
I began to write about people’s woes and their situations. Because of my research for my articles, my mind was opened to what really is happening globally. I hope that the things I wrote would have inspired others to see the way I saw things.
In the Philippines, campus publications are the only student organization with their own law through Republic Act No. 7079 or the Campus Journalism Act of 1991. This should have given more freedom to the campus papers, but it still insufficient. I am one of those who still dream that legislation can be passed to provide more opportunities to campus writers and that all suppression of the campus press be gone.
Writing is also Healing.
Before entering medical school, we were asked for the interview if what we would want to be if we will not become a doctor. I told the interviewers that I would want to be a journalist since the things journalists do are just like those that medical doctors do. And that’s because of my background in a campus publication.
Journalists diagnose society. They write about the people’s condition and offer remedies to these woes. These writers subject society to various tests to fully inform the people of their situation and offer solutions to their problems.
Journalists serve the people. Medical doctors serve them, too. I am just blessed that I happen to tread both paths in my lifetime.
So, for this school year, I applied for our college’s campus publication which is quite surprising for a medical school. People would not associate those two, but our school publication, Vital Signs, has proven its worth to my fellow students.
This was just an update, but I hope you wish me luck on this!
I’ll try to post my write-ups here (to save me from my writer’s block!)