Eighteen AB Communication students of Sacred Heart College (SHC) accompanied by their program head, Dr. Maria Zorayda A. Torres, and faculty, Mrs. Jennifer R. Malelang and Mr. Earl B. Gicana, had an observation-tour on October 4, 2019 in two big media organizations in the country, i.e., the Manila Bulletin in Intramuros, Manila and ABS-CBN in Quezon City. The purpose of this activity was to expose the ABComm students to the different areas of practice in the field of communication.
The Manila Bulletin Visit. This visit commenced with the introduction of the tour guide, Mr. Rafael Bello from the Research Department of the Manila Bulletin. With the guests following his lead, they first made their way to the lounge area of the building. The mentioned location was adorned with dazzling but classic embellishments, with shelves filled with books displayed gracefully high up on the wall, and with luminous chandeliers filling up the space with a peaceful ambience, a complementary asset for the journalists who work in the company. It is also ornamented with a handful of paintings and figurines that also add up to the overall atmosphere of the lounge area.
After taking ample time in the lounge room, the visitors then entered the newsroom, wherein several employees of the Manila Bulletin were working. The room was brimming with computers and bundles of papers, further capturing the hard work exerted by the people behind the newspapers and online articles people browse until today. There were also numerous TV screens mounted on the wall that show different updates from various sources such as social media in real time.
Following the newsroom tour, the guests then went to have a good look at a vast collection of phones, cameras and other handheld devices dating from the past up to the present. It has the most definitely shown pieces of technology that developed and evolved through time, from being bulky and heavy such as the likes of camera obscura and old cellular phones until it became smaller, more mobile, and more portable.
The visit did not end on that yet, for visiting the newsmaker establishment means knowing where and how the papers distributed to the readers on a nationwide and daily basis was made: the printing press. Along the way to the said area, they were also able to get a view of a compendium of action figures from various pop culture and prominent films such as superheroes from Marvel and of similar subjects.
Upon entering the vicinity of the printing press, the guests were greeted with enormous machines handled by skilled workers. The tour guide was able to relay some interesting facts and information on the way, such as the age of some of the printing press which ranged from around 70 to 80 years old, and how Manila Bulletin stopped its operation during the World War II and the period of Martial Law in the Philippines. There were 20 machines installed in the area, all equipped with soy-based ink which are more environmentally-friendly than the kerosene based variety of the kind. The printing press were Mitsubishi brand exported from Heidelberg and is capable of printing approximately 10,000 copies of newspapers per machine. The process of creating the newspaper was also discussed, starting from the gathering of information followed with the writing of articles and then the editing process. The finalized layout of the news will then be printed in the afternoon to be delivered to various local regions in the country.
The course of the visit was followed with the tour at the plate making room, where the colored pages of newspapers are made. The plate making process uses four aluminium plates per page. It also follows the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta,Yellow, and Key) color model for printing the hued papers.
The final destination was also a part of the printing press, only this time it involved the freshly printed bundles of newspapers. There were numerous complex equipment utilized in the news making process specifically in the area, and as some of them poses danger and may cause accidents, the tour guide reminded the visitors to be mindful of where they are heading to and be aware of certain unnoticeable objects that might be on the way.
The ABS CBN Visit. Later that day, specifically around 2:30 in the afternoon, the students and the faculty members made their way to the one of the largest media industries based in Quezon City, Philippines: the ABS-CBN Corporation or the country’s Kapamilya Network, for the studio tour.
The ABS-CBN Studios is divided into 12 studios and each stage has its own story, a vast journey, as if travelling from one dimension to another. Each door opened a space to witness the world of entertainment and news. Accompanied by Miss Debby and Mr. Michael who are part of the industry, the visit to the agency became an enlightening and star-filled exploration.
Knowing the Filipinos, they are fond of watching television to keep track of the shows they are interested in. In the studio tour, a lot of knowledge can be learned, one can also immerse themselves in the experience of being a part of the media and witness how it is managed behind the scenes. The tour gave a glance of the magic behind the scenes of local reality shows and programs, same with teleseryes.
The visit at the Manila Bulletin and ABS-CBN concluded on a successful note with the guests equipped with added information and experience in the field of media.