Media corruption: Wake up call

jayThe truth hurts.

It is a truth hardly anybody in media wants to confront, nay acknowledge.

It took a President Duterte  to boldly splash into the Philippine  media’s faces, the ills that many in  its ranks have tried blindly to shrug off.

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Media in the Philippines too, is plagued with corruption.

It is only now that many in media start to acknowledge that yes indeed, there is corruption in this industry whose role is supposed to be the purveyor of truth.

Gone are the days when media is  purely motivated by public service as a watchdog to expose the ills that afflict the government.

What Digong said about media is unprecedented.

Politicians are frightened to even antagonize media for fear of reprisals that may tarnish their political careers, if not ambitions.

Not this president.

Duterte pulled all the stops to say it as it is, that the media industry is not without its rotten eggs.

This caught many in the profession off guard.

Many did not know how to react.

Some threatened to boycott Presidential coverage.

Duterte’s response: Be my guest.

The threat to boycott fizzled before it even began to sizzle.

Media corruption is a topic that many in the news business refuse to tackle in their columns, articles, broadcast programs.

Media used to be a noble profession.

Not very long ago, the Philippine media proudly wore the badge of being  “the fourth estate” (whatever that meant).

But this impeccable reputation has been eroded.

We have been exposed to newsmen under the payroll of politicians, gambling lords, crime syndicates.

Newspaper columns, the arena for public discussions of the affairs of the state, have become commodities up for sale.

We once read the articles two columnists  of different national newspapers who simultaneously wrote about the same topic.

What was remarkable was that their words were exactly the same, as if fed from a single source.

In the Bureau of Customs, the Friday 3 0’clock habit is consistently graced by  media persons, or pseudo media persons who pin enlarged press IDs on their breasts.

Media extortion has become rampant.

Even media personalities have been  payees of checks from government agencies which are the distributions points of rogue lawmakers’ PDAF, disguised as “advertising fees”.

This new administration  has adopted a slogan that “change is coming”.

Perhaps media should take heed, and ride the bandwagon for change by confronting and taking action against the mal-practices that has ruined the once impeccable reputation of the fourth estate.

Its noble mission as purveyors of truth can easily be eroded further, if nothing is done to stop corruption among its practitioners.

It is not only the government that should be rid of corruption.

It is not only the private sector and the business community that should eliminate this malady.

Media too, must cleanse its ranks.

Rather than being seen a point of outrage, Duterte’s brutally frank  remark is actually media’s wake up call. (By Atty. Jay I. Dejaresco)



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