^

Opinion

EDITORIAL - Greater obligation to humanity

-

CEBU, Philippines - The media is once again in the eye of the storm, this time on account of its culpability in the August 23 hostage crisis in which relentless and irresponsible coverage of the situation may have helped precipitate the bloody conclusion.

Media leaders initially defended the coverage by saying there was no effort by police at the scene to stop sensitive television footages that may have enraged the hostage-taker to the point of no return. Had the police asked, they would have complied, they said.

That of course is a lot of bull considering that the media never takes kindly any effort by anyone to curtail what it believes to be its sworn duty to report the news at whatever cost. A similar situation at the Manila Peninsula years earlier is a case in point.

Then along comes Erwin Tulfo, testifying before a fact-finding committee tasked to probe the hostage-taking incident. According to Tulfo, the "ratings game" may have played a part in the relentless pursuit of the news that many now see as having contributed to the gruesome ending.

To be sure, coming from an insider, there must be some truth to the ratings aspect of which Tulfo seems to so knowingly talk about. But that is not it. It is not even media compliance of police requests to freeze certain aspects of coverage, as media leaders insist.

What truly afflicts the pursuit of the news by the media is its failure to recognize its greater responsibility to society, a responsibility so huge it transcends its own obligation to its profession.

Perhaps the best question to have emerged from the fact-finding sessions came from a member of the panel, Teresita Ang See, who asked members of the media whether they did not view human life as more precious than the news.

The point of Ang See, and to which we wholeheartedly agree, is that all members of the media must have that built-in responsibility within themselves to be able to stop and pause and look at the bigger picture.

While all journalists must consider their profession sacred, it is still just a profession. In the end, a journalist is still a human being. Outside the sea of words and images in which he fishes to earn a living, he needs to go home and be the person God meant him to be.

ANG SEE

COVERAGE

ERWIN TULFO

HOSTAGE

MANILA PENINSULA

MEDIA

NEWS

POINT

POLICE

TERESITA ANG SEE

TULFO

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with