PERSISTING AND PREVAILING: Traditional print media in the epoch of the internet

ACCESS to information has never been easier, thanks to modern technology. The rise of the internet and social media has dramatically accelerated the production and consumption of news, along with content masquerading as legitimate news.

But while digital formats offer undeniable advantages, they also come with significant drawbacks, including a noticeable lack of rigorous editorial oversight.

As this debate continues to unfold, we turn our focus to a group of individuals who still cherish accessing information, happenings, and events through the traditional print media such as Panay News, Western Visayas’ established newspaper, now celebrating 43 years of high-caliber public service.

Despite the paper’s online presence – official website (, Panay News Facebook Page, Panay News Viber Community, and via YouTube and X (formerly Twitter) – thousands of printed copies still leave the editorial and production walls daily. We reached out to some of the longest-standing subscribers and readers to discover why they prefer the printed copy over the newer platforms mentioned.

One of them is Jennie Peñol of Barangay Purok 2, Pavia, Iloilo, who prefers print media despite being acquainted with technology and social media. The 58-year-old mother and housewife has been a print subscriber for more than 10 years.

Jennie Peño

Gusto ko ang hard copy gihapon sang kay kis-a masaku man ako sa akon obra diri sa sulod sang balay, so indi ko sia dayun mabasa. Ti, amo na kon may vacant time ako, ginabalikan ko gid ran kag basahon kay kon sa radio kag television mapungko ka gid kag mamati ti indi ko na mahimu kay masaku man ako sa akon obra,” said Peñol.

She also noted that the daily paper is packed with news that is informative and inspiring, be it local, national, or international, as well as in business, sports, and entertainment.

But her most anticipated sections, like for many, are the opinion column and Lapsus Calami.

Para updated man ako sang news diri sa palibot, iba gid kon local ang akon mabasa,” she said, noting that the flow of information on the internet could be overwhelming and that Panay News has been making it easier for her.

At the height of the coronavirus 2019 pandemic also came the misinformation and disinformation scare. The public health situation then limited mobility for senior citizens, causing them to be less aware of the happenings.

As such, 75-year-old Rene Magbanua from Barangay Tacas, Jaro, Iloilo City, has shifted to preferring traditional print over frequently accessing social media. 

Rene Magbanua

According to Rene, he prefers reading on paper because of his hearing impairment. And he has loved to read ever since because his father was a dealer of newspapers.

Ang Panay News lang akon ginabasa kay kadamo sang akon mabasa nga news kag indi naman ako makakita sang layo kon maglantaw ako sang television kag indi man ako gawa kabati kon mamati ako sa radyo,” he said. 

Rene’s favorites are the leisure section because he finds it fun to solve puzzles, the regional news because he likes to be kept updated with the happenings, particularly in Negros Occidental, and most importantly, he always anticipates the headline and banner stories.

Joan Magbanua, Rene’s sibling, revealed that since his subscription, it has become a hobby for Rene to read every day.

Nag-start sang pandemic kay indi man kagwa tapos wala sia kabalo kon ano balita, ti nag-decide kami mag-subscribe sa Panay News. Didto nabal-an ya dapat magsuksok sang mask kon mag gwa, amo na nga naga-mask gid kag nagadala sang sanitizer kon mag gwa kay nabasa ya sa Panay News,” said Joan.

Eager to learn, Joan said if newspaper delivery to their house was delayed even by a few minutes, Rene would patiently wait outside their house. There are times as well when Rene rereads an old copy.

Gwa-sulod na sia bisan naga-inuran, siling ko hulat lang kay maabot gid na tapos ginahambalan ko nga basaha lang anay ang daan nga ginatago mo,” added Joan.

For the Magbanua siblings, the region’s No. 1 newspaper has evolved into a symbol of their bond.

Also, a subscriber for over 10 years, Junito Fuasan, a 64-year-old resident of Barangay Purok 2, Pavia, Iloilo said he continues subscribing to Panay News despite the news being readily available on other platforms and media because he neither has a cellphone nor access to the internet.

Junito Fuasan

“At least ma-update kaw sa mga balita sa nagakatabo sa palibot,” he said. 

Just like the other avid readers of Panay News, Junito is the most earnest of the local news.

Lain ya kon newspaper, at least mabalik-balikan mo kon ano gusto mo nga basahon,” he said, noting that a hard or printed copy could be advantageous for him as he could reaccess it anytime again and with ease./PN


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