Telum Talks to... Alan Luigi Flores, Assistant Editor, S&P Global Market Intelligence

Telum Talks to... Alan Luigi Flores, Assistant Editor, S&P Global Market Intelligence

How did you start your career in journalism?
I started in November of 2010 as an Intern for ABS-CBN's DYAB Radyo Patrol Cebu. I was able to land interviews here and there, notably in the Sinulog Season in January. I covered the arrival and installation of Archbishop José Palma, and I interviewed the Archibshop of Guam at the time. I didn't know that years would pass from then when he would face allegations of abuse so it was quite a memorable moment for me. After my internship, I went on to do PR with Aboitiz Equity Ventures, until I joined CNN Philippines, then Solar News Channel, in August 2013. I started writing stories, and eventually delivered my own reports. I first reported hard news in Cebuano, but also moved into reporting sports news in English for my own sports segment. After the reformat of the network to CNN Philippines, I then got a regional news segment for the primetime newscast where I wrote stories and did voiceovers. I left CNN Philippines in September last year, and now I'm Assistant Editor for Latin American Financial Institutions at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Why did you become a Journalist?
I was four or five years old when I started to watch the likes of Angelo Castro, Noli de Castro, and other Newscasters who reported Tagalog news on television. I wanted to become one of them, and I'd mimic their broadcasts as a child. I decided then that I wanted to be a Journalist, without any knowledge of what being a Journalist entails. Working at S&P Global Market Intelligence is a whole new endeavour for me, because I initially didn't like the idea of doing business news at all, but I told myself that if I don't try it, I'll never really know. It's a good experience for me, because I get to work with people who have different cultural perspectives from around the world. It also takes a lot of trust in my Writers and what they do, and that's something I want to nurture in myself as a Journalist.

What does a day in your life look like?
I get to work in the afternoon, at around 3pm, and I edit the Daily Dose. It's a dossier of 18 to 20 short stories or snippets, covering financial news from the past 24 hours. My writers and I also scan through our sources one by one, whether it's from Reuters, CNN, or regulatory and government sites. We check on our PRs as well, looking for significant stories that can be put up. Even one or two lines would be enough to give context to our readers. Once I've edited and approved all the stories on the Dose, I publish it at 8pm and then I take a break for dinner. After dinner, I get on a conference call with my team, which consists of people in Pakistan, the US, Argentina, and the Philippines. The call usually goes from 9.15pm to about 9.40pm, depending on how much we have to discuss. After that, I edit any other stories that come in until the clock strikes midnight and I'm done for the day.

Most memorable Journalist moment?
I never thought that a lowly Writer like me would be able to go live on Cebuano News for CNN Philippines. I reported about what happened at the Anti Prok Barrel rally in 2013, and that was the first time I went on air live and on camera. It was the realisation of my dream to get the Cebuano language spoken on national television. I also covered the Pope's visit in 2015, and I even cried while writing the story because I was so touched by the Pope's words. I was at work for 4 straight days, and another Producer had to take over because I was sobbing. It made me realise that even as Journalists, we have feelings. My mentors used to tell me to be emotionaless and detached from the story, but sometimes you just can't help it. We're not just emotionless writing machines, we're people too.

What kind of stories excite you?
The stories that excite me are those that are really hard to get. I remember as an Intern at DYAB, I reported on a sensitive crime issue. When I encounter stories like that, that I know I have to risk something to get, there's a certain excitement, but when I see the result of my work I know it's worth it. That's what thrills me.

How can PRs make your life easier?
Make sure that the story pitch you're sending requires minimal editing, get all the names right, make sure there are no spelling mistakes, and that the press material is as close as possible to being ready for publishing. PRs should also know when to contact me. I don't mind them calling me at my lunch break, but I don't take calls when I'm working unless it's from people close to me.

How would you prefer to be contacted?
For press releases, of course, send it to my email. If they're calling, it should only be for something very urgent or something that I absolutely have to respond to.

Coffee, lunch or drinks?
Coffee or lunch. I've distanced myself from drinks.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?

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