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Writing pays!

THIS is news to me: Journalism pays, in truth top salaries of P21,777, according to a survey of fresh graduates’ pay scales.

Just as surprising, learning that the term journalism/journalists is not confined to mean work on a day-to-day basis, such as in a newspaper office or radio and TV station. (Journalism is derived from the French word “jour,” i.e., day). Apparently, the new definition includes online content writing, e.g., blogging – but are bloggers journalists?

Journalists practice their “profession” – the quotation marks inherited from my journalism professors who said it has never been a profession, although Max Soliven used to say that it’s the second oldest in the world – without passing a board exam and taking an oath, but what separates journalists from bloggers is that the former are accountable to their publishers and editors, the ethics of the press and libel laws.

You didn’t have to be a high school or college graduate to be a topnotch journalist, as some of the most revered reporters and editors did become, in their time. Going by JobStreet.com’s digital-age definition, practically anyone who does some writing of some kind is a journalist, including the spinners of “fake news.”

Another newsy surprise was how Polytechnic University of the Philippines is now the top source of new-hires, edging out UP and UST at no. 2 and 3, with PUP sandwiched between the two in terms of employee performance, followed by Ateneo at no. 4. If memory serves, it was not so long ago when employers unabashedly proclaimed that they preferred to hire graduates of UP, Ateneo, and La Salle, not necessarily in that order, just because they came from “good schools.” A PUP graduate told a TV reporter she was trained (might “conditioned” be a better word?) to “practice humility,” i.e., do as you are told, don’t be too proud to work and do try a little harder.

If anything, that statement and JobStreet’s findings that employers look for workers with the correct attitude toward work – such as humility – should teach us to smash all previously held notions that expensive schools are the only rich source of employables born and bred with a ton of smarts, talent, and self-confidence. (Jullie Y. Daza)

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