MANILA, Philippines ? The Page 1 stories in this issue were selected by the Inquirer?s Page 1 Readership Council, which was its culminating activity Thursday to cap its nine-month tenure.
What?s the Readership Council?
The Philippine Daily Inquirer was born on the lap of People Power (the FIRST and the ONE and ONLY Edsa I). That?s why it never talks to itself. It has to hear from people who made us what we are today (No. 1!).
For instance, our conscience-driven slogan ?Balanced News, Fearless Views? came from the ranks of a suddenly empowered people emerging out of the crucible of dictatorship in 1986.
Listening to readers
So, from its creation in 1985, the Inquirer has always reached out to people. To know what is on their mind, to know the kind of information they need to be able to live the life that they deserve in pursuit of their God-given right to liberty and happiness.
In other words, we listen to our readers. All the time. Listening now forms part of our mission/vision. We do not always succeed but we try. If we fail one day, we try again the next.
In 2007, we finally formalized the Inquirer?s reader-centered aspirations. We put a process and method to it complete with a set of objectives and people who take their Inquirer seriously.
We organized the Readership Council to keep the conversation going between the Inquirer and its readers.
We did not want a general readership council for the entire paper. Every section in the Inquirer has its specific beats and concerns just like real people. To address this diversity of news coverages, the council was similarly structured.
9 active members
We started with a Readership Council for the Business section. Then, on to the Sports section. And last November, the Inquirer formed the Readership Council for Page 1.
The members of the Page 1 Readership Council are, in alphabetical order: Manolo Aquino, Reynaldo Arcilla, Joseph Assad, Michael Joseph Jr., Augusto ?Bing? Hamoy Kimpo Jr., Dr. Cayetano Paderanga Jr., Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, Washington Sycip and Rose Yenko.
There were six other members who, however, were unable to attend the meetings.
Council members are selected from among the Inquirer?s pool of intelligent readers who are known to be passionate about the news, opinion leaders who represent private and public professionals and civic groups as well as academic institutions and religious organizations and experts in various fields relevant to each section of the Inquirer.
The main objective is to eliminate the disconnect between the newsroom and its community of readers. To keep the line of communication wide open 24/7 between the Inquirer and its readers without whom this paper has no reason for being.
After the Page 1 Readership Council sat down with the editors to choose today?s Page 1 stories, Inquirer chair Marixi Prieto and president/CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez hosted merienda for the council members to thank them for a job well done. All were reluctant to say goodbye. All agreed to stay in touch.
Council meetings were all held at the Inquirer main office on Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
During the meetings, the Inquirer was represented by publisher Isagani Yambot, editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, managing editor Joey Nolasco, editorial consultant Amado Doronila, Connie Kalagayan of Strategic Marketing Services or Joel dela Cruz of the Business Group.