Honoring the 'Golden' journalists.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

LAST Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo presented a scroll of recognition to 50 journalists "for 50 years of devotion to, and practice of, the journalism profession in the service of God, country and the Filipino people."

This was a mouthful, since journalists, though abrasive, egotistical, and noisy, are usually modest about their calling. To the public at large, the honored journalists are revered as "veterans," and, indeed, they have covered, damned, and occasionally praised 9 presidents: Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito, and (some of them) Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

But pointing joyously to one another, the honorees said that this one covered the Philippine Revolution and that one the Filipino-American war, and even one was said to have covered the slaying of Ferdinand Magellan by Lapu-Lapu.

To the younger ones, some should have retired long ago to give way to them, but the habit of preaching, especially among columnists, becomes a habit that lasts to one's dying breathe. The upside, of course, they furnish the historical background that most young reporters, columnists, and editors are lacking of, as can be seen in the garbled reportage in some media outlets. …