Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trying Out

In the last 10 days, I've been trying a hand on some editing works inside the newsroom of Cebu Daily News. The work stretches from the three o'clock story conference---when the editors decide on the headlines and stories of the day and give page assignments---to deep hours in the night when the editors finally put the paper to bed. On the first days I was here, I was bowling with laughter from the police stories assigned to me because they were---tragic, comic and absurd! They were also the toughest works to edit. After the first days (urrhm, nights), I discovered the benefits of coffee but I fought the urge to draw out a stick of cigarette. My cigarette memories are still with Nico, outside the gate of PDI Mindanao bureau where we can watch the Bachelor buses from Butuan passing us buy; or with Dasia, whose ashtrays bear the marks of nicotine abuse while we allow our minds to roam. Inside the newsroom, I can't probably allow my mind to roam. I have to fix an eye on the copies and make sure that it stays there. There's not enough time to explore the depth and breadth of things. You have to deliver a finished product before the first rays of the next day.
Over the weekend, I handled a page on a heritage building along Osmena Boulevard. I liked doing it because I wanted to get inside that building--a museum---and take a look inside. Cebu is teeming with those centuries-old Cathedrals and colonial Churches that are remnants of our past. I have the urge to go out and stare at them in the afternoons to summon all the ghosts and understand my future. But what can I do? I'm inside the newsroom!

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