Jessica Soho shares note to self as journalist: "...hindi naman tayo ang pinakaimportante...'yong istorya na kino-cover natin."

IMAGE Allan Sancon

Jessica Soho, Readers Digest Asia's Most Trusted News Personality for the fifth consecutive year, says politics is not her cup of tea. "Ngayon hinihingin na nga namin ‘yong tiwala ng tao every time we have a story to tell...Paano na lang kaya kung hingin mo ‘yong tiwala nila 'tapos sasabihin mo, mangangako ka na gagawin kong maganda buhay niyo. Parang ang hirap yata no‘n."


Jessica Soho continues to receive recognition for her work as one of the country’s top journalists.

For the fifth year in a row, Reader’s Digest has awarded her as the Most Trusted News Personality at the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands 2015 awarding ceremony, last Tuesday, June 30, at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas Center.

“We all know it’s so easy to lose the trust bestowed on us in this day and age of social media,” Jessica says in her acceptance speech.

“So we just have to keep on improving and doing our best to keep that trust.”

While she remains grateful for this award, the GMA news anchor quips, “Baka puwedeng hall of fame na.

"Kasi para magbigyan na ng chance ‘yong iba, pero of course, I’m always grateful.

"Malaking bagay ito, especially Reader’s Digest na simula’t-mula no'ng binigyan nila ako ng award, sabi ko, 'Nako, Reader’s Digest 'yan.’

"Ito talaga 'yong unang-una nagturo sa 'kin ng value ng pagbabasa.”

TRUSTED JOURNALIST. “Serbisyong Totoo” has been the tagline and motto of GMA News and Public Affairs, and, eventually, has become Jessica’s number one rule as far as her job is concerned.

PEP.ph (Philippines Entertainment Portal) asks: "what makes a good and true journalist?

Here are six valuable lessons we learned from Jessica Soho:

1. The story is the story. Not you.


The news is never about the reporter. It is about telling a story.

“I’ve always said na ang mga journalist, katulad natin, hindi naman tayo ang pinakaimportante, e.” Jessica says.

“'Yong istorya na kino-cover natin. We’re actually incidental to the story.

"Except for the, maybe for the rare times na, tayo ang nagiging bahagi ng istorya.”

2. Take the job seriously, but never yourself.

“You are only as good as your last story.”

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This is something the news network keeps in mind and something Jessica puts into heart.

When asked about the moment she realized she had finally been recognized by the industry, she mentions each time she receives an award and she is always humbled by it.

But she stresses that there is nothing wrong with having a bit of doubt.

“I think it’s healthy to have some dose of doubt lagi na parang, 'deserve ko ba ito?’

"Parang lagi akong gano'n.”

Without sounding so high-and-mighty, she says the journalists must never become arrogant about their achievements as they might end up being the news the next day.

3. Daily goal.


Day in and day out, the story of the day matters most.

“Sa TV kasi masyadong matrabaho 'yong TV work e kasi pupunta ka sa field, co-cover ka.

"May mga technical aspects, titignan mo kung okay 'yong mikropono o tama yung shots.

”Pag-uwi mo, susulat mo 'yong istorya mo. Babantayan mo rin 'yong editing.

“Minsan, habang umeere, kailangan bantayan mo rin baka magka-glitch.

“It’s so tedious, we don’t really have time to plan na gusto ko ganyan, ganyan. It’s always like we are running after the deadline lang.”

For Jessica, the ultimate goal is “to make sure tama 'yong istorya mo.”


4. Wear your reporter’s hat when needed most.

Jessica’s anecdote for this is her news coverage in Taclooban a day after Yolanda struck the province.

“That time, I was not only there to cover the story, but I was also there to check on our people,” she recalls.

There is a time to find and present the stories, and then there is a time to be part of what's happening and the change.

5. Stay professional.

In the tension-filled newsroom, it is inevitable to have small clashes with fellow colleagues.

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Jessica sees such conflicts as “healthy.”

She elaborates, “It’s part of the creative process kapag nagtatalo-talo.

"Pero kailangan, after niyo magtalo 'tsaka dapat 'yong pinagtatalunan lang 'yong ideas niyo.

"Never personal. 'Pag meron kayong personal, ayusin.”

6. Pressure is always good.

Jessica relates, “To take it lightly, parang exercise 'yan,'di ba? Kailangan humirap nang humirap para maging effective.

"Lahat naman yata nang bagay, hindi ka puwedeng maging hanggang dito lang, complacent ka, okay-okay lang, pa relax-relax.

"Hindi yata gano'n ang buhay, e. Kailangan yata nahihirapan ka.

"Life was not meant to be easy.”

Jessica dedicates herself to delivering the news in the most truthful way.

“Serbisyong Totoo” as the network puts it.

For now, Jessica only sees her line of service within the borders of journalism.

Politics is still out of the picture.

“Napakalaking bagay kasi niyan na hingin mo ‘yong tiwala ng mga tao.

"Ngayon hinihingin na nga namin ‘yong tiwala ng tao every time we have a story to tell, sa mga news program namin, even in my own public affair program.

"Paano na lang kaya kung hingin mo ‘yong tiwala nila 'tapos sasabihin mo, mangangako ka na gagawin kong maganda buhay niyo.

"Parang ang hirap yata no‘n."

For today, it is all about the news and to be a journalist is simple.

For Jessica Soho, the Most Trusted News Personality for five consectuive years, it is all about telling the story as accurate, as well-told, and as objective as possible.


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