Informed choice now

PRO-CHOICE ADVOCATES clamor for “informed choice.” So does the media.

But the shocking news is: everybody wants informed choice. Yes, also pro-life people, given that information is truthful and necessary.

But where is real informed choice if the media, to begin with, does not even publish the pro-life block’s research-based arguments?

Where is informed choice if the media continues to box the pro-life group as the religious-leaning, emotion-driven, medieval and unreasonable pack of conservatives, while the pro-choice advocates continue to be projected strictly as evidence-oriented, pro-women, pro-health, and victim-of-the-Catholic-Church? (As if the pro-life block is not evidence-oriented, pro-women, and pro-health.)

Let me count some of the ways mainstream media has denied the public their right to know:

  1. The anti-RH bill position paper written by more than a dozen UP faculty, students, and alumni — and signed by at least 350 more such UP affiliates — was never published or reported on, except by the Manila Times (the said UP affiliates submitted a press release). The position paper is backed by purely secular arguments opposing the RH bill and is supported by a 70-plus-item list of academic references. Among the authors of the paper was a medical doctor, a statistician, a physicist, and biologists.
  2. The inter-faith pro-life rally last month at the PICC grounds. It was probably the largest protest staged against the bill, with attendees numbering 5,000, according to the CBCP. But did it appear in the news? No. Okay, one or two news outlets mentioned it in a few words — without the numbers and arguments, of course.
  3. The chastity talk by renowned speaker Jason Evert at SMX on February 27: no report about it, either. Before 7,000 young people, Mr. Evert strongly denounced the RH bill in his talk. But none of the mainstream journalists cared to be there to catch his words. Many of Mr. Evert’s listeners (including sports and TV celebrity Chris Tiu) are now raving about him and his hilarious-but-sensible points.

Pray tell: why are these journalists hindering informed choice? Are they being paid, too, for explicitly supporting the RH bill? Highlight this for fun—>By “paid”, I mean the same thing that GABRIELA did to the “warm bodies” in last Tuesday’s House deliberations: the group paid each of them P250 and gave them merienda and air-conditioned bus rides. Nice.

EXTRA: Amid all this un-information dissemination, I wonder if the hierarchy of the CMFR would care to correct its flock.

[UPDATED 14.iii.11 12:24am]

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10 thoughts on “Informed choice now

  1. Many of us (pro-Lifers) have been wondering about the same thing. Makes me think that the “Dark Forces” are really with the other side. Haha. On the bright side, it makes us rely more on God’s grace. And it’s also good motivation for us to tirelessly research and disseminate the TRUTH.

    • It’s a good thing we have Facebook and Twitter now. But we have to have numbers. Please spread the word about People for Media and let’s win our friends to our cause. 🙂

  2. Ah…that is also my question. Where is the media that purports itself as the venue for truth? I know that there are news anchor and media men who are pro-life or want to treat both sides fairly but they are marginalized.

    It seems that majority of Philippine media establishments already forgot their responsibility for being truthful and fair.

    • I agree. Perhaps some of these reporters (who seem mediocre to us) could have had their freedom of conscience curtailed (by being forced to be unfair). “Press freedom” at the expense of personal freedom doesn’t sound right to me.. :O

      In any case, I think we can defend those well-meaning journalists to do their job well by being “noisy” about all this present mediocrity in news media. It should be the kind of noise that reaches the ears of advertisers, media executives, and our fellow media consumers. It’s about awareness and education.

  3. What about this website’s anti-RH bias?

    You’ve been criticizing the media on its one-sided handling of the Reproductive Health Bill issue in
    …23 ENTRIES!

    It’s not the only issue that involves media ethics. Why aren’t there any more articles on bias in the coverage of the Ombudsman’s case? The elections? The alleged AFP anomalies? In their anti-GMA stance?

    Why doesn’t People for Media walk the talk when it comes to fair coverage?

    Or is the name “People for Media” a mask for an Anti-RH agenda?
    Or even a religious agenda, if you know what I’m talking about.

    [By the way, if you don’t publish this comment. Then I prove my point.]

    • Hi Veritas!

      Thanks for visiting our blog.

      Yes, this blog is against the RH bill. If you have read our About page, you would have noticed that we advocate respect for human dignity through the news media. As the said page indicates, we adhere to natural law as expressed in the Decalogue. Thus, we are against the pending RH bill, because we believe that it disrespects natural law and violates certain human rights.

      Unlike mainstream media, PFM is an advocacy. It does not consider itself “journalistic” in the strictest sense of the term, since the blog has no independent news arm. PFM is merely a group blog. Nevertheless, we try our best to be truthful as do the news media ideally.

      Yes, the media’s RH bill debate coverage is not the only issue. But then, if you noticed, there are only about 3 of us who regularly write for this blog. We are friends who find our news media needing our feedback. And since there are only three of us (actually, I’m the one writing most of the time, and it’s quite exhausting), we cannot write about every ethical issue concerning the media. We are not like the CMFR, which has a staff and funding for media monitoring. Our, um, fixation over the RH bill debate is rather the result of our advocacy for human dignity. Of course, we would like to have the time to comment on media coverage regarding the ombudman’s case, the anti-GMA stance, etc., but our full-time, non-PFM work is constraining us. 🙂 PFM is just our hobby, if you can call it that way.

      We do have an anti-RH agenda, because essential to our advocacy is respecting human dignity at every stage of life, from conception to natural death. Religious agenda? All I can say is that we are ordinary Catholics who want to live our faith.

      Your civil comments are always welcome. 🙂

      Thanks again!

  4. Pingback: Media’s ignorance, prejudice vs NFP « People for Media

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