July 23, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

Baguio Midland Courier’s announcement on ceasing its operations by July 22 drew numerous reactions from the publication’s varied audiences.

Midland broke the news of management’s decision to cease its operations in its June 30, 2024 edition and posted the same announcement on its Facebook account.

Messages of gratitude for the paper’s commitment to bring news and information that matter to every Cordilleran here and overseas flooded the comments section minutes after the announcement was posted.

Aside from recognizing Midland’s role in informing them of the latest issues, a lot also reminisced about how the publication made an impact on their personal and professional lives.

Since Midland has a varied audience who follow different sections of the paper based on their interest and need, this article is summarizing the common sentiments of the readers, which they shared in the comment section of the Facebook announcement.

Readers shared how they would devour on the frontpage and the news sections first while others said they would flip directly to the opinion-editorial page to get the insights of their favorite columnists.

Others said they buy the paper for its classified ads section, the go-to page of those seeking employment and those who want to buy something or were looking for a place to stay.

Midland’s classified ads section is the version of social media’s “marketplace”. It once enjoyed an immense following – from the jobseekers, entrepreneurs who offer their products and services and anything for sale, and even those offer special intentions or prayers.

Some said they go to the obituary section first for familiar names. This habit gave rise to the joke that someone is not dead if they are not in the Midland obituary.

Teachers said their article contributions in Midland earned them points that helped them get promoted.

Young writers also expressed their gratitude to Midland for providing them a space to share their insights or simply to share their life experiences – the “Speaking Out” and “Animated Me” section.

Students who worked as interns at Midland said they included in their portfolio their training with the publication, which also helped them earn points when applying for a job.

Many also said it was in Midland that they found employment locally and abroad.

Several expressed sadness their Sunday habit, which is to get a copy of Midland after attending the mass, will soon stop.

Political leaders who have been the subjects of Midland’s critical reportage also expressed their regrets.

Former Baguio mayor and Representative Mauricio Domogan took note of Midland’s commitment to critical reporting, saying even if the paper was often overly critical of his work, he acknowledges the crucial role the press plays in society.

“The legacy of the Baguio Midland Courier lies in its commitment to keeping the government honest and accountable, a role that is vital for the health of our democracy. Thank you for your years of service to our community. Your voice will be missed,” he said in a message posted in his official Facebook account.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong also expressed regret over Midland’s closure.

“Like the rest of the Baguio community, we are saddened by this development. Baguio Midland Courier has been the trailblazer, the leader of the pack in the city’s newspaper industry, a veritable icon and builder of the city,” the mayor said.

“As a pillar of community journalism in the Cordillera region, the Baguio Midland Courier has established a culture of excellence and high standards for other newspapers to emulate. Its commitment to service transcended to the city government by serving as its partner in disseminating news on the city’s projects, activities and programs.”

The Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera likewise extended its message of solidarity with Midland.

“We are filled with gratitude and appreciation for the invaluable role Baguio Midland Courier has played as a source of news, Cordillera culture narratives, job opportunities, business insights, social events coverage, sports updates, and community obituaries, among others within the region,” it said in a Facebook post.

“The newspaper’s impact goes beyond just informing the public; it has been a vital partner for government agencies and local government units, amplifying their messages and contributing to the promotion of development communication. Baguio Midland will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the people and communities it has served.”

The Baguio Midland Courier under the Hamada Printers and Publishers Corporation will publish its final print edition on July 21.