Thursday, December 09, 2004

media jueteng payola

Media owes allegiance only to truth—to nothing less, to no one, but to everybody patronizing it. It is in the power of truth that media draws its own might—neither in anybody nor in anything else. This is why media should be continuously and insistently protected from any person, corporation and/or institution attempting to muzzle it. Reason: Anybody or anything that does this has something to hide, a wrong deed to cover up, a vice to conceal.

As a rule, those who disdain if not actually hate media also find the truth painful and hateful. A private vicious person, a corrupt government official, a dishonest corporation, a sleazy business and the like, all have one thing in common: They do not want media to expose them. They shun media. They are afraid of truth. That is why it is the people, the society, the community who and that are respectively the ultimate losers when media fails to publish the truth, to reveal the fact. When media is divided on account of contrasting interests, when media allowed itself to be bought, when media is silenced by anybody or anything—this is bad news for all those whose only source of information and knowledge is the tri-media that is supposed and expected to tell them the truth, to appraise them of the reality, to bring them the facts of local concerns and national issues.

And the case in point is the media jueteng payola. Media practitioners who are for sale, who have a price, who betray their profession. It is not hard to know who are these journalists—reporters, correspondents. The same is true with certain media outlets. They either remain strangely silent about rampant and open jueteng operations, or they surprisingly say ridiculously wonderful things about the illegal numbers game—or criticize, insult and make fun of those confronting it. Give them revealing and repeated written items about the proliferation of jueteng, about the poor people jueteng fleeces, about the corruption brought about by jueteng, and nothing of it sees publication. Send them many and clear pronouncements on the concrete social evils caused by jueteng, and they are completely numb about them. If truth is powerful, in some instances however, money appears to be even more powerful!

18 September 2003