JOURNALIST TELLS the truth. Powers-that-be get furious. Powers-that-be hire assassins. Journalist is murdered. Public outrage follows.
One hopes, dear karikna, that the sequence is always as simple when a member of the media falls, but, sadly, there are complications.
One is tempted to say that media is to be blamed, too, for making the Philippines one of the top three most dangerous countries for journalists in the world (along with Iraq and Somalia), and Ilocos Norte a killing field for members of the Fourth Estate. Corruption, impropriety, and unprofessional behavior cloud the practice of journalism here and in other parts.
Ergo, the death of a journalist is not always an attack against the truth. It could also be a screaming statement against lies, spins, and half-truths, which are even more dangerous than lies. A media worker wields tremendous power, which, if used irresponsibly, could backfire, and with fatal results.
There is no justifying though the ruthless killings of journalists which, from 1986, now number 137, 104 of which transpired under the Arroyo regime. Not even the shadiest journalist deserves to be at the mercy of an assassin. We have very strong libel laws to punish a malicious blabbermouth, and to redeem the dignity of an aggravated fellow. In a supposedly civilized, democratic society such as ours, there is just no room for motorcycle-riding, gun-firing cowards.
The rampage should stop even as the truth must always be pursued. This is not always easy because the world hates those who speak of inconvenient truths. Socrates, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Jose Rizal, media men and women who did their craft with untainted integrity, and other martyrs of freedom and democracy know this very well. However, when a journalist goes overboard, commits abuses, and gets killed because of it, it is not heroism, it is self-destruction. Continue reading “Media Abuse”