HomeManilavol. 4 no. 1 (2008)

Anong Balita? Notes on a History of Philippine Journalism 1811-1898•

Jose Victor Z. Torres

Discipline: History



The newspaper has been considered a vital part of international and national communication in the Philippines ever since its advent with the publication of Del Superior Gobierno in 1811. The newspaper also has been a historical source for historians for it is a chronicle of the times and contains various views of events of the past. The story of Philippine journalism, however, has never been fully written. Much of our journalism history is but a few chapters in a journalism textbook which provides the names of newspapers, dates of publication, and editors and writers. Moreover, what is considered as a history of Philippine journalism is merely a bibliographical listing of newspapers lifted primarily from the work of Wenceslao E. Retana (for the Spanish and early American period) and later listings from textbooks like Jesus Valenzuela's

History of Journalism in the Philippine Islands (1933). A later book by Filipino journalist Alice Colet-Villadolid is a discussion of personal experiences and some secondary notes on journalism history.

This paper is based on notes for a book on Philippine journalism history. It will discuss the story of Philippine journalism through the Spanish colonial period and the beginning of the early American period. It is not a bibliographical listing. Rather, it is a story of how newspaper developed in the islands and its influence on the socio-cultural, economic and political policies of a burgeoning colony, and eventually, a rising nation.