The Problem and Its Setting
“Open a journalist’s desk drawer and inside you’ll find an unfinished novel.” This was what Scanlan (2004) wrote in his essay From Fact to Fiction: Making the Leap. He added that while there are people in the journalism industry who practice their expertise on news reporting, there are also those who are inclined to other forms of writing namely plays, poetry, and fiction. Based on Scanlan’s definition, Journalism is a profession inclined to writing facts. Brainworld Publishing (2011) supplements this description as “the work of gathering, writing, editing, and publishing or disseminating news, as through newspapers and magazines or by television and radio.” On the contrary, Brainworld Publishing describes fiction as the act of feigning or imagining an event, situation, and the like not existing in actual life. This includes allegory, fables, novel, romance, story, and tale describes. In relation, a fictionist is someone who writes fiction, mainly novels (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). In the United States alone, well-known novelists or fiction writers began their career as journalists. These great writers started out as “reporters of facts” (Fishkin, 1985). In 1835, famous 19th century American author, poet, and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), better known for his mystery and horror-filled detective stories, had previously been an assistant editor in the magazine Southern Literary Messenger. He also acquired the same post in Burton’s Gentleman Magazine in 1839, but left for Graham’s Magazine. Poe also wrote for the Evening Mirror. He then became an editor and eventually the sole owner of The Broadway Journal, according to Bio. A&E Television Networks, (2014). Another prominent figure in literature from the late 1800s, U.S. writer Walt Whitman (1819-1892), was an essayist, a poet, as well as a journalist. He initially found a job as a newspaper apprentice at the age of 11. In 1841, Whitman founded the weekly Long-Islander. He had been an editor of Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1846. He also took charge of the editorial duty in Crescent then subsequently pioneered the Brooklyn Freeman, both in 1848. His practice in print continued for the following years until he resorted to and devoted the rest of his lifetime to realist poetry and mainly politically-influenced works (Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014). In the Philippines, award-winning script writer Ricardo “Ricky” Lee, who is known for his fiction, worked as a journalist for the Philippine Press Freedom in 1970’s. Lee was also a part of Panunulat para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan (PAKSA or Pen for the People’s Progress). His experiences as a fugitive during the Martial Law served as an inspiration for some of his works (Lumbera, 2011). Yabes (2014) says that 2001 National Artist for Literature, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, and three-time first-prize Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards recipient F. Sionil Jose, used to be a campus journalist while studying Liberal Arts in the University of Santo Tomas. He had been the editor-in-chief of UST’s official publication, The Varsitarian. Jose, whose novels are widely known for their epic depiction of the Philippine life throughout history, is a publisher as well, and holds editorial positions for several local and international magazines. The researchers wonder about how the background in Journalism of selected Filipino fictionists help them transit from writing facts to writing fiction.
Statement of the Problem
This study will primarily aim to analyze the journalistic experiences of selected fictionists and its relationship to their writing styles. Specifically, it will target to answer the following questions: 1.
How is the demographic profile of respondents be divided in terms of: 1.1. age;
1.2. media affiliation or publishing company and
1.3. years in the book industry?
How do journalistic experiences help the selected local fictionists in their field...
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