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The Importance of Pursuing a College Degree in Journalism Amid the Emerging Number of Non-Journalism Graduates Working in the Media

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Page 1 of 41 Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism Ateneo de Naga University Department of Media Studies The Importance of Having a Journalism Degree Amid the Emerging Number of Non-Journalism Graduates Working in the Media Gonzales, Loen May F. Taduran, Christian S. Page 2 of 41 Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism CHAPTER 1 Introduction RATIONALE Journalism in the Philippines spurred long before the Martial La
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  Page 1  of 41   Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism Ateneo de Naga University Department of Media Studies The Importance of Having a Journalism Degree Amid the Emerging Number of Non-Journalism Graduates Working in the Media Gonzales, Loen May F. Taduran, Christian S.  Page 2  of 41   Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism CHAPTER 1 Introduction RATIONALE  Journalism in the Philippines spurred long before the Martial Law days even started in 1972. Indeed, even during the very familiar Spanish Colonization era, nascent signs of the Filipinos‘ need to express their grievances and to disseminate information in what appeared to be a country beginning to slide down into passivity on account of the protracted Spanish occupation were prevalent across the Philippines. Of course, there was the historic ― La Solaridad  ‖ which published hard -hitting, firebrand stories that challenged the rubberstamp Spanish government then in the country. After that, there came the ― Kalayaan  ‖ that broke the very first commentary ever published in the history of the Philippines. This first commentary would later be the prototype of several other commentaries in the Philippine newspaper dominant even to this day. All of these were short-lived, however. Although it is indeed impossible to trace back the very first form of information dissemination  Page 3  of 41   Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism in the Philippines, it is however safe to argue that Philippine journalism at least had its landmark growth during the prohibitive age of foreign occupation, including the imperialist American regime. When the nationalist Filipinos won over the Spaniards, the Americans took over; the backlash on the budding Philippine journalism then was, without doubt, enormous. Quite apart from Spain‘s outright extra -legal practice of prohibiting anti-Spanish journalistic and literary works, the Americans did it legally by enacting laws that discouraged, if not entirely stopped the editorialist nature of the Philippine newspaper. Freedom of the press would eventually be at the Filipinos‘ disposal, several years later, right in the aftermath of the legendary ouster of Dictator Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos in February of 1986.    Today, Philippine journalism has obviously reached its peak. This research will, however, focus on local newspapers only. With the multitude of newspapers sprouting in every corner of the country, literally and figuratively, the demand for journalists has likewise flourished. This might be the reason why the executive board in every newspaper company has since hired the help of non-journalism graduates in the field. Veteran journalist and Former CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief Maria Ressa was taking a pre-medical track in Princeton University when she started her journalistic career in Asia.  Page 4  of 41   Gonzales, Taduran Importance of College Degree in Journalism Despite the number of schools here in the Philippines that offer four- year journalism degrees, scores of journalists today in the media graduated with degrees not actually related to the field they are working on  —  a number of them being educated in journalism by the actual experience as apprentice staffers in certain newspapers. As a result, this questions the importance of attending formal journalism classes in universities for more or less four years. Furthermore, this places the very foundation of those currently enrolled in journalism courses on a very shaky foothold.  This is the reality in the modern media that the researchers have observed today. In connection to such reality, this research will focus on the importance of the journalism degree to the actual field. The researchers, with the help of the local media experts, hope to bolster and reinforce the need for aspiring journalists to pursue a journalism degree if they ever plan to land a job on certain newspapers.  This research, citing ―actional realism‖ as its guiding ontological paradigm, also dawns on the choice of graduates  —  whether by need or by want  —  to pursue a career in journalism regardless of their college degree. Apart from the fact that they need to get a job related to the course they
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