Lazy journalism: Is Filipino public sentiment really against Mocha Uson’s UST award?

So Mocha Uson plans to return her “Thomasian Alumni Award for Government Service” and University of Santo Tomas (UST) Alumni Association president Henry Tenedero has resigned following unfavourable “Netizens’ reactions”. Both are responses to the “public backlash” resulting from the latter granting this award to the earlier.

Presumably, the so-called negative “Netizens’ reactions” is representative of the general public sentiment. The question is, is this foregone (due to popular sentiment) conclusion that these “Netizens’ reactions” are, indeed, representative of how Filipinos feel about Uson’s award supportable by statistical evidence?

“Netizens’ reactions” have long been used by quack social media “influencers” as quack evidence of the validity of what they assert. Online “activist” Noemi Dado, for example, in a recent tweet pompously proclaims “Bongbong Marcos waxes Orwellian, demands for ‘damn’ recount; netizens react”, as if to say that her sample of “Netizens’ reactions” provides sound enough basis for concluding that Filipinos are generally outraged over this statement.

Another example is “social news network” Rappler, the group of social media “influencers” posing as a “news” organisation. Rappler publishes many “news reports” that are nothing more than cherry-picked compilations of “Netizens’ reactions” — quotes from tweets and Facebook posts cobbled together into a “story”. That’s not journalism and certainly not news reporting in the real sense. Whilst bozos like Dado can get away with pitching “Netizens’ reactions” as bases for establishing “fact”, there are more rigorous standards involved in establishing fact in the news media practice.

Citing “Netizens’ reactions” suggests possible fact. But these are inconclusive at best. Of true news reporting and real journalism, the public demands objective fact based on sound bases. It is quite ironic that those who brand themselves as the Joans of Arc in a “war” against “fake news” are, themselves, the most consistent users of quack methods — like “Netizens’ reactions” — to validate their assertions. It’s high time this practice of citing “Netizens’ reactions” be put under more critical scrutiny. For that matter, the practice of using “Netizens’ reactions” to form the bulk of an article classified as a “news report” should be completely eradicated from the news media industry.

For a sample of reactions to be truly representative of a population‘s sentiment, there are statistical methods and tools that need to be applied to establish a quantitative degree of confidence in any conclusions derived from said sample. “Netizens’ reactions” is a good source of data for a proper analytics effort to churn out insightful information (Google and Facebook use these all the time). But analytics is a science. Dado and the girlettes of Rappler have so far not exhibited any sort of scientific inclination and have, instead, exhibited more of the screeching fits that make them look more like shills than true reliable purveyors of useful insight into the Philippine condition.

It is a shame that Uson and Tenedero “rectified” things solely on the bases of those “Netizens’ reactions” peddled as indicators of public sentiment by the quackery of Dado and the Rapplerettes led by their CEO Maria Ressa. We can only know whether that quackery represents actual fact only by applying critical thinking at the very least; statistical rigour at best to the dubious sampling method of compiling “Netizens’ reactions”. “Fake news” sites aren’t the real problem. It is people and organisations like Dado and Rappler who merely pretend to produce “real news” that are the bigger problems Filipinos need to deal with.

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4 Comments on “Lazy journalism: Is Filipino public sentiment really against Mocha Uson’s UST award?”

  1. Online paid army of trolls or people who are angry and form a mob for free, are outraged at this instead of the Dengvaxia debacle where we’re reaching a triple digit mark for dead children, good priorities for the Yellows both activist and media propagandists, they know how to divert attention.

    1. Agree. But what can we expect from presstitutes a.k.a. journasluts like Karen Davila, Maria Ressa et al.? These whorenalists have already sold their soul to the devil. Ang mga bayarin ay mga bayarin. Mas importante ang pera sa kanila kesa honor and integrity. Kaya, I think, it’s now for Filipinos to BOYCOTT mainstream media outlets like Rappler, ABS-CBN, GMA, and other partisan networks. Let us STOP patronizing these PR machines. Make them bankrupt para mag-pull out ‘yung mga financiers/investors/politicians na pini-PR nila. Citizen journalism is more reliable. Indie bloggers (with the except of Pinoy Ako Blog) are now more credible than mainstream media.

  2. Mocha Unson was given an award. The “Netizens” like, Maria Reesa and Dado, were like barking dogs, (actually, they are “running dogs “), of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis. If Ms . Unson returns the award. It is her fault. She succumbed to their bullying.

    Who are these people ? They are paid trolls and paid hacks of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis. They are instrumental of all the Fake News, in our country.

    They will continue with their work of bullying their opponents. They will continue to spread Fake News.

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