His attacks on the press are “repulsive,” and “he should be the figure of suspicion, not the press,” when it comes to “fake news.” A president who “constantly deflects and distorts and distracts — who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path.”
CORRUPTION IN media is well known, acknowledged, and being addressed in the press and media community itself. It is wrong to make it seem that it’s of recent discovery, or that nothing’s being done about it.
The many forms of corruption in the media—whether bribery, extortion, being in the payroll of political and other interests, all of which are more generally known as “envelopmental journalism”—have been studied not only in those journalism schools that recognize its impact on keeping the public misinformed and even ignorant of the issues that affect it. Putting an end to it has also been among the advocacies of such journalists’ groups as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).
THE PHILIPPINE Daily Inquirer described President Benigno S. Aquino III as “affable” during his speech at the 9th MediaNation “Summit” last Friday, November 23, in contrast to his “combative” stance in at least three events this year when he rebuked the media for their alleged inaccuracy, negativity, and focus on his love life.
And why shouldn’t Mr. Aquino have been friendlier than usual? He has after all demonstrated time and again that he can’t stand ordinary journalists, whom he has even insulted during his press conferences. He was apparently at ease last Friday because he was addressing, not so much the smattering of media practitioners present, but the media owners and publishers, as well as the members of the “summit” sponsoring organization, Pagbabago@Pilipinas, who include, among others, non-communication academics; a clutch of business executives; an actor; a politician; and a trickle-down economist–in other words, a conservative bunch who share a common distrust of the press and the media who can afford to pay the $50,000 lecture fee of former Poland President Lech Walesa, and for that reason Mr. Aquino’s kind of people.