Thursday, April 18, 2024

Journalism: The New Intramural Sport 

By Grylle Adrian G. Malala | March 8, 2024

When we ought to think about intramurals, ball games, net games, wall games, and every other sport that requires physical enthusiasm—endurance, speed, agility, flexibility, etc.—are among the very first things that come to mind. However, behind these athletic games are individuals holding a pen instead of a ball, and individuals holding a camera instead of a racket.  

It’s not only the sports athletes that we see running but the athletes of truth as well. 

In the context of university-wide events—events as big as the Silliman University  (SU) Intramurals—where do you, as a Sillimanian, get your latest news updates? 

The Weekly Sillimanian, also known as tWS, is the official student publication of Silliman  University; delivering quality news stories since its launch in the year 1903, then known as the  Silliman Truth. tWS has been in service for almost 121 years, covering quality news and feature stories be it big or small.  

This is where the Silliman students get their latest news updates. 

The publication, during its regular operations, produces one issue per week thus it being  “weekly.” However, during major university-wide events like the intramurals, the publication shifts its operations to a faster and more efficient way to deliver its news. They call it the “tWS Sports Express,” a time wherein the publication “goes all out.”

What’s new with tWS Sports Express?  

tWS Sports Express continues to improve throughout the years, and this year is a time for new developments in the mechanisms of the publication. 

As previous staffers employed livestreams, score updates, and recap episodes, this year’s staffers planned to keep these while also improving and adding more. “This year,  we did our best to revive, improve upon, and be more consistent with methods of coverage that  

were employed in previous years.” expressed Natania Shay Du, editor-in-chief of tWS

Continuing the traditional livestream during the basketball championships and intramurals closing, tWS this year employed commentators, anchors, courtside reporters, and multiple camera angles alongside the professional help of the Instructional Media and Technology Center (IMTC). 

Another development in the publication’s Sports Express is its use of the advantages of social media platforms to produce news, fast. Posting real-time #NOW updates on what sports are currently being played and posting short video updates on Facebook and Instagram stories produced successful engagement among Sillimanian netizens. 

In addition to these developments is the release of what can be considered as an intramurals “memorabilia” in the form of a double issue showcasing colored pages, a development away from the publication’s regular weekly black and white releases.  

Secrets to being fast like the flash, hundred-yard dash! 

Anticipating the surge of hectic preparations for intramurals come the end of February or beginning March as stipulated in the university calendar, tWS has been putting together their Sports Express special edition since early January. 

Although subjected to last-minute changes due to the intramurals bustle, templates became the publication’s best friend. Developing a tactic of making ready-made captions and publication materials that sit and await input on necessary information became a factor that aided tWS in producing news in seconds. Moreover, the skill set for the Sports Express delved more into broadcast reporting, live updates, and news feature writing.  

However, all of these on-the-click updates could not have been achieved without the undying passion of student journalists and tWS staffers who are just as restless as the rest of the intramurals organizers and players. With deployments as early as seven in the morning, tWS staffers warm up alongside the athletes of the various sports they are covering.  

Genno Gabriel Rabaya, news writer for tWS, shared, “As a maskomista,  a staffer, a correspondent, a photographer at times, and a player—it was truly tough. My game plan going through it was just to show up.” 

Running from one court to another—Ravello to Cimafranca—to cover the latest sports news updates became a sport in itself.  

It is a relatable experience shared by tWS coverage partners, the Silliman University College of Mass Communication (SU CMC) and the Silliman University Camera Club (SUCC). 

CMC students shared that covering this year’s intramurals and being able to help out in the publication was a “fun” process. In the words of Luke Timothy Burbano, CMC Sophomore, “It  was fun… applying what I learned in the classroom into the real world… and not just as a  deliverable for class.” 

This sentiment is shared by numerous news correspondents from the college, carrying that notion of being able to bring learnings inside the four corners of the classroom to the free-roaming world. 

The secret to producing news fast isn’t just the tactic, the technology, or the people alone. It’s a collaborative effort of these various things that produce updates in seconds for the students of Silliman.  

Journalism, a sport in itself 

It takes more than just a ball, a net, and a wall to consider something as a sport. Sometimes,  it takes a passionate heart, a driven mind, a keen eye, and strong running legs.  

Like any other athletic game out there, journalism isn’t for the faint of heart; this craft caters to individuals willing to spend restless nights and sleepless mornings covering events no matter how big or small they are.  

Planning on developments to improve news delivery is like planning on the next move and where to kick the ball. Producing news fast is like being agile in defending while the opponent tries to score.  

Publication advisers are the new coaches, the editor-in-chief is the new team captain, the staffers are the new players, and journalism is the new intramural sport. 

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