Why Rappler’s apology to Mar Roxas raises more questions than it answers

A few days ago, news outfit Rappler ran a story which highlighted how Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Mar Roxas responded to questions about the ongoing laglag-bala scheme in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA):

Former interior secretary and now Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer for 2016 Manuel Roxas II defended the Aquino administration over the laglag-bala (bullet-planting) controversy at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, saying the passengers have to take responsibility when they get caught with bullets.

When asked who has to take responsibility over discoveries of bullets in luggage at the airport, Roxas said, “Kung nagpasok ka ng contraband sa airport, paano naging problema ng gobyerno ’yun?” (If you enter the airport with contraband, then how does that become the government’s problem?)

[NB: Emphasis by author]

Apparently, there was some sort of commotion in which Rappler was perceived as taking Mar Roxas’ comments out of context. The reaction to it was also strong enough that Rappler issued a public apology.

rapplerapology

All well and good, case closed, right?

Unfortunately, for Rappler, their apology raises a lot more questions than it does answers.

There are certain comments on social media which contend that Mar Roxas was not taken out of context; rather, he just gave a really bad answer to an otherwise straightforward question. And even if one contends “taken out of context”, Mar should have known the context of the question: that the bullets are seemingly more often than not planted, allegedly by airport personnel, and not brought in by the passengers themselves.

Perhaps because Mar, and the Aquino administration he is associated with, are in what is perceived to be blame-deflect and hugas-kamay (wash hands, of accountability) mode, they see things in a way that is not aligned with how the public sees them.

Certain people are asking, what is the logic with which Rappler came to a conclusion that it must apologize to Mar Roxas?

Other comments on social media noted that Rappler apologized to Mar Roxas, but it has not apologized to other news subjects that it has cast, either unwittingly or willfully, doesn’t really matter, in a bad light to its readers. Examples include Grace Poe, Miriam Santiago, and oh yes, impeached former chief justice Renato Corona.

So comes another question: why apologize to Mar Roxas, and not to the other news subjects on whom there was “erroneous reporting”, or reporting made that cast them in an undesirable light?

Here’s yet another question, one that is probably very uncomfortable for a lot of people:

What sort of pressure was applied on Rappler that made them apologize?

One of Rappler’s reporters, Natashya Gutierrez, posted on Twitter a reaction of sorts towards some of the public’s reaction to Rappler’s “apology”:

One can never please the public. When a news outlet apologizes because it honors accountability, public says it was paid to make correction.

It takes a lot of courage to admit mistakes, no? Even personally. Few media outlets display that humility. Public should encourage it.

In reality, correction was made because we listen to the crowd, respect readers & accountability. But after apology, public cries foul. Hmm.

The underlying issue here is consistency. People are questioning Rappler’s apology because this is one of the rare times (maybe even the first) that they’ve apologized for “erroneous reporting” which they’ve done more than once. And yet for those other times, like outing the details of Renato Corona’s bank accounts for example, they’ve said nothing.

When consistency is questionable, then it is only logical that an entity’s integrity and ethical orientation be questioned as well. Seemingly selective, so to speak.

journalistsatplay

Rappler is not the only media outfit in the Philippines that has stumbled on this. ABS-CBN still has not apologized to this day to Vice President Jejomar Binay for the errors in their reporting of the forum in the University of the Philippines Los Banos. The Philippine Daily Inquirer never apologized to Demetrio Vicente himself in public for the unflattering job they did with their pictures of him during the Corona impeachment trial.

I guess it is an unspoken reality, here in the Philippines, that if you and the media outfit that reports on you have different political colors, you should not expect an apology if they paint you with the wrong one.

If it’s all about honoring accountability, then we must ask: accountability to whom, exactly? And what kind? Is it the kind that reminds you to not bite the hand that feeds you?

Let me just say, in conclusion, that journalism here in the Philippines already has a bad reputation. Such issues and questionable actions on the media’s part will play no part in improving it.

print

About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Post Author: FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

Leave a Reply

11 Comments on "Why Rappler’s apology to Mar Roxas raises more questions than it answers"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
d_forsaken
Guest

Never hold a belief longer than you can hold your breath.

thunderbutt
Guest

Mar Roxas and the rapplers are only making political advertisment. pretending that media is the wrong one,not Mr palengke

Eman RP
Guest

Feeling the weight of fame I guess. Some back scratching is in the offing.

95Hayden007Toro999.99
Guest
95Hayden007Toro999.99
Rappler, ABS-CBN , and other Media Outlets are the Propaganda Machines of Aquino, Roxas and the Liberal Party. Much like, during the time of Germany’s Nazi Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. Joseff Goebbels handled the Nazi Propaganda Machine, for the German peoples’ consumption. There were: massive lies, mass disinformation, cover ups, news sanitation, etc…as ordered by Hitler. Roxas must apologize, for the statement he said. He is putting blame on the victims of the bullet scam/extorion. Who in his right mind, will put bullets in their luggage. Knowing that their luggages will be scanned and checked by security personnel. And, there are… Read more »
el aguila
Guest
You’re completely mistaken. ABS-CBN could never be the media outlet of Aquino, Roxas, et al, because Aquino himself criticized ABS-CBN at their own anniversary where he was a guest. You don’t know what you’re saying, comparing the situation to a Joseff Goebbels propaganda machine. Clearly you’re a millenial, self-absorbed and in need of attention. If not, then you’ve got self-esteem issues which need validation by bringing people down even if you have to publish unfounded lies online where the perceived anonymity suits you. Your shallow understanding befits you, seeing only what you want to see in Roxas’ statements, having eyes… Read more »
87Hyden007Toro9999.99
Guest
87Hyden007Toro9999.99
@el aguila Mar Roxas cannot even manage the Yolanda relief efforts. The Yolanda fund is now missing. He called the Mamapasano SAF Police massacre: “misencounter”. He approves the BBL Law…Now, he is blaming the victims of the bullet planting scam/extortion. Aquino and ABS CBN can play political zarzuela, especially in times of election. I was not born yesterday…Previous behaviors of the network, and other media outlets, promoting the agendas of Aquino, speak for themselves. I repeat again, their tactics are the same as :Nazi Germany’s propagandist: Josseff Goebbels. I don’t need any explanation about myself. I just tell the truth.… Read more »
d_forsaken
Guest

Research (noun)

1. the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

2. investigate systematically.

Troll harder next time, you stupid YellowTard minion dumbass.

T
Guest

next time someone mentions research, i expect to see citations.
til then, cool story, bro.

ricelander
Guest

“…he envisioned the massively successful BPO industry…”
—————-

Did he really? Some claim it was GMAs brainchild and Roxas only helped put it into reality.

Nakakapuntang na
Guest

95Hayden007Toro999.99@
Mar Roxas is one of the mastermind in extortion in NAIA,He really badly need money not from his pocket for political campaign. I don’t understand this inutil how can he win with that attitude to poor unless comelec already choose the next president. Rapplers action is a scam to fool us that they made a stupid mistake. If The getrealphil apologized ,that is the real mistery, Rappler’s apology is only a stage to make Mar is right and the victims are wrong

Alex
Guest

Here we go again. It’s funny why trolls work hard at defending their dumbass idols.

I don’t believe attacking anyone in the comments section is going to your idols look anymore delectable. Hehehe.

People are only writing to critique, point out areas where massive improvements are needed, and basically just trying to discuss ways by which Failipinos can possibly improve.

wpDiscuz