The journalist I mentioned in a previous post who currently works on her masteral thesis about setting up an OFW bank, has posed to me the following query:
“What kind of journalism would be best for making investors out of an OFW nation?”
This post is my attempt to answer the query.
Well, making investors out of OFWs is a very tall order. It is a very, very big problem.
In fact, I should say this is the biggest problem with respect to the OFW program as regards the economic side.
For anybody who attempts to take on this problem – whether journalist by profession or not – I believe two things are absolutely required:
1. The writer/journalist/opinion-maker concerned should be literate in investment in the first place or at least, he should be a keen student of investment.
2. The writer/journalist/opinion-maker concerned should study the economic problems of OFWs or better still, he experiences the life of being an OFW.
Let us discuss these one by one.
1 The writer should be literate in, or a student of investment
One can never make intelligent or meaningful opinions about investment or how people/OFWs become investors unless he is investment literate himself or at least he has been studying about investment.
The knowledge about investment serves as anchor or guide by which the writer/journalist is able to study and understand the economic situation of OFWs and is able to give meaningful suggestions on what needs to be done.
Anybody can make opinions, but opinions of those who are not literate in investment and who have not really studied will not have much meaning. It will just be like the blind trying to preach to the blind.
For literature on the theory of “investment literacy” I suggest one should read the following blog posts:
There is a mountain of difference between being investment literate and not. As I keep on saying this difference is like “the difference between day and night.”
OFWs are generally not savers, they are spenders and many are even spending beyond their means.
Just to make them save is already a big issue.
This eventually makes them even worse than they were before they became OFWs – after their stint abroad.
This is where investment literacy comes in as a “must”.
2.The writer concerned should study the economic problems of OFWs
The writer concerned should study closely the problems of OFWs, preferably by living the life of an OFW himself for some time.
If this is not possible, he should read anything he can lay his hands on about the problems of OFWs on the economic side, particularly the issue of economic reintegration because this is at the very heart of the whole issue.
There are not much available materials and, modesty aside, this blog is probably one of the best available materials on this aspect.
The government authorities talk a lot about the role of OFWs and hail them as “Modern Day Heroes”.
Other then such type of empty motherhood statements, nothing is really being done for OFWs on the economic side.
You do not have a clear grasp of the problem, you cannot intelligently offer a solution.
You want to write to make investors out of OFWs, you have to be literate in investment and at the same time, have a clear grasp of the problem of OFWs.
These two are absolute pre-requisites.
Let financial journalism imbibe these two pre-requisites. Then let journalists write and write on what needs to be done by OFWs, by their dependents and by the government to support OFWs.
Then, we can possibly make OFWs investors rather than remain rabid and drifting consumers which they currently are.