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(UPDATED) Interview: Lynda C. Corpuz on “whohub”

with 2 comments

(As of 23 September 2016)

I was asked to participate in whohub — a directory of interviews with professionals in the fields of communication, arts, technology, marketing, and any other activity with a creative flair.

Here goes my interview: (Pardon the shameless plugging)

JOURNALISM

Interview with: LYNDA C. CORPUZ [lyndaccorpuz]

What is your specialty? What subjects do you deal with?

I am a versatile, flexible business journalist, who is also an able people manager, and a public speaker as well. My most recent journalism role was being Editor in Chief of entrepreneur.com.ph, the Philippine franchisee of Entrepreneur.com. I also served as Desk Editor for the Business section of Rappler.com, where I lead the coverage of the Forbes Global CEO Conference 2015. I was also one of the three editors for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit 2015 coverage. I also served as Night Editor for the Pope Francis Philippine visit 2015. I spent about 4 years as Writer / Editor for IBM Global Process Services, supporting the branding, marketing, sales support needs of the company’s Finance and Administration and Supply Chain Management business unit.  My 14-year professional experience also include writing / editing management systems; personal finance; business process outsourcing / information and communications technology stories. I also did parenting and beauty and health articles for various publications and companies. On occasions, I also conduct lectures / seminars / workshops for campus and professional journalists. I also conduct workshops on the basics of personal finance and workplace happiness.

In which media do you presently work or have you worked?

(As of 23 September 2016) I am a Communications Consultant, working with various clients for their editorial, public relations, and social media needs. Soon, I will be back hustling again full-time, so I am taking my sweet time now.

Please list a web address where where one can view an example of your work.

Check here for my published articles covering arts and culture, business, finance, lifestyle and entertainment, personal finance, personality profiles: https://lyndaccorpuz.wordpress.com/about/stories-lynda-c-corpuz/

What is “news”?

News, by definition, is still the same as how it is traditionally defined — it is a timely account of an event or a happening. Through the years, we see and read and listen to news evolve as not only timely, informative, and accurate, it also has a great dose of entertainment, plus it is delivered in a more featurized, appealing manner (ex. listicles, infographics).

To you, what is objectivity?

As long as you do your work in an ethical manner, you are exercising objectivity. But I no longer see objectivity as something without taking side, for the fact that journalists go out there to gather their stories, is in itself, a fulfillment of an angle or slant they are pursuing.

What headline would you like to see printed one day in the newspaper?

“The world is now a better place to live in.” Enough of the tiring, depressing, stories we see or read or listen to everyday. This is me as a human being wishing this to happen (set aside my being a journalist).

Does freedom of expression end where the editorial line begins?

There is freedom of expression as long as you get to air or write your side of the story. What is affecting it though is when the business side of journalism gets in the way (the corporate goings-on rule), and disrupts the day-to-day running of what is supposed to be an independent business that is the press / media.

Do you feel that analytical and investigative journalism is being lost?

It is not all at lost, it is just that the press / media of today find more room for infotainment to fill their space and air time. Here in the Philippines, I say we’re blessed to have the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), and the investigative arm of Rappler.com, which have become the measure of breakthrough reportage in the country. Investigative Journalism is also being taught in colleges/universities here, offering Journalism programs, encouraging students to be more in-depth toward their attitude to an event or happening, or find something that is worth covering / writing about.

With a camera on every mobile phone, is every citizen becoming a correspondent?

Yes, a medium such as a smartphone has become a powerful tool to make every citizen a correspondent. Then again, there is always a room to abuse, so for media outfits to use such citizen reports, a thorough examination must be made of the information presented.

How would you explain the boom of the tabloid press?

The tabloid press is booming because a portion of the newspaper audiences grab their offer — an offer presented more appealing than other newspapers stiffly present to them. The tabloid press, while it has its downsides (sensationalized reportage tops), has also, in a way, makes the press industry alive — and still makes some people to read, which is still important when we see a dwindling number of audiences preferring the internet or social media — and not even reading, comprehending what they see on these platforms!

What is your position regarding the right to privacy of famous people?

I respect it when my sources do not want to talk about a topic — or request a certain portion of our interview to be off the record. While they are famous, they are still people who deserve some privacy. Of course, personalities who are very willing to talk makes my job easier. But then again, I always find something new with my interviewees, and that is what I present (within ethical limits, of course).

What can you teach us about the art of the interview?

Nothing beats the basics — research about your interviewee, about your topic, and listen for the answers — and the clues that might require follow-ups. My challenge in doing profiles is to present my subject in a different light. Learning to adjust to these personalities’ moods and schedules is also the key, as I learn to prune my questions to the essentials, at the same time, I give them more chance to elaborate on their answers by asking follow-ups if the time permits.

Please list well-known people you have interviewed.

