Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sensational News

I don’t remember a lot of news stories from the past. What I do remember though were the men and women of the media--- the dead ones to be exact. Even before I found out the shocking truth that fairy tales, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are really adult inventions designed to trick kids into believing that life is beautiful and that there are no inane politicians that plague our country, I was already made aware of stories of journalists who disappeared into the night and appeared the following morning in ditches with bullet holes in their heads. Unfortunately, some journalists continue to suffer the same gruesome fate today. It seems the current invertebrates in power still have dirty secrets to keep so the guardians of truth must be silenced.

This is probably why despite my obvious inability to tell the difference between algebra and gibberish, I would have chosen Engineering over Mass Communications if they were the only two courses left in college. Obviously, I am not a brave soul and I do not want to suffer the same slow, painful prelude to death that I suppose many journalists have had to endure.

My own cowardice however only serves to heighten my admiration for the people of print and broadcast media. It is not just their courage that I find amazing. It is also the fact that many of those employed by provincial newspapers and radio stations continue to risk their necks and limbs for a pittance. Why on earth would they want to court danger when they can’t even afford to buy a bulletproof vest or insurance? Their outright disregard for their safety could only mean that they have such deep passion for the truth that, rather than bury the truth, they would have themselves buried instead.

Apparently though, the dawn of the ratings war in radio and television has changed the face of journalism forever. It is no longer just about accuracy and integrity. It is also about who has the whitest smile, the best pose and the most impressive overemphatic articulation. I thought I would never see the day when journalists would pose in front of cameras displaying false gravity and atrocious fashion.

I suppose though that sensationalizing the exterior of journalists and their news shows would have been bearable considering that different stations and channels do report the same events so the only real way to draw viewers and advertisers would be to parade like peacocks. What is thoroughly unacceptable though is when the news too gets painted. With due respect to the men and women of the media, they do continue to report the facts. The many different angles in which they do so however have shaped exaggerated public opinions.

Case in point: I once admired a radio broadcaster for his fiery attacks on a corrupt government official who had been reaping the benefits of construction job contracts. The broadcaster was so good at spewing fire, brimstone and spittle that within a few years, he had turned a great number of people to his side. People believed in him so much that he got himself elected to a government position from where he continued to throw stones at his political target.

After a few more months of aggressive monologues on air, the broadcaster began receiving death threats. His car got shot at a couple of times and the service vehicle of his station got torched. He hasn’t been heard on air ever since. For a moment I thought he had finally gone belly up and his loyal supporters would finally have to don black shirts bearing his face, take to the streets and irritate stalled motorists in the name of justice. Rumor has it though that the broadcaster turned politician had to resign from his job as a broadcaster because it was found out that he had been the one sending himself death threats. Apparently, he was also the one who stuck bullets on his own car and burned his station’s vehicle.

I don’t know if all the rumors are true but if they are, that would make me feel like shit. He reminds me of Spiderman’s Jonah Jameson, nearly turning an entire city against the Crocodileman in city hall, but the similarity ends there. Jonah never went hunting for spiderwebs to lie on and claim victim status. Isn’t it a pity that a former guardian of truth is now as diseased as his political adversary?

12 comments:

  1. cnong journalist politician yun?

    I've notice na sobrang dami ng mga journalist turned politician...ex loren legarda..grabe ah..ndi ko ma-gets ung mga commercial nila (xa at ibang politician) these days.

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  2. taga dito sa mindanao itong topic ng blind item ko. grabe talaga. parang bomba siya magpsabog sa radyo yun naman pala siya rin ang nagpapdala ng mga death threats sa sarili nya. haha. kakatawa ano?

    sayang si loren at si ka noli. nung mga journalists pa sila talagang bilib tayong lahat sa kanila. ngayon parang nag iba na ang hangin. si kabayan talaga ang nag bago. parang di na siya tulad ng dati na talagang for the people kung gumalaw at mag trabaho

    salamat webster twelb for dropping by :)

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  3. that's one good reason why i just READ/LISTEN to the news, kung sa tv kasi wala akong nakikitang katotohanan dun, except for the forever topic of price hikes, political debates that ends on a different topic at mga artistang nagaaway dahil sa agawan ng boyfriend/girlfriend(haha)

    yung mga hindi nakikita sa tv(broadcasters/columnists) lang naman ang tinitira kasi sa tingin ko, mas matapang sila at mas mahirap patahimikin...

    yun lang, hehe

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  4. hehe. well said mel. sa totoo lang talagang nakaka wala ng gana manood ng news sa tv. lalong lalo na pag nagpoposing na sa intro music video yung mga anchor. talagang ang pangit panoorin.

    mas bilib ako sa radio broadcasters. totoong matatapang sila. kaso lang nga may iba sa kanila na nagiging pareho na sa mga tv anchors. gaya nga nung dati kong idol. sayang talaga...

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  5. ndi ko pa rin gets kung cno un..sbihin mo n kya.

    oo nga sayang cla. idol ko nga cla dti eh. tpos naging politician na..naging plastik. ai nako.

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  6. ay ayaw ko sabihin webster twelb. may topak kaya yun siya ano. baka naman just by some twist of fate mabasa niya yung post ko at kasuhan pa niya ako ng libel. wala akong plano maging katulad ni lolit solis. hahaha. mas better na anonymous yung identity ni broadcaster politician para hindi ako masabit. hehehe :)

    teka baka mapadaan yung mga friends ko na taga rito rin sa lugar namin. if mabasa nila tong post ko, they might want to reveal the identity of mr. braodcaster politician :)

    salamat sa interest webster twelb ha. Godbless :)

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  7. Would this person's initial happen to be the last letter of the alphabet? hehe

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  8. hahaha. ang galing mo mang hula mrs. darcy :)

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  9. sinong politician kaya yun?!? ipagtatanong ko yan. may split personality ba xa? baka di nya alam na napapadalahan nya ng sarili nya ng death threats and shot his car..kasi hindi gawain ng normal na tao yun.

    si sen. loren?.. madalas ko syang mapakingan sa seminars na inaatendan ko. she's great. siguro hindi lang talaga xa madalas na makita na sa t.v. si noli naman? no comment..

    gracemags for president!!!

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  10. haha. ayaw ko maging presidente ano kahit bayaran pa ako ng isang milyon :)

    it's good to hear na ok pa rin si loren. sa lugar namin marami na ang di gusto sa kanya pero siguro dapat pa rin siya bigyan ng benefit of the doubt. si ka noli ewan ko talaga.

    yung blind item ko di ko alam kung may topak talaga siya pero alam ko may pagnanais siya na sumikat. sayang talaga siya.

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  11. hehe. hindi webster. last letter of the alphabet ang first name niya but i doubt if people in the capital know him. i think sikat lang siya sa visayas and mindanao

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