By ROGER “durianburgdavao” BALANZA, Editor/Publisher
We are 52
We thank our readers for having been with us up to this issue—Issue Number 52—a milestone in that we have reached the number of published issues that struggling community paper publishers and editors aim for.
The legal implication of Number 52 is that your weekly paper The Durian Post saw print for that much number of issues to qualify to publish legal notices from the courts.
The bread and butter of serious community papers are revenues from circulation, advertisements and legal notices. The labor of commitment to deliver news, shape opinions and help in building a community of informed citizens comes hard in the early days—for a year at least before the legal ads come in—with the financial aspect giving the most trouble. But then, the ads—both from legal and commercial—may still not be enough for a paper to survive. The fruit of the labor of love come not in the color of money but in the great satisfaction of serving the community.
However, having reached far on the belief that we could deliver, we feel we have proven to our readers and advertisers, and believers, that The Durian Post has become part of the community as a committed newspaper responding seriously to its need for information.
From our base in Davao City, we have stretched our reach to the entire Davao Region and far Bukidnon—another commitment we have that aims to make The Durian Post available to everybody with a bigger and wider circulation.
The past year has proven to be a challenging period for The Durian Post and its editors—from the first issue to the last—with the myriad of concerns the paper dipped its hand into for the information of our reading public.
We played hardball with the May elections, throwing stones and hurling praises to those who deserve it—all in the spirit of opening windows of information to help voters make the right decisions.
We joined the public and media in crucifying those who could be involved in the Maguindanao massacre—where 32 members of the media perished in the mass murder in the most violent election-related incident to date—in the hope of us being able to contribute to efforts to bring the culprits to jail.
We reported—after the smoke of the May election battles had cleared—about what newly-elected officials are doing in crafting development agenda all for the good of the community.
We involved ourselves in environmental protection, in the campaign against illegal logging, drugs and crime—and praised the deserving—-not only for the simple task of reporting which is our sworn duty, but also in the belief that The Durian Post could help contribute to building a society that is free of fear, free of graft and corruption and free of all the ills that hounds society.
Without fear or favor is our battle cry. We believe we have done our job without fear or favor, and without second thoughts about pursuing the same agenda of truthful and fearless reporting in the days, months and years to come.