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From Publishers to [P]* September 26, 2008

Posted by pilibustero in Politics & Society.
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*This is my personal response (a Letter to the Editor) to a short lived issue between Devcom students and UPLB Perspective [P] staff, which arose following a controversial ‘discourse’ re. editorial contents in the foremost student publication. This however never found space in the pages of [P].
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The Editor-in-Chief
UPLB Perspective
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Mr. EIC:

This is in reaction to your letter addressed to ‘few Development Communicators’ who made comments as to the clarity and effectiveness of the article in the Under Scrutiny column and the Editorial (Vol. 3, Issue 2).

As a Dev Com student, and most of all, one of your publishers, I was disappointed by how you deal with the ‘tactful’ comments/reactions expressed by your ‘few development communicators-publishers’ regarding the clear and effective principle.
Although I am not directly responsible for the posting of the comments, I share the same views with the ‘few development communicators’. While I gave you the benefit of the doubt as regards your style, our point I believe settles on the question of clarity and understandability of the word/s in particular, the Editorial article as ground for effectiveness of the message being conveyed. I had ‘several’ conversations with my fellow Dev Com students and other students, and they actually shared the same views, you having used uncommonly used and sometimes high-falluting terminologies, hence our difficulty to assimilate and digest what you want to convey.
You said it’s about style, but first and foremost, you should know your audience and their broad scope in grammar, without undermining their individual capacity. In this case, we are students, with limited knowledge scope and skills. Moreover, while you claim that the “Under Scrutiny column and the Editorial embodied terms appropriate enough to deliver the very message and meanings they are ought to convey”, it simply did otherwise. They’re maybe appropriate, but our point here is the effectiveness per se, for the word has no meaning if not understood.

Again, knowing your audience here matters. Furthermore, your reason that “absence and simplification of such word would defeat their purpose in the communication process” is ironic since in the first place we did not understand the terms; hence, it disrupted the communication process.
Generally, while I respect your freedom of expression and of speech, and specifically, your editorial policies, styles, etc., it is also I believe our right to react and comment on and or criticize, in part or in whole the organ that supposedly should embody the ideals and welfare of the students. I believe that this is not just an issue of grammatical faults or ignorance, this is also an issue of whether or not a legitimate claim, through comments/reaction/letter to the editor will consistently be negated, antagonized, or responded with sarcastic justifications.

As far as my knowledge permits, I haven’t yet encountered a blatant response, as counter-attack and assumed accusation to a letter to the editor even in the national dailies, only in this prestigious paper. All the more, it transcends mechanical details and may even point to the issue of ethics. Nonetheless, I am still grateful for entertaining constructive comments/reactions from the students, to whom the paper stands for. Let us not limit ourselves to the numbers (few ‘Devcomers’), let us base our judgment to the facts. So before you dismiss our number, why not get out of your office and find the many publishers outside, and be enlightened.

Thank you.

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