I checked my email account’s “Sent” folder today for old messages worth keeping and deleting. And before I delete this old message, I’d like to share with you an email interview I gave to a journalism student last March 27 who was writing her paper on campus journalism for a Sociology course she was taking.
The student paper serves as a major venue for the exercise of campus press freedom. Through the student paper, both the campus journalists and the target audience appreciate the role of the press in shaping public opinion and the importance of maintaining the highest standards of practice of the journalism profession. The Philippine Collegian, I think, has the richest and most colorful tradition of campus journalism in the country since its analyses of issues, particularly during the dark days of martial law, are valued even by the so-called professional journalists.
What is the role and importance of the campus press in the national political and social system?
The campus press serves as the voice of the students in particular and the youth in general (if we were to include here the out-of-school ones). History has shown that the youth play a major role in the shaping of history, as in the case of the Cultural Revolution in China and even in the 1896 Revolution in the Philippines. In today’s setting, the campus press can help strengthen the youth and student movement and consequently foment social change.
How does the campus press differentiate itself from the other sources of information in the university?
The slant of the campus press (or, to be more precise, student publications) is theoretically for the youth. It is expected to maintain fairness and objectivity but at the same time use the perspective of the youth in analyzing the local, national and international situations. The mainstream media, except for specialized publications and programs that cater to the youth, cannot be expected to have that kind of slant that is inherently biased for the youth.