Christian ‘Jay’ B. Hilotin
Award-winning veteran journalist, Christian ‘Jay’ B. Hilotin considers his present role as senior web news editor of gulfnews.com, the leading English-language digital site in the Gulf, as both a tough and fulfilling one. “Keeping readers happy is a source of great satisfaction at the end of each working day,” he says.
“For me, storytelling in the digital era requires the same amount of passion as, if not more than, the “old media,” he says. “Whether it’s breaking news, doing explainers and long-form narratives, we constantly question our story judgment. I’m honored to work with a great team that’s pushing innovation forward, guided by tools that keep our feet firmly on the ground, connected to our readers.”
Serving up news and information to different communities in the UAE, and outside the country, he takes pride in delighting its readers. Then there is also the challenge of delivering properly-curated content relevant to the Filipino community. Of his countrymen, Jay notes, “We have distinct qualities. As a people, we muster admirable resilience against terrible natural disasters. We willingly face great odds for the love of family. Our passion for music and enduring faith form part of our collective hallmark. There are many good things going for us right now. But we all fall short, too.” He adds, “Punctuality, a drive to continuously improve our lot, combining hard work with mutual encouragement, instead of pulling each other down, a.k.a. ‘crab mentality,’ these are the things that would greatly help us.”
Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf: Jay Hilotin – Media’s Filipino Custodians
“To be a Filipino is to be hopeful.”
Jay Hilotin is the current Tablet Editor of Gulf News, the biggest English-language daily in the region. He belongs to that select group of journalists who occupies a special threshold between the old and the new. He is a veteran of print journalism whose biggest challenge today lies in tooling up for new media and being able to engage one’s audience through various forms of interaction.
Needless to say, the award-winning writer has nothing more to prove, what with a successful career as a professional in the global city of Dubai. But he chooses to expand his already impressive repertoire with new challenges, including his advocacies. He supports Ancop, which helps build shelter for poor Filipinos. It also sends deserving students from poor families to school and coaches the bottom 30 per cent of slow learners in some public schools. As a writer and as a Filipino who believes in that bright future, Jay is certainly an inspiration.
“Doing our part, no matter how small, in helping those who are in the margins – one child, one family at a time – can make a massive impact. I’ll probably try to do this kind of work till I breathe my last.”