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Monday, September 12, 2016

Freedom of the press or freedom to destroy our country. Whose interest do they serve? ~Share


Let me point out that Raffy Alunan did not say "The media must help in nation-building,not nation-destroying'. Those words are mine but based on the idea written in his post. Shown below is the content of his Facebook post.

By Raff Alunan
When I was Secretary of Tourism, I flew to Japan to work out ways to bring in more tourists from there. My counterpart told me they were having a hard time promoting the country.

Our local media, he said, loved to sensationalise stories, particularly crime and scandal stories, complete with screaming headlines and photos, oftentimes with tentative details and speculations, never accurate that people could really learn from. And when the story dies out, he said that somehow the press recycles it and noted that they liked to pit people against each other. Very divisive practice he said. Bad for nation-building.

Our local news is picked up by the international press. And if the stories are irresponsible - devoid of professionalism, prudence and circumspection - the impact on foreigners is negative. He said the Japanese were fearful to come here because of it. In Japan, he said the papers would report their crime stories in the middle pages, sans gory pictures, sensational headlines and only reported the basics - who, what, where, how, how many, why, etc.

That was way back in 1991. A few years later, I sued a national daily with natural tabloid instincts for placing on their front page headline story that I was responsible for the release of a notorious killer in Mindanao. I was shocked out of my chair because I didn't know the fellow at all. I checked the inclusive dates when that supposedly happened, and saw the glaring mistake immediately. It took place when I was blissfully working in the private sector selling to the local textile industry and Philippine goods abroad. I was not in government. I was mistaken for somebody else.

I asked Atty Rene Cayetano, father of Sen. Alan Peter, to lawyer for me. He succeeded to have that paper recognise and acknowledge its gross mistake. But you know how it recanted and apologised a year later? Surely, it was not in the front page with equally eye-grabbing headlines. It was buried at the corner of a page somewhere in the middle of the paper in small print. So much for ethics, decency and fair play. And you know what the cavalier response was on the side? "Don't worry, in the future we will also print your side?" What? After the damage is done? What kind of responsible journalism is that?

25 years later today, 2016, has anything changed? Do we have a responsible, professional press? Does it deliver informative news that enable the cause of nation-building? Is it development oriented? Is it sober, reliable and trustworthy? These are questions that require deep reflection. And if the answer is no, something has to be done. We cannot go on like this open-ended like a bunch of uncaring nitwits.

5 comments:

  1. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...SOMETHING TO BE DONE IN TH MEDIA....

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  2. I hope Media will be partners for change.. Please help in communicating good news, there are are heaps..

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  3. Sir. I dont think d media is out der to destroy our country, they just tell the news as it happens, tell it as it is, no making up stories there ... So if you want to hear beautiful things go to disneyland where there is no crime, no ugly and gory news.

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  4. The media should be more clear and precise on how they would report otherwise instead of helping our country grow they might destroy our country's progress. Be responsible in our country and help to raise Filipinos'.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The media should be more clear and precise on how they would report otherwise instead of helping our country grow they might destroy our country's progress. Be responsible in our country and help to raise Filipinos'.

    ReplyDelete