By NORA SORIÑO
GSD-Iligan bureau chief .
THE Mindanao Gold Star Daily celebrates its 30th anniversary today that would be capped with a gathering to pay tribute to its founder Ernesto G. Chu and those who painstakingly work to ensure the delivery of the printed news and editorials in Cagayan de Oro and elsewhere in Mindanao everyday.
The highlight of the celebration would be a fellowship of the paper’s media workers at Pearlmont Hotel tonight to reminisce the humble beginnings of the pioneering Cagayan de Oro-based daily newspaper and what it was 30 years ago.
In 1989, the attempt to publish a daily newspaper was seen by many as futile because it meant that the paper would have to thrive in a relatively small city where no local daily newspaper has ever survived. It was somewhat short of expending time and money because there was really no assurance the investment would be worth it.
But Chu, incidentally a non-journalist and a college dropout, ventured into the complex and oftentimes, unprofitable newspapering business. He dared to go where others feared to tread and proved that Cagayan de Oro and, subsequently, other areas in Mindanao, were ready for a daily newspaper printed in Mindanao.
The media audience in this part of the country back then preferred to go for Manila-based dailies. But Chu saw that “for every trend, there’s a counter-trend,” and so he started one from a crowded three-story building on Pabayo Street. With obsolete printing machinery and a small workforce, he didn’t mince a word of letting go, pushed harder, and published the newspaper that would stand the test of time.
Chu said he is grateful to all the people of Mindanao who have made the paper a part of their daily routine and advertisers who made it possible for the paper to stay afloat so it could perform its watchdog role.
Chu urged the newspaper staff to be diligent, accurate, unbiased, and continue doing good journalism as they face new challenges to the entire newspaper industry, including the increasing rate of technological advancement that demands adaptation to the world of online news, matters that, 30 years ago, were unthinkable.