Atom Araullo is the current “man of the hour” for his brave broadcasting stint from Tacloban at the peak of Supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on November 8.
As well as making headlines in global news outlets and landing a Twitter trending topic spot, the young journalist, together with his ABS-CBN news team survived the fury of the typhoon and its eventual accomplice, storm surge.
Even Jessica Zafra has something to say about Araullo, whom the multi-awarded writer described “was Thor himself” in her New Yorker piece about Haiyan.
Some journalists and media men were not as lucky like the young Araullo, however.
Ronald Viñas of Aksyon Radyo Tacloban DYVL, is among those confirmed killed, reported by Rappler. Six other journalists and media men of the station, which is beside the sea, were reported still missing and feared dead in the aftermath.
Interaksyon.com also reported that Archie Globio and Malou Realino have been confirmed dead, while three other personnel of Tacloban radio station DYBR, remain missing.
Covering the World’s Strongest Typhoon
Typhoon Haiyan (locally-named as Yolanda) made a destructive landfall in the eastern Visayas islands on November 8. It was unlike any other that the Philippines, or the entire world, has experienced thus far in terms of magnitude and scale.
Some climate experts already declared Haiyan the biggest monster storm to ever land the face of the earth. Its fury carries with it winds of at least 140 m/ph. Oh, it also brought a new friend – a storm surge – which heightened the destruction in the Samar, Tacloban and other nearby provinces. Just imagine a 13-feet high storm surge!
This storm has left many thousands of dead people and some corpses still left uncollected, affecting millions of lives – hungry mouths and thirsty throats of the people in these areas.
Media men and journalists used to broadcasting or reporting of typhoons are aware of the perils. But none anticipated this far yet. No one expected Yolanda will bring hell, anarchy and disorder. More so, storm surge was an unpredictable occurrence.
Public Service Knows No Holiday
Between these two faces of the stories of these men and women working to deliver the news during the onslaught of Supertyphoon Haiyan, the most that will be remembered will be Atom for many years to come.
Not the least, Araullo has also lent a helping hand by exerting muscles to provide rescue.
Together with his news crew, Araullo helped residents cross deep floods to reach the stairs of the building. A rope was tied at the building’s front gate to serve as bridge.
Araullo’s brave reporting and rescue will continue to inspire and serve as an example to many media man working today.
For some, this combination of reporting and rescue may seem like brand new.
Initiatives of “Tulong Muna Bago Balita”, the advocacy launched by Razon through UNTV in 2010,include transforming the media vehicles used by UNTV reporters and broadcasters into rescue vehicles. UNTV news men and women received rescue trainings.
Only it was recently that this advocacy was being hailed. “Do More Awards” of Rappler, for one, has shortlisted Daniel Razon, Luminary Category, for his innovative and transformative works in mass media.
Razon even encourages fellow media workers that they can do the same.
More than ever, the scope of a reporter’s or a journalist’s duties are expanding. From merely reporting, giving rescue efforts is gradually earning attention and acceptance. It’s also a positive sign pointing us to the future of journalism.