“Journalists should stay courageous in upholding press freedom and telling people the truth. They should not be cowed.”

THESE were the words that Panay News founder Daniel “Danny” G. Fajardo left before passing away last year. In an interview for the paper’s 37th anniversary issue, “Boss DF” – as what his employees fondly call him – highlighted the importance of telling the truth.

Fajardo stressed that Panay News, as a media entity, should be steadfast in promoting the freedom of the press by delivering information based on facts.

“That is the philosophy of Panay News,” said Fajardo, one of the pillars of journalism in Western Visayas.

Panay News senior reporter Glenda Tayona interviews “Boss DF” for the paper’s 37th anniversary issue in 2018. FILE

But he also acknowledged that doing this is not an easy task.

“There are enemies of press freedom. These forces are not only ordinary people; they are big people – they have the force, power and influence,” Fajardo stressed.

Nevertheless, Panay News and other news outlets should continue doing their part for the community because the people deserve to know the truth.

On the other hand, Fajardo said he believes that Panay News – the “only legacy” he can leave – can surpass the dynamic changes in the world of reporting.

He acknowledged that traditional media outlets are confronted by a big challenge now that the worldwide web is readily available for almost everyone. But Fajardo said the print medium, especially Panay News, will survive these trying times.

“The next generations of the family will – I have no doubt because I believe – continue the operations of Panay News,” Fajardo said, adding that as long as there are dedicated people working for the regional newspaper, it won’t die.

He also welcomed the steps that Panay News is taking in the age of digitization.

“Our world is a revolving machine. [Panay News should] go with the existing flow of time, with technology and modern sciences,” Fajardo said.

Fajardo says journalists should not cower – they should be courageous in telling the truth.

He added: “To make it relevant, Panay News should continue improving itself, improve its advertisement revenue, layout, marketing, operations, and at the same time see to it that [it] will continue to be readable and interesting.”

Fajardo died at 72 on Sept. 9, 2018 at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. He founded Panay News in 1981 to further expand the frontiers of press freedom in Western Visayas.

He hosted the popular Iloilo radio/cable television public affairs program Reklamo Publiko and headed the Iloilo Press Club – the oldest press club in the country – for several terms. Fajardo also served as executive vice president of the Publishers’ Association of the Philippines./PN


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