When the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Amianan Balita Ngayon (ABN), Thom Picaña said over 12 years ago that he would open a newspaper, a lot of eyebrows were raised. Understandably, especially for members of the media who know the difficulty of publishing a “paper” with its
contents – text, photographs. A newspaper is a paper with contents written in it. What does a newspaper go through before it even reaches the hands of the readers—foremost is a publisher who is willing to accept the task of financing the operation, printing and distribution.

It is also a must to have reporters who have the skills to take photographs, write the captions for the photographs and reporters who have the patience to sit down and listen to speakers for several hours or look for a credible resource person to interview for a story. The patience to listen must
include patience to understand what is being said to be able to properly relay the message in written form. The reporter must then sit down and write the news stories, and articles.

Then the desk people, the editors who “fix” and “rewrite” if necessary and assure compliance with ABN’s policies are there to check on every story before they are published. Once stories are checked, the layout comes in next to place all materials in their proper and allocated spaces. It will then go through the process of printing in a printing press, with pages placed together to complete
one whole set, packed, carried and brought to the newsstands or delivered to the subscribers.

Easy? Yes, it may seem like it, but all these processes involve people, the peso sign, and the peso sign for the people whom the spouses Thom and Grace and their family are trying so hard to provide amid the challenges of publishing…. For news and for the people who rely on ABN for personal funds. This column came with the title ABN’s Heart, Why? Not so many people probably know that ABN is the “catcher” of media practitioners who are laid off, kicked out, who opted out or
those who are addicted to the profession and want some space to share their thoughts and writing talents and skills.

I say with a heart because Thom, Grace and the family are sharing the little treasures they have for the people whom they “catch” even if the newspapering business provides a very little return on
investment. Thom and Grace, 12 years is not a joke, I know, but you have reached this far because
you are not into business, you are into business with a heart for your people. I am proud of you and I am very sure that the Lord is seeing your hearts from the efforts that is why your family is continuously being blessed. Happy 12th anniversary to Amianan Balita Ngayon. Twelve years have passed and surely you will be counting more years of publication. All the best to the ABN team, Godspeed and God Bless.

Amianan Balita Ngayon