History of Journalism in the Philippines

History of Journalism in the Philippines

Period of Revolution

In February 19, 1889 La Solidaridad came out as the "mouthpiece of the revolution." It operated with its policies "to work peacefully for social and economic reforms, to expose the real plight of the Philippines and to champion liberalism and democracy." The staff of the paper was comprised of known personas like Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, Andres Bonifacio, Pio Valenzuela and Graciano Lopez-Jaena. The later became the founding editor until he was succeeded by del Pilar on October 31, 1889. The paper ceased publication on November 15, 1895 which was then followed by the death of its second and last editor in the early 1896.

From the reformists' newspapers, the secret society of rebels or better known as the Katipunan also came up with their own publication. They established "Ang Kalayaan" (Liberty) on January 1, 1896. It was edited by Pio Valenzuela, Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio. Unfortunately, it only came out with one issue when a Katipunero betrayed the secrecy of the paper. Nevertheless, its existence increased the membership of the society to 30,000.

Other revolutionary papers that emerged in those times were El Heraldo de Iloilo on January 1, 1898 and La Libertad on June 20, 1898. Also in the same year, La Independencia was founded on September 3 by Gen. Antonio Luna and Fernando Ma. Guerrero. It was staffed by then famous writers: Rafael Palma, Cecilio Apostol, Epifanio de los Santos and Judge Jose Abreu. It folded up in January 1900 when the American decided to stay in the island and Filipino bias presses one by one closed down.

When the Americans were slowly gaining control over the island several so-called Fil-American War newspapers then cropped up. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, in his effort to unify his armies, put up his own revolutionary organ called "El Heraldo de la Revolucion" on September 28, 1898. Likewise, with the arrival of more American fleets on August 13, 1898, American editors aboard Admiral Dewey's flagship came up with the paper, Bounding Billow. Succeeding the Billow, newspapers such as American Soldier, Freedom, and The American also came to existence.