Philippine Daily Inquirer was born in the last days of 1985.
Like its predecessors, the Mr. and Mrs. Special Edition and
the weekly Philippine Inquirer, it was to play an important
role in helping bring about chronicling the historic EDSA
Sandiganbayan on December 2, 1985 acquitted all 25 soldiers
and a civilian accused in the Aquino-Galman double murder
case. At about the same time, President Ferdinand E. Marcos
called for a snap presidential election. Ms. Corazon C.
Aquino, widow of Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr., was soon
nominated by the opposition to run against Marcos. A strong
demand then arose for a credible alternative broadsheet that
would compete with the three national dailies controlled by
Mrs. Eugenia D. Apostol , Chair of Mr. & Ms. Publishing Co., and a group of media people organized the INQUIRER to meet the demand for a credible broadsheet. The group headed by Mrs. Apostol
wanted to have a newspaper that was truly independent, free
from the influence of interest groups.
INQUIRER started publishing with less than P1 million in
seed money, its maiden issue, published on December 9, 1985,
sold 30,000 copies.
The first issue said that the INQUIRER would chronicle the times with candor and courage. The paper later adopted the slogan "Balanced News, Fearless Views."
The new daily was housed in the
dilapidated one-story Star Building on 14th and Railroad
streets in Port Area, Manila. It was put out by 40 editors,
reporters, correspondents, photographers and other editorial
employees working in a 100 square meter newsroom. Columnist
Louie Beltran was named its Editor-in-Chief.
The INQUIRER's circulation increased as Ms. Aquino's campaign picked up. By January 1986 it was selling 100,000 copies and by February 1986, shortly before the election, it was selling more than 250,000 copies and circulation was continuing to climb beyond the 300,000 mark. After the EDSA Revolution, the circulation settled down, but the INQUIRER still ranked second among the top broadsheets with 175,000 paid copies daily.
On June 27, 1986, the INQUIRER transferred to the former Madrid Restaurant on EDSA. The new president, Ms. Corazon C. Aquino, was the guest of honor at the inauguration. In its first year of operation, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. ranked 339th on the list of top 1,000 companies of the country. Since then it has been consistently on the list in 1988, 530th; in 1989, 467th; in 1990, 451st in 1991; 451st again; in 1992, 349th ; in 1993, 333rd; in 1994, 315th; and in 1995, 296th.
Frederico D. Pascual, former assistant managing editor of the Daily Express, was named executive editor in February 1987, replacing Beltran. Pascual was appointed Editor-in-Chief two years later.
On Sept. 22, 1987, two veterans in newspaper management joined the INQUIRER: Mariano B. Quimson, Jr. as president and Ben M. Pangilinan as Vice President for Marketing, it was also at that time that the INQUIRER received an additional capital infusion. In November of that year, the INQUIRER began setting up a modern electronic newsroom.
Today, the entire editorial and production operation of the INQUIRER is 100 percent computerized.
On November 17, 1987 the INQUIRER moved again, this time to the BF Condominium on Aduana Street, Intramuros.
It was in 1990 that the INQUIRER overtook the lead of another daily and became the country's biggest circulated broadsheet. This was validated by a circulation audit conducted by Sycip, Gorres and Velayo for the Print Media Audit Council which found that the INQUIRER had an average net paid daily circulation of 200,759 for the period of October 1989 to March 1990. Since that time the INQUIRER has consistently led in the circulation ratings.
The BF Condominium building was damaged in the earthquake of July 1990. On January 5, 1991 the INQUIRER transferred to the YIC building on United Nations Avenue and Romualdez Street in Malate.
On June 14, 1991, Leticia Jimenez Magsanoc, columnist and associate publisher, was appointed Editor-in-Chief.
On January 26, 1994, Ms. Apostol, the INQUIRER founding chair, retired and Ms. Marixi R. Prieto took over her post. A group led by Eduardo Espiritu, former PNB president bought Ms. Apostol's
shares in the company. Previously, a group headed by Ms. Prieto
had bought into the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc.
On Feburary 4, 1994, the PDI board of directors appointed Isagani Yambot as publisher.
The INQUIRER transferred to its building on Chino Roces Street (formerly Pasong Tamo) corner Yague and Mascardo Streets in Makati City on January 5,1995, its printing press was installed earlier, only about 20 meters away from the office building.
The INQUIRER is now the No. 1 newspaper in the country in terms of ciculation and readership. It has a daily average circulation of 250,000 and a Sunday circulation of 270,000. Based upon the Asia Research Organization's (ARO) trimedia survey, it is estimated that more than 2.7 million readers nationwide are now reading the INQUIRER.
Of the INQUIRER'S 416 employees, 192 are with the editorial group and 224 with the business group. In addition to its 56 regular reporters based in Metro Manila, the INQUIRER has 90 provincial correspondents who cover the news throughout the country.
It has four news bureaus in Baguio
City (Northern Luzon), Legaspi City (Southern Luzon), Cebu City (the Visayas) and Davao City (Mindanao).
To date, The Inquirer is the most awarded broadsheet. It's writers have been honored with over 100 awards and citations. It was chosen Newspaper of the Year by the Rotary Club of Manila in 1992 and was lone print media awardee in January 1995, during the visit of Pope John Paul II, when it was cited by the Catholic Mass Media Awards for Best News Reportage. In May 1997, it was again given the CMMA award (now the Lorenzo Ruiz Award) for its "pork barrel" series. It also received the Webby Award for its website (www.inquirer.net), and Agora award for Marketing Company of the Year, and in 1999, the grand prize of the 1998 Citibank Excellence in Journalism Award (Elena Torrijos) as well as an Anvil Award for Merit for its Tabang Mindanaw campaign in '98.
In May 1998, Ben Pangilinan formally retired from the office and was succeeded by Alexandra P. Romualdez as president. The INQUIRER has come a long way from December 1985 when it started on a P1 million budget and enjoyed an initial circulation of 30,000. It is now the daily newspaper with the biggest circulation and readership. It is considered one of the most influential dailies in the country today.
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