Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Notice of Site Redesign

By Chanda Shahani

This is to inform our dear readers that we at the Diliman Diary are currently reevaluating our weblog design as well as the mix of our editorial content in order to serve the Diliman community in a more sensitive and responsive manner.

The weblog, Diliman Diary was figuratively born on December 10, 2009 out of the fiery bowels of Quezon Hall, under the unrelenting glare of the late and unlamented Unholy Roman Empire; headed by a doctorate-wielding hydra-headed collossus with snake-like tentacles (i.e., lieutenants) reaching out to the far reaches of the U.P. Empire smiting their opponents with gusto; creating a swathe of destruction everywhere. With this baptism of fire, our maiden story (please see: http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com/2009/12/case-of-professor-sarah-raymundo.html) covered the anomalous case of the non-granting of tenure to U.P. Diliman Sociology Professor Sarah Raymundo by the U.P. Diliman administration. We never looked back since then (except right now) as evidence of mismanagement, lousy decision making, patently unfair, unacceptable and formulations and implementations of distorted policy priorities (not to mention unprofessional practices) at U.P. Diliman and elsewhere kept on unfolding at a torrid pace.

Although we had every intention of covering more community events, undertaking book reviews as well as cover the other equally meritorious stories occuring in Diliman throughout 2010; we just could not ignore our equivalent of the 600-pound gorilla in our backyard - that is - the controversial presidency of U.P.'s 19th President, Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman. Like the foreign correspondent who said he would only stay two weeks in Iraq, but ended up staying on for six years, we found ourselves covering the fallouts of one policy disaster after another by Quezon Hall and its paid hacks throughout 2010. We at the Diliman Diary will at least admit to this much - we could not tear ourselves away from such a great interlocking series of stories handed to us on a silver platter by the 19th U.P. Administration.

And so it came to pass that in 2010 Professor Raymundo was denied from effectively carrying a teaching load despite being granted tenure in 2010 by the Board of regents. We also witnessed two Student Regents essentially and arbitrarily denied by the opportunity to serve their university by the 19th U.P. Administration, the death of one "midnight" regent, the unceremonious ousting of the last two remaining "midnight" regents by a new Philippine president, and the fairy-tale ending last Christmas (well, almost, because the courts can still reverse the decision) when one Doctor Jose "Joegon" Gonzales made a stunning comeback as the duly elected Director of the Philippine General Hospital. Other issues that highlighted the Roman administration's regard for metrics and disregard for people was the scrapping of the University Food Service, the non-implementation of benefits for staff and REPs and the overall

We started 2011 with the election of a new U.P. President who although extremely qualified and competent to carry out his mission, was also elected on the strength of a combined vote of sectoral regents guided by certain set principles, and other independent-minded regents from the roster of regents appointed by President Benigno S. Aquino III.

And so, with a new era, currently under scrutiny, comes additional pressure on ourselves to maintain our continuing relevance. Should we at the Diliman Diary expend our scarce editorial resources on practicing oversight over the 20th U.P. Administration, in the same manner that we did over the 19th U.P. Administration? Should we do more political commentary? Book reviews? Are we neglecting other fields we have previously never contemplated before? What about community coverage? Crime reporting? Are developments at Quezon City Hall of any interest to our readers? Are official developments at Quezon Hall still of interest to you,our dear readers? Do you want more sports? Human rights? Other areas?

Part of the problem is that with limited resources, we cannot do machine-gun style coverage and blogging. Every one of the few single contributing writers to the Diliman Diary (myself included) holds down a regular day job, so we have to be quite selective and strategic in the judicious expenditure of editorial time and effort in our coverage. Part of the other problem is the blog-style nature of this website, http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com pushes down the less recent stories with more recent stories. Thus you can have a story of major importance pushed down (and ultimately, off the computer screen) by a converging series of minor stories. To overcome this problem, we are currently studying the possibility of creating an independent website with more static features using the domain name, http://www.dilimandiary.com (this domain name is currently pointed towards this blog). That way, readers interested in community developments can just click on one button, while others who are interested in science. politics, sports, etc.can click on other buttons. However, we will continue to maintain http://diliman-diary.blogspot.com as a venue for commentary while more conventional and straight news-style reporting will find its home in http://www.dilimandiary.com, once we have a workable design.

In this regard, we will be spending March and April working on our site redesign and brainstorming relevant articles to furnish you, our dear readers. We would love to hear from you, including suggestions and comments on how we can improve our coverage. During the March to April period, we will be also making more active use of our site on Facebook, where we will be putting in our regular updates (see: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Diliman-Diary/107709502591529). For readers who have suggestions about how we may improve our performance, please email us at: dilimandiary@yahoo.com Attention: The Editor

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