Alive and on the move

Went to aikido for the first time in over a month yesterday. I was afraid I might get into shock or something but it felt really good, like all the muscles I’ve not been using this past month have just been given a jump start.

Tonight, met up with Cin, a BT colleague, for dinner. She told me that two reporters are leaving and she’s thinking about quitting too. It seems that not many of my contemporaries are still with the paper. Only three seniors and the rest have been there for only three years or less.

It’s been said that the paper has always been an excellent training ground for many people. The local business weekly is full of ex-BT staff, it’s online daily’s editor too was with BT. And I can name one who works in the PM’s office, one in the ASEAN secretariat and another with the NEAC.

But still, it’s sad to see good people leave the paper when they’re still needed there. And the management is not actually persuading them to stay, but instead pushing them to accept other offers.

Journalism is not something you get into for the money. The pay sucks (unless you work with a certain tabloid where the bonuses are quite the subtantial wan) and the work can be rough. But it’s damn worth it when you break a story and had it picked up by the foreign wires, or when something you wrote moved the market. And the thrill of cornering and bombarding the high and mighty CEOs of PLCs, ministers and important people with all kinds of questions.

I don’t regret leaving BT, although now I want to write again. It’s the timing I guess. Plus, with all the changes being made there I don’t think I could last a week. I may not end up with a more prestigious job, but I am really glad to have worked in BT. A really good training ground for budding journalists, although you won’t have the chance to do a Woodstein act, at least, not until there’s real free press in this country.


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