On the occasion of the Daily Tribune motoring section’s birth on 29 November, we are coming out with a supplement to touch on its journey through the years.
It is called “Blast.” But it hasn’t really gone, well, full-blast until 2018 when the newspaper underwent a major restructuring.
Back then the motoring section comes out “intermittently,” according to Daily Tribune’s executive editor Chito Lozada.
As the section underwent metamorphosis through the years, it was steered by editors known in the industry like Ira Panganiban, Jude Morte, Ronald delos Reyes and Rey Bancod.
Now it has transformed into a major section in the newspaper with regular four-page spread coming out every Monday.
Like the other motoring pages in other newspapers and websites, Blast tackles updates on the motoring scene: Debuting cars, motorcycles, government policies and hard news regarding just about every vehicle plying our streets.
Yet unlike the rest, Blast carries the contents on print as well as the newspaper’s online platforms, the better to cater to a wider swathe of consumers.
It occupies the territory beyond the strict, uncompromising domain of the news department.
Instead, it works in the same ground as the Sports Section in terms of playful layout, colorful writing, without sacrificing truth and public service that the Daily Tribune stands for.
But probably its most distinct feature is that it marries the editorial and the advertising realms the way no other section has.
The Blast’s business model is to serve as showroom for the latest, shiniest cars to hit the town, and at the same time open its doors to collaborations with car makers, and suppliers of equipment and accessories.
The terrain is a lot different from what it was five years ago, of course.
This time it’s littered with newly arrived car brands — mostly by way of China — whose main features were something hardly heard before: Electric engine.
That electric vehicle phenomenon turned everything on its head, including the big brands that lorded it over the Philippine market for generations.
Somehow, it evened things out as people suddenly has a plethora of choices in rides.
In a matter of a few years, EVs are no longer the bunch of misfits in the classroom, but a wave of fresh, cool and safe newcomers.
Same thing happened in the world of media. As print media slides farther into the back burner, mileage in terms of readership (or circulation) no longer matter as it once did.
It’s anybody’s ballgame with regard to online/social media platforms. The one who has the most number of followers rules.
And in this ballfield, the Daily Tribune’s Blast has already lifted off. Burning contrails behind it. All the way into orbit.