Inspiring change, igniting minds | Inquirer Opinion
Editorial

Inspiring change, igniting minds

/ 05:03 AM December 09, 2023

editorial12092023

Dear reader, your paper of record is turning another page, just two years shy of 40 as of today. It is a milestone that seemed unthinkable just a few years back, when we faced such challenges as a ruthless pandemic that brought most businesses to their knees, not to mention political forces that sought to shrink democratic space and crush press freedom. That an independent media institution like the Inquirer has survived is testament to its determination to fulfill its original mission of bringing “balanced news and fearless views” to its readers despite the odds.

As even media conglomerates around the globe have shuttered their doors one by one, it is no small feat for this paper to stay afloat and defy that writing on the wall that pundits had long trumpeted: “print is dead.” Battle-scarred, we have endured and prevailed, using previous setbacks as steps to reach even higher ground.

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Revolutionary little-paper-that-could

At 38, the Inquirer is no longer the scrappy upstart, the little-paper-that-could that took on a dictatorship and exposed corruption at all levels without fear or favor. We have matured, yes, but the years have seasoned us, gifted us wisdom and discernment that have only enhanced the grit and idealism of the early years.

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The passion and fervor that gave birth to this paper on Dec. 9, 1985 have ripened into a sensitivity to the needs of the times. As one blessed with the opportunity to watch history unfold, this paper has sought not just a front seat, but also a place at the table where we can earnestly speak to and for the voiceless and disenfranchised. It is a mission we have pursued without losing sight that we are, first and foremost, tasked with chronicling the times, documenting history as it unfolds in the daily news reports that we write and publish. We have always aspired to report the news accurately and fairly, but also to imbue readers with a sense of purpose, the possibility that they can use the information they’ve gathered from the news to change their life and that of others for the better.

Inspiring change, igniting minds

As we transformed from being part of the “mosquito press” to the mainstream, we have carried as in a vessel our sworn duty to report the facts, expose the corrupt, speak for the vulnerable, educate the citizenry, shape public opinion, and spur meaningful action. We mark our 38th year knowing this to be part of our legacy.

It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve learned to steel ourselves through crises and upheavals as we plowed on, “inspiring change [and] igniting minds,” as we have chosen to be our theme for this year’s anniversary. In the face of dwindling literacy rates, rising disinformation, and diminishing trust in media, we have learned to evolve to reach a wider audience, especially the young who will shape the future. While traditional readers will continue to turn our pages over coffee at breakfast, we’ve found ourselves adapting, innovating, and competing with YouTube, TikTok, Netflix, and other online attractions that have kept the young glued to their screen.

Battle for readership and relevance

It’s a battle for readership and relevance in the digital realm that we’ve won, by bringing the print content to the digital space. Inquirer.net, the Inquirer Group’s news website, is now the most viewed Philippine news website according to web analytics firm Similarweb.

It is an evolution made possible by the sometime uneasy collaboration among editors, reporters, researchers, managers, and business personnel who hold the fort at the Inquirer offices, with unstinting support from our stakeholders and partners, and of course, you, our faithful readers. “We are here today, 38 years later, because of our collective effort … It’s our collective effort and the institution that is the base and core,” said Inquirer Group of Companies CEO Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez.

In 2010, when the Inquirer turned 25, our esteemed editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc wondered: “Who would have thought that a day like this would come for us?” It was a question that celebrated Inquirer’s ascendancy as the country’s most credible and widest-circulated daily.

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Integrity, passion, hard work

Today, those words still resonate. At 38, we’ve remained steadfast, as we chase after news that not only informs, but also empowers our readers. As the world explodes with a dizzying array of sources, we continue to offer the integrity of our staff, their passion and hard work, as the best alternative to the confusion and chaos of too many choices.

Dear reader, thank you for your continued trust. It is what powers us through and what keeps the Inquirer torch burning these past 38 years. Rest assured that with pride, courage, and a staunch commitment to you, we will persevere to keep it, and honor it.

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