While some perspective is essential to put news stories into context and establish who is who and what was done by whom to someone. But context and perspective are very much different from editorializing a news story.
Like you my friend, I was actually also disturbed when former Vice President Noli de Castro and Presidential candidate (now DOTC Secretary) Mar Roxas’ wife Korina went back to being newsreaders in the country’s biggest prime time news program. My concern has been their political affiliation and identification with certain political figures and interests.
What sets our time different from those that have gone before is that some journalists nowadays, aside from their reportage, also go into blogging. And in their blogs, they sound different. They write more from the personal (biased) perspective. It would be curious to know though how a journalist’s blog would influence how he is perceived by the public, his co-workers, and his sources.
It has always been a struggle for journalists to remain balanced and as much as possible, lessen the bias. And the struggle goes on from one journalist to the other, from the field to the newsroom. It is inevitable that the reports would contain certain slants towards certain groups, interests, or individuals.
It is important for the public to gather the news not only from one channel, but as much as possible, several channels of varying perspectives. It would then be up to the viewing public to decide for themselves which perspective they more identify with. If well-meaning media organizations have always been trying to root out pseudo-journalism by promoting responsible journalism, then maybe it’s time the public should also do the same with responsible viewership.
Absolutely. Being an informed citizen does not mean just reading one newspaper or watching one TV channel. It involves some level of research and studying various sources. And in the age of connectivity it really isn’t that to do; especially with the proliferation of news sources. I think that’s truly the only way to have your own voice, your own opinion: you cannot just parrot what you heard on TV or read in the broadsheets. Else any opinion you have becomes unsustainable.
With regards to Korina and Noli, that is rife with complications. Like you say, what happens if (when?) charges are filed against Noli? Amidst all the other disclosures, we have kind of forgotten the whole Global Asiatique mess; a ‘scandal’ that touches on areas under the then-VPs purview.
Now, you raise an interesting consideration with regards to journalist-bloggers; especially when they reveal personal opinions. In the old days, veteran journalists would turn into columnists; graduating from uncovering the news to commenting on the news. Today? The internet allows for almost instantaneous expression of personal and private opinions. There was a small bit of controversy a few weeks ago when one well known journalist expressed her support for RH.
Could it be that we are in the midst of an evolution in journalism? Has the rapidity with which news can be spread forcing that change? In a way, you could argue that evolution is what created a monster of propaganda like Fox News.
I doubt it. Journalism is far more than means and methods of information dissemination. At its heart journalism is much the same as history writing. It’s investigation, studious balance, and a presentation of as much of the picture as possible. That, I don’t think at all, will ever change. Too often we think of journalism as only reporting the facts. It really is not. And that type of misunderstanding is what allows yellow journalism to flourish.
The side-effect of journalists becoming more vocal in other avenues with their opinions is their job becomes a little bit more difficult. They have to be more studious in their work to ensure a separation (as much as possible) between the story and the person.
As always, it is incumbent upon the journalist (as in any endeavor) to uphold the integrity of their profession.
Apologies on the delayed reply my friend. I was not able to easily view your reply to our exchange regarding the exercise of journalism in the country. Do extend me your consideration.
I must say, you always see what I cannot in terms of looking at the profession I have found myself in. I guess my experience and personal thoughts cloud my view from time to time. Thank you!
I agree! We are in the midst of an evolution in journalism. When before news articles are formed by calling sources on the phone and have them comment on an issue, now journalists need only to monitor that source’s Twitter or Facebook account and quote directly from that.
Of course, the accounts need to be verified and the tweet or post clarified before it is quoted. But the evolution of social media networks, as well as how they are harnessed by different people for different purposes, have allowed ease as well as expediency to flourish in a profession which thrives on breaking news.
The underlying principles in journalism though must remain: timely publication of accurate and factual reports. And values necessary in the profession, such as integrity, honesty, and commitment, should endure. But these will be augmented with the use of new tools which will have impacts on the news stories.
The impact of blogs and social media networks will vary from one journalist to the other. For the opinionated, it will be a burden; for the inquisitive, a comfort. It all depends on how they will use these new tools in relation to the profession.
Yes, journalism in the years to come will have to go beyond the conventional news gathering methods. And the profession will have to move into one which incorporates the use of social media networks and other innovations which would allow the journalist to have better and more concise news presentations.