Do you have a complaint against a Cebu newspaper? File it online

And here’s the link to the complaint form.

Our editor-in-chief, one of the driving forces behind the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), asked me to build the council’s website in time for the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration in September.

CCPC website CCPC WEBSITE, as featured in a recent issue of Philippine Journalism Reports. Click on image to enlarge.

The requirements for the site were simple: the ability to post articles and reports and an easy facility to get feedback–features easily managed by my favorite open source blogging platform, WordPress.

I briefly considered using another content management system (CMS) with more advance portal features, some form of document tracking or online file repository but the person tasked with updating the site said these aren’t needed. Complaints, she said, will be handled offline.

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I’m in Cebu Journalism and Journalists 2, a glossy magazine that comes out during the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration. The magazine’s purpose is “to put between its covers people, institutions, and activities that have helped bring Cebu journalism to what it is now: dynamic and thriving.” Cebu Journalism and Journalists

I wasn’t initially picked to be among the journalists featured in the magazine. I was, in fact, the last to be included in the volume.

A few days before the magazine was to be sent to the printer, I arrived at the office in my usual getup: jeans and shirt with scruffy hair on a face untouched by razor for a few weeks. I was surprised to be told to fix myself up, borrow a polo shirt and have my picture taken.

I was then told to write something about myself and, being the hardcore blogger that I am, I couldn’t resist including my weblog URL in the text. My late addition caused the relegation of a big-shot Cebuano broadcaster from a full-page treatment in the magazine into just half a page.

Max Limpag My half-page of fame in the Cebu Journalism and Journalists magazine. Click to enlarge.

The journalists included in the magazine were also featured in a photo exhibit in Ayala Center Cebu. I wasn’t able to visit the exhibit, which ended last night, because the past few days have been hectic for me and my family. As expected, I got ribbed for the drop in sales at the mall as my picture was scaring shoppers away.

How to eat a suman or why Dennis Rodman walked out

Can somebody tell me why organizers didn’t just serve Dennis Rodman’s suman without the banana wrapping? Basketball’s Bad Boy reportedly got mad yesterday when, after being served the glutinous rice delicacy, he ate it including the banana leaf wrapper.

Rodman is in Cebu for The Bad Boy Tour. He was scheduled to play at the Mandaue City Sports Complex last night in the NBA Legends vs. San Miguel All Stars matchup.

News of the walkout was all over the newsroom yesterday. I never got to talk to the reporters and photographers who were present during the press conference snubbed by the former Chicago Bulls and Pistons standout but this was confirmed by several sources.

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The glass cannot be half-full

Either there is press freedom or not, according to Sun.Stars pooled editorial.

The editorial points out the danger of making police the evaluators of media.

Why do cops make poor evaluators? They dont know the craft and its nuances. Their mind-set is that of victims, whipped frequently by media for lapses and offenses.

The paper (disclosure: I work for Sun.Star Cebu) says “The Government cannot claim to be free and democratic when it gags media by threats of takeover or shutdown.”

Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency in the country has been described as a harmless weapon that should not instill fear among the law-abiding.

We disagree. It is a lethal weapon in the hands of those who exceed or abuse the power–out of ignorance, spite, or meanness.

Read the full article here.

Manuel Oyson, Jr., 71

Sun.Star Cebu columnist Manuel Oyson Jr. died Monday, months after suffering a massive heart attack. Oyson, considered the dean of Cebu sportswriters, suffered a heart attack reportedly after an emotional outburst over his legal battle with an insurance company. Oyson had been claiming insurance payments for one of his properties that had been destroyed in a fire.

Attorney Oyson had been with Sun.Star Cebu since its inaugural issue on Nov. 25, 1982. Heres part of the Sun.Star Cebu story on his death:

While some of his opinions were unpopular, he was not afraid to make them known through his columns. One of his daring forecasts was the victory of Mexicos Erik Morales over Filipino sentimental favorite Manny Pacquiao in the two boxers first encounter last year.

Listing of top Philippine news sites

The government-owned Philippine News Agency listed yesterday the top mainstream Philippine news websites based on Netcraft ranking. The data is taken from browsing habits of users of the Netcraft toolbar. I don’t know how big and representative that user base is.

