Media must carry out self-examination, too PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 June 2016 13:59



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts…” (Psalm 7:9, the Holy Bible).

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DENYING EXTORTION IN MEDIA IS LYING: We who are in media should accept the truth that there are many of us who use our profession for purposes which are less than sublime, like extortion, as President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte said the other day. It is no use denying this unfortunate reality, because it is something that is there for all to see. If we deny extortion in media, then we would be lying.

And because extortion is a reality that cannot be denied, we who are in media must also accept the fact that the people who were victims of extortion by media practitioners cannot be prevented from thinking and acting negatively against those who extorted from them, and this is where Duterte was correct once more—media extortionists do get killed by, or on orders of, their victims.

But, Duterte and his government should also accept the truth that there are still many in media who practice their profession to uphold truth and justice, and as a tool against wrongdoing and corruption both in the public and private sectors, despite the difficulty of doing so. And many mediamen get killed or persecuted, simply for espousing these righteous motives in the exercise of their profession.

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WILL DUTERTE CLARIFY, WHEN IS A MEDIAMAN A “SON OF A BIT..H”? And that was where Duterte was totally wrong, in generalizing that many of the media personalities who were killed were assassinated because they were engaged in extortion or corruption, or because some of them were, as he derisively described them to be,  “son of a”

There are good mediamen, as there are mediamen who are sons of “”, but not all are bad, as not all are good either. It is therefore wrong for Duterte or anyone else to be generalizing about a bad media, or even about a good media. With his long experience as a local chief executive, I know that Duterte would know, even from a distance, who is bad, and who is good, in media.

Be that as it may, the next important matter that must be clarified is this: assuming that a media personality is extortionist, or is corrupt, would that be a justification for summarily killing him or her? Does anyone have the right to take the life of a newsman or a broadcaster simply because of what he wrote or say? And, perhaps Duterte can clarify: when is a mediaman a “son of a bi..h?”

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MEDIA MUST CARRY OUT SELF-EXAMINATION, TOO: But let not this be a blind defense of media, for, indeed, practitioners have an urgent task to examine themselves and their colleagues, too, to look for solutions to the long pestering issue of corruption in media, whether it be the in the form of the so-called “envelopmental journalism”, or of distortion of news and events in the guys of commentaries carried out by broadcast networks and giant newspaper companies.

Indeed, many practitioners who are supposed to be merely dispensing the news, writing an account of events as they actually happened, nowadays have strayed into interpreting and commenting on the news, not really innocently or as an honest-to-goodness attempt at commentaries, but more on satisfying the interests of the people who had talked to them earlier on what to write about or what to broadcast.

Unless media carries out this self-examination real soon, and its practitioners thereafter conduct themselves in a manner worthy of respect and deference from the public, it should not expect media killings to stop, and harsh criticisms even from the President of the Philippines, to abate. Media should change first, before it can expect change from others.

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Last Updated on Friday, 03 June 2016 14:07