Fake News and Compromising Scoops Sacrifice Truth
I believe that the term "responsible journalism" and "investigative journalism" became suggestive from what was commonly disdained among journalists who are irresponsible and are whisperers/talebearers/gossipers. Here are what the Bible says about them:
PROVERBS 18:8 (RSV)
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
PROVERBS 18:8 (KJV)
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
PROVERBS 18:8 (NIV)
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.
Gossips are very sellable. They make the broadsheets and tabloids attractive to buy. As the Bible said, they are like "delicious morsels."
One ingredient of irresponsible journalism is the indirect but apparent intentional intrigues created by the so-called "journalist" in his futile mind. The Bible says so, there are inventors of evil.
THE ROMANS 1:30
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Let us take the case of President Rody Duterte. It appeared that the cancellation of the planned meeting with President Obama was directly caused by the intrigues created by local and international journalists. If they practiced selective perception in their presentation of news, it is because of wanting to scoop. Beginning with the expression, “putang ina mo,” they had it translated as an address to mean Duterte is calling Barak Obama as “son of a whore,” when all the time it is the same as the American common expression of “sonamabitch” (son of a bitch) or “sonamagan” (son of a gun) that is merely an expression of anger or disgust.
We know in law and in the daily conversations among Filipinos that the expression "putang ina mo" is an expression of frustration common among Filipino communities. It is most frequently used not to defame the mother of the person being mentioned but to express frustration and sometimes as an expression of camaraderie among friends. I say "in law" because no less than the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines ruled that the use of the phrase "putang ina mo" does not always mean cursing the mother of the recipient of such connotation.
In its en banc decision written by Justice Querube Makalintal (who later served as Chief Justice from 1973 to 1975), the Supreme Court declared: “’Putang ina mo’ is a common enough expression in the dialect that is often employed, not really to slander but rather to express anger or displeasure. It is seldom, if ever, taken in its literal sense by the hearer, that is, as a reflection on the virtues of a mother. http://www.rigobertotiglao.com/2016/09/09/supreme-court-ruling-putang-ina-mo-doesnt-mean-your-mother-is-a-whore/
What is glaring now is that not only foreign media are incorporating malice in the utterances of President Duterte, but local journalists as well. Many Philippine networks are biased against the President.
Imagine calling the President "tough-talking,” “foul-mouthed,” “trash talking,” that foreign media began to pick up from local news to cast doubt on the integrity of the person of our President.
What about false news? A TV station said, Obama was able to shake hands with everyone at the ASEAN summit except Duterte. But here’s what Obama said -
These practices compromise the President.
I am not defending the President. I am speaking as a sensible preacher of the word of God by norms, in law and logic, especially that in the Bible, one must judge not only according to what he has heard.
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
I am also a victim of unfair journalism practices of the country's most popular networks. I understand the situation of the incumbent President.
I am not saying that the President must not be criticized. But my point is journalists must be fair and impartial. Subjecting an innocent person through irresponsible journalism is public trial and condemnation!
Our country may have laws protecting freedom of speech and publication, but by all means practice fairness. Tell the truth and nothing but. When you style your slants, do not restructure quotations with scoops in your mind at the expense of your subject. Consider the context.
When full transcripts of speeches made by Duterte are read, that is the only time one can understand what happened, whether the journalist said it right or not. But how many of the readers can get to read full transcripts?
The ball is yours. You, journalists, owe it to the community to do your work right!