CRISPIN C. MASLOG, former director of the School of Journalism and Communications (1967-1982) and author, gave a lecture entitled “In the Beginning Was the Word: How the College Began” last Aug. 25 at the Multi-Purpose Room.
In his lecture, Maslog talked about the history of the College of Mass Communication (CMC) and how Dumaguete City and its media were affected when Martial Law was declared on Sept. 21, 1972.
The idea for the then School of Journalism and Communications started with Leon Ty, a leading Filipino lawyer and journalist in the 1960s.
Ty later published his own newsmagazine, The Examiner, and was elected to the Board of Trustees (BOT) of Silliman University.
According to Maslog, Ty told the BOT at a meeting on Aug. 18-20, 1964, that the anti-Communist battle must be waged in the minds of men by journalists trained in the democratic tradition. The BOT agreed to his proposal to set up a School of Journalism to train such journalists.
“Dumaguete City woke up early as usual, expecting another of those unruffled, unhurried mornings that this City of Gentle People was famous for,” said Maslog.
“At six o’clock newscast from DYSR, the popular local radio station located on campus, hit like a thunderbolt: ‘Martial Law Declared!’” he said.
Maslog recalled that Negros Express and the Weekly Sillimanian (tWS), two of the community newspapers at that time, were closed. Its offices were raided by the military.
“[Both papers] joined the student movement nationwide against the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. They often carried news critical of the policies of the school administration and the government,” Maslog said.
Former editors Bert Pontenila of Negros Express and DionisioBaseleres of tWS, and some 40 students of the School of Journalism at that time were detained for one to six months. Maslog said that there was no freedom of speech, expression, and of the press years ago, which is why this freedom must be enjoyed now.
“The battle for democracy must be won in the minds of men, and journalists are the warriors for democracy,” said Maslog.
He also launched four of his books and donated 19 books to the Silliman University Library.
Maslog launched four of his recent books, which are Mass Media and People Power: A Brief History of Philippine Mass Communication (2015), Philippine Communication in the Digital Age (2014), News Reporting for Filipino Journalists (2013), and Crimes and Unpunishment: The Killing of Filipino Journalists (2012).
Maslog’s books that were donated for the university were The Crown Jewel: Trinity University of Asia 1963-2008 (2008), Visions Shared: The Episcopal Church in the Philippines and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (2008), Philippine Communication Today (2007),Genes are Gems: Reporting Agri-Biotechnology (a Sourcebook for Journalists) (2006), Heroes of Ancient Journalism (1999), among others.
By Andrea Dawn E. Boycillo