It started this day August two years ago.
The brand: Digital News Exchange. The tagline: Journalism in digital ink.
It was simple enough on paper. The thrust is mainly to deliver information to the people, with the online paper as platform. Objective. Unbiased. Independent.
Not slanted to any side. We would deliver the narrative and the counter-narrative, and reporting not just one, two, but all sides of the issue.
But something that looks easy on paper is usually anything but.
When would-be DNX Executive Editor Julius Mariveles conceived the project, he was four years into a stroke that halted a burgeoning career in investigative journalism in Manila.
Doors had been closing down on him; a local paper refused to hire him because he lacked an academic degree (never mind decades of experience he has as print and radio broadcaster, as well as being one of the Directors of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism).
So he opted to find his own team, forge his own path, and build his company.
Catchy. Easy to remember.
It was not all smooth-sailing though. There are certainly birthing pains.
Building the company from the ground up means finding the right team, finding the right equipment, finding the right location.
Then of course, the funding.
Ragtag does not even describe the kind of team we had. DNX was initially composed of a mix of three veterans with a combined professional experience of 60+ years, and a six people out of college with a professional experience of zero.
At first, DNX was covering all types of news, but because we seriously lack manpower, there was a dearth in breaking news — which the public laps up.
Soon the direction changed. We cannot keep up with accidents and crimes, so there was a shift in coverage, in going in-depth, in looking at the human side of the story.
Then, the pandemic struck. It was an opportunity for the team to find stories that others were not able to follow, stories from borders and beyond borders.
And then there were irritants from a diverse audience who each demand the DNX brand of journalism adhere to THEIR standards (focus on one politician, and the supporters of the opposing party cries BIAS; report salient points of an the anti-terror bill, and Leftist activists and allies immediately attack the page — talk about shooting the messenger. 😊) .
But DNX continues.
Despite the odds, despite stumbling blocks, despite the trolls.
And now, we are celebrating our second year and about to start our third.
The growth of the paper might be peppered with fits and starts but it is growing. And we are confident that the paper is growing some more now that it has the right people who not only believe in the brand but also have a genuine love for the craft.