The Catanduanes Tribune will carry on
posted 4-Mar-2018  ·  
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     It has been 17 years since the founder of the Catanduanes Tribune, Fredeswindo T. Gianan Sr., succumbed to pancreatic cancer in May 2000. For nearly two decades since he revived the Tribune (it was just five years old in 1972 when publication ceased due to Martial Law), he had guided the paper through both peaceful and turbulent times.

     Passing on the legacy to his son when his health began to fail did not guarantee its survival, for the latter had only his good command of English as his primary asset at the time and had no idea how the Tribune earned its income. It took some time but once the new publisher learned the ropes the hard way six months into the job, the rest was relatively easy.

     Since then, under the management of the engineer-turned-newsman, the island’s longest surviving and most credible weekly newspaper has increased its circulation above its usual 1,000 copies weekly, expanded its reach beyond the shores of Catanduanes by launching its own website in 2000, and greatly enhancing its relevance to the day-to-day life of the Catandunganon as a source of factual news and incisive opinions.

     With the management acquiring its own offset printing press by 2008 thanks to loans from friends and financial institutions, the Tribune no longer had to send its layout to its Naga City printer which had the paper as its client since 1981. It acquired the relative independence that comes with having its own printer, giving its staff more time to gather news and prepare the paper for printing.

     Politics, however, continues to affect the publication, just like those interesting years when the Verceleses ruled the island in the late 1980’s up to 2010. Libel suits were filed against the Tribune while harassment of its staffers ensued, including an illegal logging case against three members of the publisher’s family that took nearly 10 years to resolve.

     The present Tribune found itself in a similar situation under the current management, which has faced seven libel complaints, two of which are still pending before separate courts in Virac and Legazpi City. What is different this time is that one of the complaints carries the considerable weight of a business conglomerate.

     It is worth noting that except for a single incident in the past where an error in a news article forced the subject to file suit, all of the other cases filed against the Tribune’s publisher and writers were instigated by politicians, most of them angry at the criticisms of their performance and public lives and several sore losers trying to get some measure of ill-directed revenge.

     The Tribune cannot do the job of carrying on the crusade for truth and good governance alone. It has to have the public by its side, the readers among them buying the weekly issues regularly and the notable personalities and entities buying advertisements that enable the community newspaper to survive.

     For standing by the Tribune all these 37 years, we dedicate to you, dear readers, friends and advertisers, the success we have attained so far. The weekly grind to put out this paper may be stressful on both minds and pockets, but we assure you we will carry on.

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