I am lucky to interview the following when I was at Rappler.com:
  • Mama Sita (maker of famous Filipino food products) president Clara Reyes Lapus;
  • Former presidential candidate and Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc chairman and CEO Manuel “Manny” B. Villar;
  • Italy’s GEOX shoes brand founder Mario Moretti Polegato;
  • Philip Stein co-founder Will Stein;
  • First Filipino pilot of Airbus A380 Captain Franklyn Desiderio

For MoneySense, I interviewed:

  • Philippine Red Cross chairman and now senator Richard “Dick” Gordon;
  • Boxing champion and now Philippine senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao;
  • Singer / songwriter Gary Valenciano and wife / manager Angeli;
  • Former host of Survivor Philippines Paolo Bediones;
  • Former swimming Olympian and celebrity mom Christine Jacob-Sandejas;
  • Former presidential spokesperson and business TV journalist Ricky Carandang;
  • Show biz couple Anthony and Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and their four children;
  • TV host, former Optical Media Board chairperson, and the one who popularized the Papaya dance craze (which Good Morning America featured) Edu Manzano;
  • Celebrity doctor to the stars Dr. Vicky Belo and her heir apparent Cristalle;
  • Popular celebrity endorser and a politician’s wife Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo;
  • Box-office star and multimedia artist and heartthrob Piolo Pascual;
  • Former Philippine tourism Secretary Ace Durano

For Enterprise magazine, I interviewed:

  • Book author and speaker Martin Roll (Asian Branding Strategy);
  • Philippine central bank governor Amando Tetangco, Jr.;
  • Former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nestor Jardin;
  • Celebrity doctors and couple Dr. Manny and Pie Calayan;
  • Cebu Pacific airlines president, 2005 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Lance Gokongwei (son of taipan John Gokongwei Jr);
  • National Bookstore (largest bookstore chain here) matriarch and 2004 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Socorro Ramos;
  • Seasoned radio personality, the late Dely Magpayo, and among other personalities

Had also the chance to cover the Richard Branson leadership forum in April 2016 for Entrepreneur.com.ph.

Would you say the journalism blog is revolutionizing the profession?

Yes, it is. For me, I see some journalists who not only blog about the current events, but more so, use their blogs as an avenue to express their own voice about a topic, without really worrying about what their press / media outfit has to say. That way, it is cathartic for us also, as we find ourselves writing, expressing about what we want, in our very own site in the cyberspace. Do not forget also that having a strong presence on social media like on Facebook or Twitter adds value to a journalist’s personal brand.

Will the paper press disappear?

To borrow the line of the late Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, the longest editor in chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, (who we had a chance to interview for our master’s class in History of the Philippine Press), she said, to put it simply, the newspapers will remain — you can bring a newspaper to the toilet / bathroom while doing your morning ritual — you can not really do that with your laptop and the internet (unless your bath / toilet room has Wi-Fi, and she did not anticipate then the arrival of smartphones, tablets, and other devices). The paper press is recognizing where it stands now, and they know their survival is dependent on how quick or slow they adapt to changes — so far, with convergence, we see them holding their own against the digital media. Advertising-wise, many advertisers still prefer to advertise with these big newspapers, apart from advertising on TV, radio, internet, train systems, billboards, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

What are your thoughts of the free papers distributed in cities?

Regardless of their editorial agenda or business purpose, still they help nurture the reading culture, and with that, they are doing their significant share.

What is the book you would like to write?

I like to try write a creative non-fiction piece, ala Tom Wolfe or Joan Didion or the Philippines’ very own Nick Joaquin (aka Quijano De Manila). Maybe when I am 40 and have collected more significant professional experience.

Is there a motto or ethical principle that clarifies your decisions in moments of confusion?

“When in doubt, ask.” There were times in the course of my work that I was in charged for the publication, while I know what to do for most of the time, but when I am in doubt, and if I have to secure the bosses’ approval, I try to reach out to my bosses for their say — if I can put things on hold to bargain some time to hear what my bosses say, I do. If I can not reach out to them, I decide and confirm that with the other bosses outside of my department. And I would explain to my bosses since they are unavailable for comment, and the pages have to run already, so I decided on that — with consent from the other authorities (or day or team editor/s) available at that time.

What advice would you give to someone who has just left university and wishes to start in the profession?

Advices, namely: welcome criticisms; polish your writing; read, monitor what is going on around you; take the initiative; and it will not make you stupid to ask — as there are people in the industry who are more than willing to help you.

 
© LYNDA C. CORPUZ
Web address for this interview: http://www.whohub.com/lyndaccorpuz

Written by Lynda C. Corpuz

February 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm

2 Responses

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  1. You have tested it and writing form your personal experience or you find some information online?

    Like

    MichaelloKT

    May 25, 2010 at 4:37 am

    • I answered this whohub interview based on my personal experience and lessons acquired back when I was starting as a campus journalist to a media practitioner that I am now.

      Like

      Lynda C. Corpuz

      May 26, 2010 at 11:17 pm


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