This is what we do. This is who we are.

The Manila Standard marks its 34th anniversary in an environment of uncertainty and hardship.
All around us, the pandemic continues to sicken or kill, and threatens further to infect even more. The economy has suffered a beating with the lockdowns, and millions have been left unemployed. Those who have managed to cling to their jobs or livelihood face uncertainty over them every day. Meanwhile, prices of food – and practically everything else – are soaring.
Specifically, the media industry is taking its own beating, with community papers closing and advertisements dwindling because of the dampened economic activity. The existential threat to print media looms above our heads every day.
Nobody is in a celebratory mood. There is just too much misery around us and too much uncertainty about the days ahead.

Still, we mark this day as a milestone for the plain fact that we even got here in the first place.

The Manila Standard and its employees are no strangers to adversity and challenge. Over the past 34 years, we have seen changes both within the organization and outside it. We have dealt with numerous personalities and difficult situations that have made us question why we are still doing this to begin with.

But we have delivered the same answer to all our hardship-inspired questions. We are still here because this is what we do. This is who we are.

What is constant in us amid volatile conditions is our commitment to the profession of bringing news to the people. This is especially crucial in this age when “information” is facile and easily twisted by some to further their own agenda. We try to cope with the demands of the times – hence MS Digital and our webcast offerings – but at our core we are old-school: To the truth lies our first obligation. To the public lie our first loyalties.

We encourage different, sometimes clashing, points of view because this is precisely what makes a democracy. We give our readers these in the hopes that they will have adequate input with which to form their own views – and, in the words of Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, “to be free and self-governing.”

This is not to say we have never slipped in our judgment, or been always morally superior, or thrive in the present adversities. We look forward to the day when the world finally beats this virus, when people know how to spot fake news and reject them outright, and when the interest of the public takes precedence all the time to the interests of a few – no matter how high and mighty.

For today, we cite those among us who rise every day prepared to do the grueling work of newspapering whatever the difficulties, no matter the odds. It’s a comforting reminder that amid the frenzy and the chaos, some things are worth staying put for.