By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran
Special Features Assistant Editor
CONTINUING its tradition for credible and quality journalism, BusinessWorld has begun the new decade by expanding on the frontier of digital media more than ever.
As the world struggles to overcome the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippines’ oldest and most respected business daily has created new avenues for the Filipino business community to gather and discuss the country’s future through digital projects such as its successful BusinessWorld Insights and SparkUp Entrep Series and the upcoming BusinessWorld One-on-One online interview series.
Such initiatives seek to build on BusinessWorld’s reputation as a veritable source of news, insights, and analyses, especially at a time when uncertainty reigns. And while efforts into digital media have always been part of the company’s strategy since it became part of the PhilSTAR Media Group in 2015, the urgent need for quality journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that shift.
“The challenge has always been really how to adopt to a media environment where digital media has eaten up the market. With how things have gone, however, we think we’ve made a lot of good decisions. That’s why the company continues to be here right now, not just a successful paper, but also a profitable one,” Miguel G. Belmonte, BusinessWorld president and chief executive office, said in an interview.
Asked about what separates BusinessWorld from other newspapers, Mr. Belmonte replied: “We don’t settle for mediocre news reporting. And though it’s challenging for our reporters and researchers, our standards are very high.”
Such standards are only due to the outstanding commitment and dedication of BusinessWorld’s editorial staff, which is now headed by Editor-in-Chief Wilfredo G. Reyes since the start of the year.
“I’m glad that the publication has remained top of mind among the public we serve despite the proliferation of competitors,” Mr. Reyes said in an interview. “I attribute this to both our faithfulness to the values instilled in us by our founder, Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient Raul L. Locsin, who said that the work we do ‘is a public trust’ first and foremost; as well as to our agility in tapping emerging opportunities under the leadership of our president.”
Mr. Reyes had the opportunity to come into the company early in its history. Training under the late Mr. Locsin has instilled in him the values that formed the core of BusinessWorld to this day.
“Interestingly, I didn’t start my professional life as a journalist. So I had to learn everything in this field from scratch in my very late 20s. In a way, I think coming from outside the industry was a personal advantage because I had an external perspective. I consider myself lucky to have trained under someone like Raul Locsin and to learn new competitive ways with our friends from The Philippine STAR and TV5,” he shared.
Mr. Belmonte shared he is “very happy” with Mr. Reyes being the chief editor of BusinessWorld. “First of all, ‘Sir Willy’ has been with the company for more or less 30 years. He brings so much knowledge and experience through all those years of serving the company. He has worked his way up. He has paid his dues. He has all the qualities we need as a good EIC. And his work ethic is beyond question as well as his dedication and loyalty to the company,” he said.
With so many years of experience under his belt, Mr. Reyes has seen through many upheavals and disruptions that challenged the publication’s journalistic duty, giving him the insights and capability to maneuver the paper through the currently unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
“Editorial principles and practices that have been tested in past difficulties are our anchor in the current situation and will be so in future crises,” Mr. Reyes said.
“So long as we don’t stop evolving — yes with hits and misses, no problem — the future is bright,” he added.
Cathy Rose A. Garcia has assumed the position of managing editor vacated by Mr. Reyes.