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Face up to critics…or plant kamote*
March 9th, 2008 posted by JB under Alumni Stories, Opinion

[Emailed and written by Dennis Torrecampo (Adamson Chronicle editor-in-chief, 1991)]

Newbie or veteran, writers should be open to criticisms, even scathing ones. Feedback, wherever it’s coming from, good or bad, is a healthy indicator that what you write matters. Or that you get read after all. To wounded soldiers, pain is a welcome sign of life. A writer’s life does not exist in a vacuum, much more that of a campus journalist’s. Welcome the noise of arguments or step out of the kitchen.

Writing is a two-edged sword of privilege and responsibility—through a writer, voices get heard. As a conduit of various opinions, a writer distills thoughts and filters out what seems to make sense. Which is why a huge amount of writing centers on research—a writer has to weigh several viewpoints and see how they measure up to the issue at hand. Some write-ups may be found wanting, which signals a room for improvement later.

Much more specifically, writing news or journalism is literature in a hurry and must effectively reflect the pulse of the time. If you missed a beat, probably you weren’t listening hard enough. Which is why writers cannot afford to be arrogant. The privilege of being the mouthpiece comes with a price. The writer must be prepared to pay that due.

“Official student publication” is not just a string of words. There is a binding reason why The Adamson Chronicle or any other campus publications are so called, in addition to having the students as their publishers. Humble representation, intelligence and leadership come with being a campus journalist.

Campus writers are expected to be the beacon for intellectual discourses, the lighthouse that guides students’ way, and the heartbeat that drives the students’ sentiments and advocacies. Mediocrity is unacceptable. You are one on top of so many readers and any writer owes that audience an article worth their time, money and effort.

There is as much honor as there is burden attached to bearing that Press badge such that not just anybody can stake his or her claim to it. That is what makes the pen mightier than the sword. Either you use it well or just don’t. There is no other way.

In this age of interactivity and collaboration, it is simply irresponsible to be ultrasensitive when your write-up just didn’t quite make the cut. Learn from it, move on, and do your homework next time around.

To confront criticisms, the trick is to stick to the issues at hand and to not personalize what may be an offensive remark. It is alright to be passionate when you make your response, but make sure you back it up with facts. That is the writer’s best defense. In the end though, do not expect to please everyone but earn their respect at the least. That is when you know you really know what you signed up for.

Every write-up is a reminder of the writer. Whether that writer has done his or her job well, it is for the readers to judge and for the writer to respond accordingly. Surely, you as a writer do not want to be remembered for a lousy write-up. Or worse, forgotten for an article that is neither here nor there.

* There is no malicious intent to ridicule the kamote or the act of planting, but used here mainly as a figure of speech for suggesting finding something more productive and probably harmless to do.

Last 20 posts by JB

Tags: Adamson Chronicle, Adamsonian, Adamson University

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JB has blogged 101 posts


Read the Comments

[ # 1969 ] Comment from Rastafariana [March 17, 2008, 3:16 pm]

Another great article from Mr.Torrecampo. I hope the new batch of Chroniclers would heed your advice.How I wish I had met you during my stint at the paper, I would have learned a lot from you too.

[ # 2088 ] Comment from dentorrecampo [April 10, 2008, 1:54 pm]

thank you, rastafariana.

we all have a lot to learn from each other and at this point, it’s the current batch that needs our encouragement and guidance. isn’t it cool that past and the present chroniclers can somehow connect their thoughts and exchange ideas (not to mention verbal acids hehe)-kaya let’s also help joebert in promoting this site to all adamsonians everywhere.

again, my gratitude.

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