by Kyla Camille, GoGaGaH.com |

(This is mainly based on Joel C. Paredes’ article which insightfully tackles his unfortunate plight as a media practitioner, when Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. was shot during Martial Law. Read the whole article here.

Roberto Coloma of Agence France Presse, meanwhile, quickly grabbed the nearest phone and began breaking the news to the world.” (Paredes, 2008)

Image: positivelyfilipino.com
Image: positivelyfilipino.com

Is it because of his concern for the nation? A sign of urgency for updated information? Is it for fame and wealth? Or is it just a job to be done?

In my personal view, to “break the news to the world” is a statement that may actually make or break a media practitioner. In the given circumstance, Ninoy Aquino was shot dead. Telling the whole world what just happened whether or not it was confirmed is something that should’ve been asked consent for from the family of the deceased. But then as I was thinking twice on this case, I might just do the same if I were him because it is what I should be doing after all – I am part of media and people greatly rely on media.

When everything was turning into nothing but chaos that day, the reporters were more fervent to get the story. But as much as they wanted to get even the slightest news, they really couldn’t take a peek of what was happening.

While Paredes was describing what they were going through that very day, with strict security plus a surrounding of frantic people, I could broadly imagine how all of the media men were on their toes with adrenaline rushing through their veins. I could feel the frustration they were getting as I continued reading.

Every media man wanted to get his assignment done and hoped for his article to be the front page, but nobody was telling them what. Paredes mentioned that even their editors were helpless in waiting for the instructions of the Palace which means that they did not have any choice at all but to still follow what was allowed under Martial Law. I cannot help but pity them for not being able to freely write what they had. As media practitioners, they had the passion for writing and informing the nation but then Marcos was just against it.

By simply knowing how media back then faced the struggles under the time of Marcos, it infuriates me. I feel hatred for the filtering of news. It is just not right to only tell the people what you want them to know and leave out what they actually need to know. You don’t do that. That is why it wasn’t so surprising anymore when I came across the story of Paredes where they became “targets of the public’s outrage”. The people were confused, angry, and scared and all they needed was to know the truth but nobody was giving it out to them because of Marcos’s rule.

I felt the sympathy Paredes and his fellow media men had for the country but I understood that they just couldn’t do anything to aid them for someone bigger is in control. I felt a strand of relief when Paredes mentioned that people started relying on foreign media for the updates on the country. Although it is not a good sign of nationalism, it is still something that helped the people cope with the absence of good and true reporting.

Marcos seemed to ask for it, so he just got what he wanted. Being forced to stay silent and wait under a command is not a media practitioner’s forte but is one’s antagonist that needs to be wiped out. I am a future media practitioner, and I say no to silence.

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