Who’s making the NEWS?
Nico Villaceran

    In the twenty-five months of his administration, for the first time, President Benigno Aquino III address his observation on how our Philippine media reports. Dating back to his 3rd SONA (State of the Nation Address) when PNoy pleasingly said,”Sana po tuwing sasabihin nating Magandang gabi bayan ay totoong hinahangad nating maging maganda ang gabi ng bayan.” The president hit the signature line of our former vice president and current TV Patrol news anchor Noli De Castro.

                           Last Friday, the night after the opening of London Olympics, July 27, at the 25th Anniversary of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol news program held at the Manila Hotel’s Grand Pavilion the issue’s fire continues. Again with his Tagalong speech, President Aquino III humored,”If there is a competition for understanding and self-restraint, perhaps I would be a gold medalist here”. The president complaint on what he observes in Philippine media for negativism instead of spreading good news.

                       “Napaisip nga po ako, 'yong nagkomento nito, hindi ba’t anim na taon ding tumangan sa renda ng gobyerno? Sabihin na po nating minana lang din nila ang problema, 'di hamak mas luma naman ang ipinamana nilang problema sa amin”, the president said not naming De Castro but referring to a TV Patrol anchor who is an ex-government official.

                       “Anim na taon ang ipinagkaloob sa kanya para tumulong sa pagsasaayos ng mismong inireklamo niya. Pero ngayon, tayo na nga ang may bitbit na problema, tayo na nga ang tutugon dito, pero masakit nga ho, may gana pang hiritan ng nagpamana?” the president said.

                         “May naitutulong po ba ang mga walang basehang spekulasyon? Kung alam mong opinion-maker ka, alam mo rin dapat na mayroon kang responsibilidad , the President said about De Castro’s regular ending comments and opinions in TV Patrol.

                          The NUJP (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) valiantly commented,” Instead of demanding the media to report a story the way Aquino sees it, he should take off his rose-tinted glasses and descend from the heights to walk through the muck and the grime that the people he professes to serve live in”.

                         “Call it what you will, Mr. Aquino, but we, the truly independent Philippine press, will not acquiesce to your wish that we sugarcoat the reality that we not only see and witness but also live in.”

                         “That would be, in the very words you use, albeit misguidedly, truly negativism,” the NUJP added.

                        “I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts not to distort truth by omission or improper emphasis. I recognize the duty to air the other side and to correct substantive errors promptly”, from The Philippine Journalist Code of Ethics.

                       When we say “ I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news”, we’re not saying not exact but scrupulous. And when we say “report and interpret the news”, we’re saying NEWS whatever it is, whether black or yellow. Well, if the president didn’t understand a simple grammar then his Bosses (Filipino people) must take him back to an English remedial class. The public will always have a right to real information. The easy way to distinguish the situation is a journalist line ”Sorry, walang personalan, trabaho lang”. Following our job is following the Ethics, if you follow the ethics you will also follow and serve the truth.

                         The Aquino’s administration, reaction, actions and even the implementations, all of his moves is the newsmaker, not the media. We only just factually interpret the information but his the one and his administration that created it, from the high to lower sectors of the government. It is not the media’s iniquity to report a bad news and also, it doesn’t mean it’s NEGATIVISM, it’s the TRUTH. If you read and seen a lot of bad news today in Televisions and Print, remember, we don’t put the blame on the Networks and to the newspapers. Media is the fourth estate, its being a truth interpreter, protector and deliverer. And the other three estates including the administration of President Aquino III is the newsmaker. 

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