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PhilSTAR Boot Camp: The new batch of young journos

PhilSTAR Boot Camp, which aims to expose young minds to journalism, held a training session prior to the deployment of qualified interns on field. STAR/Vberni Regalado

The third batch of The Philippine STAR’s premier internship program, the PhilSTAR Boot Camp, officially started last week with a two-day training session designed to hone budding writers to understand the craft deeply.

The PhilSTAR Boot Camp sessions are the training component of an extensive summer program for college students who have a passion for writing, exposing young minds to the realities of journalism. 

Twelve brave souls, who are communication, journalism and political science students, attended a two-day writing workshop before they set foot on their respective beat assignments. With the help of The STAR’s esteemed editors and reporters, they gained new knowledge in various journalism facets. 

The sessions started off with a talk on crime reporting facilitated by STAR Metro editor Dulce Sanchez. Sanchez emphasized that while the police beat is hazardous to cover, there is no story that is worth dying for. 

Desk editor Leo Laparan II, meanwhile, taught the rookie reporters the process of creating an investigative news report. “Investigative reports establish the truth,” he said. 

While investigative journalism is not easy to undertake, Laparan emphasized its importance in uncovering hidden truths for readers’ consumption. 

The rookie reporters also learned online journalism and its innovations through a video news content creation talk facilitated by STAR video content lead Pauline del Rosario. She highlighted that video news is now one of the best formats for publishers to send their message across. 

World section editor Patricia Esteves, on the other hand, talked about writing an effective feature story. “Drama is a key component to creating an effective feature story,” she mentioned. lifestyle editor Deni Bernardo talked about lifestyle writing for online consumption and how different it is from print. “For online stories, we focus more on key words, since it drives people to read the articles on the website. It’s kind of different from writing for print because it’s more direct,” she said. 

For Denison Dalupang, sports reporter for, thinking outside the box is important in writing a sports story. While everyone else is discussing the games, a writer must look into different angles to create a story. 

STAR photojournalist Miguel de Guzman, on the other hand, discussed the perils of being a photojournalist. “It is dangerous since you need to be on the ground to capture stories, but being there to witness news as it unfolds tells a story that others won’t know,” he said. 

Janvic Mateo, STAR’s education beat reporter, talked about the need to dig information when writing about education. “The beat isn’t the sexiest, but that’s what you make of it. Information from documents and legitimate websites matter because the information can be analyzed,” Mateo stressed. 

The rookie reporters, with their newfound journalism know-how, are now deployed to their specific beats to gather facts and write news stories that matter. With PhilSTAR Boot Camp, we hope that we’re changing students’ view of what journalism really is.

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