Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Photo from MindaNews.

JOURNALIST ROBERT "Bobby" Timonera is taking over as editor in chief of MindaNews effective on June 1, 2023. Outgoing editor Carolyn Arguillas will head the outfit's Publications, Archives and Library department. The news organization also celebrated its 22nd anniversary on May 25.

Timonera is the third editor in chief of MindaNews. Arguillas held the position from 2001 to 2010 and from 2013 until May 31, 2023; while H. Marcos Moderno occupied the post from 2010 to 2013.

Timonera graduated in 1986 at Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology and worked as a provincial correspondent of the now defunct Media Mindanao News Service and the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) in the late 1980s until 1992. In 1997, he returned to Iligan City and continued reporting for PDI as provincial correspondent.

In May 2001, he left the PDI Mindanao Bureau to set up MindaNews along with Arguillas. Founded by independent, professional Mindanawon journalists who hope to tell the stories of Mindanao from the lenses of Mindanao, the news service e-mailed its first stories and photographs on May 25, 2001. A year later, they launched their website, as a weekly; it started posting stories daily beginning in 2003.

MindaNews did not limit itself to being a news service. It spearheaded the Mindanao Media Summit, a gathering of Mindanawon editors and news managers, and has been conducting training for Mindanawon journalists and students.

In 2015, CMFR honored MindaNews with the Award of Distinction for providing Filipinos "the information and analyses they need to understand the particularities of Mindanao and its people." Apart from numerous awards, MindaNews, in March this year, became the only Mindanao-based news organization among the four accredited by the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), a network of fact-checkers at Poynter to assist in the global fight against disinformation. These organizations include Vera Files, Rappler, and Press One.

In a Rappler article on May 30, Arguillas said that "labor of love is the only explanation I can offer for why we are still here." Timonera, meanwhile, sees one challenge ahead for MindaNews: Attracting young people to journalism.

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