Philippine Media need to ditch the idea of being an “opposition media” to regain public trust


It is high time we all take a second look at the whole idea that an “opposition media” is God’s greatest gift to society. This has long been a key feature of the rhetoric of the Old Guard of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan which ruled the Philippines’ political narrative for almost four decades. It is interesting to note that back in the 1980s, at the dawn of Yellowtardism, the Philippine Daily Inquirer figured strongly as a media outlet for dissent styling itself as a sort of David going up against the Goliaths at the time, Bulletin Today and the Daily Express. This, it seems, is where the fetish around heroic “journalism” was born — because of the perceived pivotal role that rags like the Inquirer played in the so-called “revolution”.

Fast forward to today. The Inquirer Group is now one of the biggest corporate media enterprises in the land. It therefore sounds a bit rich to see it being a mouthpiece for the victim narrative of people who claim to be “dissenting voices” in an environment where those who “dissent” are, we are told, “under threat”. Certainly a media behemoth such as the Inquirer Group has, at its disposal, far more resources than the average “victim” archetype many “thought leaders” try to cast them as.

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The truth is, today presents a vastly more challenging business environment for these lumbering traditional media enterprises. The “plight” of the Inquirer mirrors that of the other big media conglomerates, ABS-CBN and the GMA Network which, since the 1980s, lost the confidence and trust of the Filipino public after enjoying three decades of cozy relationship with the powers-that-be. Unfortunately for these traditional media organisations, the Internet democratised publishing content to a big audience and broke the mass communications monopoly they once enjoyed.

Today’s media jungle demands a new level of competition amongst players. Finding themselves in an almost equal footing with independent communicators in this jungle, Big Corporate Media chose to use their rapidly diminishing clout to raise a noisy stink. In the Philippines, in particular, they continue to use the old “journalist”-as-“hero” narrative to prop up their crumbling relevance. Rather than step up to a call to compete, Big Corporate Media have, instead, chosen to throw a monumental industrial tantrum.

The core of their dysfunction lies in the obsolete branding they continue to live by and raises an important question: What does being an “opposition media” even mean? News media organisations are supposed to be Nothing Media. They are supposed to be associated (whether or not by their own self-branding) with neither incumbent nor opposition parties. It is therefore quite disturbing that self-appointed Chief Yellowtard Economist, JC Punongbayan would assert that “governments tend to grow more powerful absent sufficient opposition media”.

This serious misleading of an entire people by revered “thought leaders” is what is actually contributing to the continued slide to irrelevance of media and their “journalists” from the lofty place they once held in Philippine society. The broader Opposition learned a hard lesson this year — that failing to ditch the Yellowtards would cost them dearly, an entire nation no less. Big Corporate Media should take heed. To be fair to them, they’ve done a lot of work cleaning up their acts. But as long as they remain in bed with the Yellowtards, they will continue to lose their audience and, more importantly, the trust of a people who once looked up to them.

6 Replies to “Philippine Media need to ditch the idea of being an “opposition media” to regain public trust”

  1. That picture sadly portrays a badly educated group of people. For how could one accuse the government of suppressing press freedom yet go out in the street protesting, actually exercising his freedom of the press FREELY, and shout : DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM? LOL!

  2. Tabloid journalism and Broadcast Journalism are dead in our country. The Mainstream Media were taken Captive by the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, and were used as the “political propaganda machines”. They had been long dead and buried by Cory Aquino, 30 years ago.

    The Aquino Cojuangco “political propaganda machine”, are still shouting , here and there; however, people are not listening to them. They have lost their Credibilities .

    The Information Technology, which democratized the Freedom of Information, has defeated these behemoth giants of media conglomerates of the Aquino Cojuangco propaganda machine. However, the remnant of their propaganda machines are still in our learning institutions. They are in the elementary , high school , colleges and universities. They teach the Fake History , of Ninoy Aquino, Jr., being a hero; and Cory Aquino being as a Saint. The EDSA monument and shrine,together with their names on the airport, memorial stadium, and their nasty faces in our currency are still there. We have to Trash them all, to remove the maliciously Fake History of our country.

    We salute all Bloggers, and Filipino commenters, for awakening their fellow Filipinos, from their “EDSA Delusion.” The recent defeat of the , “Otso Diretso” was the result of the Filipino awakening.

    We encourage all Filipinos, to participate thru the social media, in informing all of us, and helping our leaders in formulate the solutions of our present problems we are all facing …

    We will all be watching the behaviors of every politician, and evaluate their performances . We, the Filipino people are now the Media !

  3. The opposition will always use the idea of hero/martyr/saint because this is the only idea that is able to give one an image of being above and out of the ordinary, it is nothing more but an elitist idea, and that is why the opposition is nothing more but an opposition with elite(elitist) mentality, that if they ever come to power, the first thing they do is rule over the ordinary people, nothing has change, nothing will change.
    The ruler is the same only wear a different robe.

    What seems different today is that more and more ordinary Pilipinos are seeing the idea of hero/martyr/saint as already some sort of a joke, many are no longer buying it as a “genuine” thing, especially to politicians like that of the present oppositions.

  4. imagine the philippine media becomes the supreme court of the yellow dynasty. pilipinos should not accept the 500 peso bill where the hero and saint profiles are printed.

  5. With that reported decision of Congress to hold ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal – that gonna be an attack on press freedom, even if, let’s say, the reason cited is the company is in deep debt, like in the Marcos days? And some reporters and media people just oppose for its own sake, which means they’re not serious in getting the truth and are just playing around.

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