Flagging Bandila (1/3)

I shall scrupulously report and interpret the news, taking care not to suppress essential facts or to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis.

– The Journalist’s Code of Ethics, No. 1

ABS-CBN News was possibly doing a sufficiently fair coverage of the inter-faith rally against the RH bill last Friday. George Cariño was doing his report next to the stage, and Korina Sanchez was in her “tent” in front of the grandstand, serving as one of TV Patrol‘s news readers.

At least they reported on the rally, I thought, unlike before.

And then Bandila aired.

No, I wasn’t able to catch the report live. I was at the rally, standing for more than five hours, and just dropped dead to bed when I reached home. It was only this afternoon that I got to watch Jenny Reyes’s “Rosales, Velarde take swipes at RH bill supporters” on abs-cbnnews.com.

Innards tumbled. The clip forced me to conclude that Bandila’s producers would do anything to sow discord and discredit the pro-life block, even at the expense of high quality reportage.

The gists of the report were:

  1. Not everyone in the rally understood the RH bill.
  2. Cardinal Rosales was unfairly maligning Carlos Celdran.
  3. Bro. Mike Velarde verbally hit at those who already left the rally when he began speaking right after the Mass.

As for (1), it is true — as true as the fact that not everyone in pro-choice rallies know what they are rallying for. Like some pro-life supporters, they too have not even read the bill.

Indeed, both camps have their share of ignorance among their members. That ignorance is even more shameful to the camp that claims to be for “informed choice.”

But how come we’ve never heard news about pro-choice supporters who are largely ignorant of the bill’s contents? And isn’t it unfair that Bandila did not even look for ordinary pro-life advocates who, on the other hand, truly know what they stood for — even if merely for an appearance of journalistic civility?

Again, this seems like ABS-CBN’s (or just Bandila’s?) non-dissemination of relevant information, effectively depriving us of the larger truth and of justice.

[To be continued]


Who’s Damaso now?

I WONDER IF the headline of Philip C. Tubeza’s article yesterday — “‘Damaso’ strikes anew, rips anti-RH poster” — was done in sincerity.

Anti-Church tour guide and RH advocate Carlos Celdran, who had accused Catholic bishops of being the villainous Padre Damaso of Noli Me Tangere lore, was now the one recognized as Damaso(!).

Whatever the case may be, it is refreshing that the Inquirer is now also reporting on the questionable acts which some pro-choice people do. Perhaps the next one would be on alleged bribery happening to (supposedly) pro-choice people in the House of Representatives and public demonstrations. Or the alleged monetary pressure which pro-choice foreign groups and pharmaceutical companies give to lawmakers.

Of course, it may be true that the photo which the Inquirer placed in the its letters-to-the-editor page last Tuesday was selected unfairly (showing less people than there actually were in the February inter-faith prolife rally), but at least signs of editorial “reflection” seem evident.

Now they see the absurdity and hypocrisy of calling for informed choice and reasoned debate at the same time destroying the properties of others, such as what Mr. Celdran did.

‘Katotohanang Magpapalaya sa Bayan?’

FACTS ARE CONSIDERED sacred, especially in the journalism industry.

It’s a welcome thing, then, that one reader of GMA News Online complained about what he thought were large gaps between the truth and what the said news website reported in one article.

In his blog entry’s concluding paragraph, digitalcrusader said:

The Filipino viewer is not ignorant, and not gullible. Juan dela Cruz looks at the television to search the Truth, not to be bombarded by biases or foreign brainwashing. The Filipino shall continue to be critical of what is presented to them, especially by the media, which should measure up to the reputation of being the “fourth branch of the government”.

We want more digitalcrusaders among ordinary media consumers!

Read the full blog entry (“Katotohanang Magpapalaya sa Bayan?”)>>