HE walks in a newsroom of din and the scent of coffee wafts through the air as he is handed his script for today’s newscast. Having driven through EDSA for the third time today, static noise from the radio and the dreadful traffic never seemed to break his spirit to bring in today’s weather report.
Lourd Ernest Hanopol-De Veyra has practiced Journalism for more than two decades and pioneered satirical broadcasting since setting foot into the world of broadcast in 2008, in the newly re-established TV5.
Inking the Blots
“If my mom never brought me to EDSA Shangri-La to watch her college classmate play the guitar on the lobby with no one watching, I would’ve graduated with a degree in Music.”
De Veyra had no plans on taking Journalism by storm as he wanted to take up Political Science.
But being able to take up a Creative Writing class under the great Dr. Ophelia Dimalanta for one semester gave him all the reason to write all his life.
“I had no regrets in choosing a writing course [Journalism], dun ko kasi narealize na masarap pala magsulat, na gusto ko siya,” he adds.
De Veyra was a Philippine Daily Inquirer scholar in his last two years in UST but was regretfully unable to work there as the paper had a hiring freeze and worked for Teddy Boy Locsin Jr instead.
He also worked for other newspapers from time to time, having freelance writing and editorial jobs in various publications until he was approached one day by TV5 News Production head Patrick Paez to work for the newly relaunched evening news of Channel 5.
“I had no plans at all to do TV reporting,” he said explaining how he prefers writing news in print media above all the media he did Journalism in.
He adds that in writing, one has control over his content unlike other media.“I can say writing news pa rin yung pinaka gusto ko, kasi in writing may control ka sa ginagawa mo. Sa TV ang daming factors. Mostly ako yung nagsusulat nung nirereport ko sa TV, kahit may writers, ang bottomline sa akin parin dumadaan lahat [ng materials].”
Aside from Television and Print, De Veyra also practiced Journalism in Radio and currently, online.
Foolishness and Fluidity
Patrick Paez yet again whips up another program where De Veyra can do news as he does it best— satirically. United with his real-life friends Ramon Bautista, Jun Sabayton and RA Rivera, De Veyra now spearheads the future of Online Broadcasting.
The satirical news program Kontrabando is well known for its coverage of tabloidized crime news and opinion segments of a Security and Counter-terrorism expert-turned security guard.
When asked about sensationalism in Kontrabando, De Veyra emphasized the scoff it brings to the practice. He admitted that what they do in Kontrabando was mere foolishness and such jibe in the profession should not be practiced in much more formal setting in the media such as Television, Radio and Print.
“Sensational na nga yung ginagawa naming satirical newscast, mas isesensationalize pa namin, gaguguhin pa namin yun, so gaguhan lang talaga yung programang iyon [Kontrabando],” he asserted
De Veyra described Online Journalism as to being a very fluid medium where errors can be quickly rewritten and foolishness is oftentimes not admonished. “Maganda din kasi minsan yung format ng online, napakafluid hindi gaya sa print na parang may pagkakataon ka na hanggang bukas na pag aralan yung mga bagay-bagay, yung mga development at maprint sya sa isang solid at frozen sya forever as a document pag sa dyaryo.”
Aside from online broadcast, De Veyra also writes online in his blog in Spot.ph, airs podcast in Soundcloud. De Veyra also discerned on the future of Journalism as the times become more and more advanced.
“Online Journalism is still evolving and we’ll never know what will come next, we are living in the future and we are still sculpting the future according to our needs and psychologies,’’ he said.
Fine Line Fading
With his blogging being mentioned, it has also called his attention that bloggers and Journalists are becoming more and more alike and as technologies and demands become more advanced.
He argues that reading well-written and professional Journalists is still better as they are trained in the classical discipline of writing and reportage. But De Veyra adds that online writers have an advantage of instant gratification and hyperlinks.
He then states, “Good writing is good writing regardless of the format, regardless of where and in what medium you read it in.”
Serenity in Manila
Although usually seen and read while strongly expressing his opinions about social, economic, political issues and even mocking prominent celebrities, politicians and public figures, De Veyra mentioned he has never been under the brink of death while working as a Journalist.
“Kung sa probinsya siguro oo, matagal na akong patay, pero we’re at Manila, It’s ‘somehow’ safe here,” he said.
He also added that one of the strong factors that his life and profession was never challenged by external threats is because no one important dared and cared to watch, read and listen to him.
“Walang importanteng taong nanonood samin, wala naman silang paki,” he said.
De Veyra expressed his desire to keep on writing (journalism, fiction, etc.) until his last breath and expressed having no desire to stay in Television.
“Tingin ko hindi talaga ako pang TV, whatever happens babalik at babalik parin ako sa pagsusulat. Pagsulat sa sarili, mas [ok] yun. Basta sulat,” he said.
In his defunct talkshow in TV5, WASAK, he always asks his guests at the end of the interview what their last meal would be if they are to die tomorrow, and when it was his turn to answer, he swiftly answered, “Steak.” Neil Jayson Servallos