Tour guide Carlos Celdran disrupted a Mass at the Manila Cathedral last week clad in a Jose Rizal costume and raising a placard that read “Damaso”. We know the rest of the story and the story behind the man’s disrespectful act.
But disrespect of equal degree is the way that mainstream media wove the story of the RH bill controversy. The Catholic clergy was depicted as the villain, insinuating that they as a whole are guilty of certain crimes charged by the RH bill advocates. For example, look at how some reporters distorted the clergy’s comment regarding sanctions for Pres. Noy-noy Aquino on his stance regarding artificial contraception. Certain members of the media succeeded in creating the fiction that the Church was “threatening” PNoy of being excommunicated.
Media’s contribution to the confusion on the RH debate has to stop. Media’s many violations against the Journalist’s Code of Ethics, formulated by the Philippine Press Institute and the National Press Club, must end.
This blog is a small effort by ordinary media consumers who are disappointed by the lack of professionalism and ethical standards among many mainstream media outfits. Here we wish to evaluate the often-cunning ways with which media tries to form our opinions based on their sometimes-lousy arguments and reportage. He we wish to inform media that their readers are not stupid and that they care about the truthfulness and fairness of the contents they get from media. Here we wish to affirm that media’s readers/audiences think and will not be used merely as their source of wealth.
It may not seem that we advocate media (that we love media) because of the criticisms you can expect from this blog, but we do love media. We wish to criticize (in the name of truth, love, and justice) so that soon we can praise.
Alongside the aim of appraising media, here we strive to help the public become media literate. The public must know the workings and politics of the media industry in order to consume media intelligently. We shall look for ways.
Acknowledgments: Many thanks to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and Atty. Marichu Lambino whose ideas inspired us to create this project.