“Hovering, hovering, hovering.~Stuart Reid
Between the dream of possibility and the certainty of gravity”
It is about possibilities and fate.
The poetic post on the walls of the TTC subway platforms was meant to catch the attention of TTC commuters–beseeching people to engage for humor, pathos, quiet contentment, or pensive reserve.
At this juncture of restlessness, the poem has just tipped the scale of chasing a dream of possibility and counting on the resiliency of an honest journalism, and not to dwell on its impending doom.
This is about pursuing a long time entrepreneurial dream – of sustaining Far West Herald, a dynamic newspaper for Filipino Canadians – for all its reasons of committing to a purpose: social responsibility, breeding a new level of understanding of the City we live in and its governance, and rendering inspired engagement to an emerging society.
By leveraging the power of print media in combination with the ever-evolving demand for digital mediums, we are determined in establishing the Far West Herald as a cohesive factor in uniting, inspiring, and positively influencing Filipino-Canadians.
Print Has Staying Power
Who could ever forget the feel of a crisp paper, its familiar crease; its spoiled ink indulging us to think, to laugh, to smirk? We carry the news with purported thoughts as we catch the train, the bus or Uber, snagging a seat or muscling through a crowd in the subway.
We simmer the writer’s opinions into our own, only to meld with our perspective.
Dinosaur-media type, maybe, but research shows that print readers have longer attention spans and spend more time reading the articles, which gives more time for the reader to browse back and think further.
In global terms, the functions fulfilled by newspapers and other media include keeping the public informed and/or providing a timely account of current affairs.
For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Canada, they can identify Far West Herald as their own. They can secure both resilience and vulnerability from news about the Philippines; hence creating a casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an otherwise new environment.
Local journalism is the lifeblood of a community. A community newspaper brings its neighborhoods together and reports issues that affect people right in their community.
But, according to a report by the Public Policy Forum, titled “Mind the Gaps: Quantifying the Decline of News Coverage in Canada, Journalism’s civic role is increasingly under threat.
In their report, 214 outlets have closed in a 10-year period 2008 and 2018 the project found only 69 brand new outlets emerged in that time. Most community newspapers are reaching out to their readers and explaining the state of the industry to support them during these dire times.
It is indeed difficult times, but very interesting times. There is a stiff competition for valuable contents, for the fact that content is far worth paying for.
The issue is how to sustain journalism and challenge the growth of misinformation in the new digital public sphere.
Fake news abounds—some have inherent bias or political leaning, while others are credible. It becomes our sense of responsibility then to distinguish what is true and what is not.
Josiah Go, the author of the book, Principles and Practices in Marketing in the Philippines Setting (2017), advised that there is a shifting culture for Filipinos in terms of connecting with the world: the swelling number of netizens and their reliance on online tools to keep in touch, opinions are shaped not just by watchdogs, but also by strangers in social media, and the openness to talk to strangers and fellow customers.
This is where the Far West Herald comes into play.
We’ll provide curated news from the Canadian Press, Canada’s trusted news leader. It is like having 200 credible, professional journalists across the country.
We’ll get intelligent opinions from people in the know, from top government officials, from both sides of politics. We promise we won’t flood you with unsolicited opinions. Instead, we’ll influence the readers to do better, dream bigger, and aspire higher.
From the directive of a friend, a Filipina CEO, she’s looking forward to a newspaper that will help transform the Filipino cultural mindset and push for entrepreneurship.
She advocates Filipinos to stop being a race of followers and employees—that we will owe this success to ourselves, this generation and the next!
In a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual area such as Toronto, we can share ideas, dreams, opinions and sentiments about the world and our community. From there, we can harness progress and success.
The Far West Herald shall advocate unity for all Filipinos despite our own regional, cultural and traditional diversities. Holding on together as one family can beat all odds for the sake of our beloved country and its people.
In the months to come, not just June, we will all celebrate the Filipino Heritage with a complete understanding of its significance, not only to us, but to the millennials and to the next generation.
The Far West Herald newspaper will be composed of a new breed of journalists and young writers. With such vibrant perspectives, the paper will be a world’s worth of news, entertainment, style, health, immigration topics, and substantive contents.
This is a Filipino-Canadian paper that any Filipino can carry and read with pride.
This time we’ll dwell on the possibilities. •
FWH Editorial Staff