I also don’t know how PNA compiled the list, I tried looking for a listing of the top Philippine sites in Netcraft but couldn’t find one. There’s a listing of the most visited websites with site rank scores but this isn’t grouped by countries and there isn’t even a link to succeeding pages. You can also get the site ranking when you do a web server query in Netcraft. I don’t know if you can access the list if you have the Netcraft toolbar, which I don’t (I hate toolbars-except for the web developer toolbar for Firefox).
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Domain of Cebu-based newspaper expires is no more. The domain name of the newspaper I used to work for expired and is now just a landing page. The Freeman, however, no longer uses the domain and for months the pages there were no longer updated. has a Google page rank of 5 and when I checked the domain sale details, the page said that the minimum bid for the domain was $3,000.

The Freeman is now part of the Philippine Star Group of Publications and its online version is now hosted at the portal. The problem with its hosting, however, is that it does not have a fixed URL that you can promote in the paper. The link to The Freeman website changes everyday-it is an html page with a date-based filename.

Newspaper editor Ivan Suansing dies

Cebu Daily News editor-in-chief Ivan Suansing died yesterday after a 10-hour heart surgery. He was 43

He was a sensitive and brilliant editor-in-chief who developed the paper like an attentive father. He made sure it lived up to high standards of independence and professionalism, CDN publisher Eileen G. Mangubat said in a statement printed in Sun.Star Cebu.

Sun.Star Cebu editor-in-chief Pachico Seares says in his column today: A reality in newsrooms is that a bad heart, battered by waves of stress after stress, or poor health, induced by uneven and unceasing demands of the work, can be as lethal to an editor as assassins bullets.

Seares describes an editor’s task as:

The editor must also wrestle daily with the task of planning the papers content, executing the plan, and coping with various problems along the way, all in the heat of deadline.

In between press runs, the editor must tackle irate news sources, dissatisfied readers, and other stakeholders who believe producing newspapers is a breeze, just as easy as peddling detergent or burger.

On top of all this, the editor must look after the economic plight, physical safety, and ethical problems of his journalists.

Press Freedom Week ends and I get star-struck

The San Miguel Beer party of the Cebu Press Freedom Week is the only event I’ve consistently attended in the past few years of the annual celebration. It’s held on a Saturday, the last day of the celebration and my day-off from the newsroom.

Yesterday, Marlen and I attended the gathering. We met old friends and acquaintances including former colleagues in the Cebu City Hall beat. While we were watching the band playing that time (the lead singer’s strapless dress was about to fall off), more people started coming in. When I looked at who occupied the seats across us, I saw TV personality Angela Calina. She sat beside Cebu Daily News editor Niza Marias.

I told Marlen that I’d try to steal a shot of Angela for my blog. She said I was too obvious. I don’t know what got into me but I asked Angela if it’s okay that I take a photo of her for my blog. She said the photo should be of the two of us. I asked Marlen to take a photo and stood beside one of the most beautiful women in Cebu.


Press freedom week and haute cuisine

This week is Press Freedom Week in Cebu. The event, held on the week where Sept 21 falls, is an annual gathering of Cebu journalists. The event traditionally starts with a march from City Hall to Capitol, this year it was from Capitol to the University of the Visayas. I missed last Sunday’s march because I wasn’t feeling well and I was struggling to meet the deadline for an article on blogging and journalism.

Last Monday, reporters were treated to a six-course lesson on haute cuisine at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu City. I was busy closing pages that night and had to content myself with a fine meal of canteen cuisine and an instant La Paz batchoy later.

On Wednesday, Sun.Star Cebu started its citizen journalists project. It has a web component run by, naturally, WordPress. Here’s a link to Sun.Star Cebu’s editorial announcing the project. This afternoon, Manolo Quezon will be addressing a forum in UP Cebu on Gloriagate. I checked the assignments log last night and saw that the forum was scheduled at 1:00 p.m. My wife and I are planning to attend the forum (that is if I wake up in time for it). Are other Cebu-based bloggers planning to attend this afternoon’s forum? Why don’t we meet there?