HomeLuz y Sabervol. 1 no. 1 (2007)

ANONG BALITA? Notes On The History of Philippine Journalism 1811-1898

Jose Victor Z. Torres

Discipline: Social Science, Journalism, Media studies and Communication



The media have always been a part of society and its growth. One of its elements that had an important role in Spanish-colonial Philippines was the newspaper. It played an essential part in the dissemination of information especially in business, social life and, later, propaganda in a time of revolution.


Since Valenzuela’s History of Journalism in The Philippine Islands1 in 1933, there has been no published history of Philippine journalism. The histories that had been written are based on secondary sources, focused on certain episodes in journalism history; and, mostly, chapters or parts of a journalism manual. The earlier ones are either bibliographic listings of newspapers and magazines or sections of the history of printing in the Philippines.


This paper is the result of some notes gathered during an initial research on the story of Philippine journalism from the Spanish colonial period until today. The presentation is focused on some insights into the Philippine press during the Spanish period. It studied the newspaper not as a bibliographical tool but as part of Philippine colonial development during the last century of Spanish rule.