Wanted: truth and context

PCSO Chair Margie Juico might have indeed lied and committed perjury, or couldn’t distinguish one vehicle from another, or forgot as old people often do, when she said she never called those vehicles “Pajeros”.

That’s bad enough.

It’s worse, however, when all along — since the time Juico first used the “P” word in the bishops-receiving-donations-from-PCSO hullabaloo — the news media stuck with Juico’s false and sensational claim.

Whatever happened to “investigative journalism”?

Or even “journalistic journalism”? — if we really have to coin such a term.

It’s amazing how mainstream journalists were quick to spread such sensitive news without scratching the story’s surface for the real facts. They were satisfied with what the PCSO was saying. And the PCSO characters, it now turns out, are rather shady ones.

The same journalists also did not delve into the real-life context of the bishops’ use of the SUVs. Did they do research on the geographical conditions of the accused bishops’ respective dioceses? I come from a town near Butuan, and I know that mountain dirt roads there are far from being tuwid na landas and Porsche-friendly (some areas are also infested with rebels). For preachers who often have to travel on such terrain, a more powerful and durable vehicle is certainly needed, one which they could use in urban areas as well.

And did journalists bother to find out the dioceses’ various projects which used the controversial cars? If only there were primary sources from the dioceses in question, news consumers would have received something closer to the truthful reports they deserved.

Yes, here’s one wishing journalists pursued truth first, fast, and without fear — before their biases run them over.

UPDATED 20.VI.11 10:10 pm

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