Philippine media is in a formidable struggle to remain free. It cannot rely on its material resources. It has no armed forces to protect its safety and integrity. It has in fact become the declared enemy of those in power and influence. No wonder then that some media outlets and certain media practitioners give in to one or more of its ABC curses: Anxiety. Bribery. Corruption.
Notwithstanding the vindication of media through the relevant unconstitutionality of certain offshoots of 1017, the air is still far from being safe and secure for media to breathe freely and feel easy. There remains an authoritarian threat in the air. And there comes the founded anxiety of media.
It is not a secret that many media practitioners in the Philippines are well included among the big number of people continuously burdened by where to get some money for their family food, shelter and clothing. That is why contrary to what their profession stands for, some of them accept bribes from persons in power and influence who gladly pay anyone and anything to stay where they are and enjoy what they have.
Finally, there is the pervasive curse of corruption in the country that swallows up even otherwise honest, fair and just media outlets and practitioners. It is amazing how contagious is corruption in the country. In fact, there is already a growing number of young professionals who start early in being corrupt—which happily, is marked exception among young idealistic journalists together with their well principled elder media co-workers..
It is not any less disturbing that the government is even a competitor to private tri-media. It has and operates its own media propaganda outlets. What is more unsettling is that all these self-serving agenda of government media are totally funded directly and/or indirectly by all young and old over-taxed citizens in this already impoverished country.
But there will always be media entities and media people who take the anxiety with courage, ward off bribery with success, stay away from corruption. They are in the public roll of honor.
8 May 2006