Ph media should focus on reporting about the #2019SEAGames and not on making THEMSELVES the news

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After making an ass of themselves slandering the effort to prepare for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine media have a lot of work to do to redeem themselves. To do this, they will need to prove that they are worthy of re-earning the public trust that they had lost. This means they need to work double time doing their jobs with integrity and with grace.

An interview of a participating athlete conducted by Gretchen Ho failed the grace test.

What they should stop doing, for starters, is making themselves the news — a distasteful habit ingrained in the industry ever since “social news network” Rappler put itself up as a dysfunctional role model for the industry. This sort of behaviour remains prevalent in a society groomed into believing “journalists” are some sort of hero figures. This is a relic of a notion leftover from a narrative that put up “press freedom” as the Messiah of a fledgling democratic “movement” amidst the “Martial Law Era” of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Rather than be quiet achievers, we continue to see this self-important attitude exhibited by “reporters” such as “former CNN Philippines sports desk anchor” Francesca Litton* who tweeted this high five to members of her “profession”…

Shout out to all the members of the media multitasking through writing reports, shooting spiels and interviews, live updating on social media, time coding, editing, and everything that has to do with getting these awesome stories on athletes out there.

WE CAN DO THIS.🙌🏼

I mean, really? How about you leave the back-patting to outsiders who can recognise your “contribution” to society from an objective lens, right?

This is an extension of the Selfie Generation that Millennials will likely go down in history as being referred to as. Indeed, the attitude is catchy and infectious.

To be fair, integrity is already a tall ask of Philippine Mainstream Media members on its own as is evident in the many instances that they had failed the Filipino people on this aspect alone. The idea of doing one’s job with grace, would therefore remain far beyond the grasp of the average kiddie “journalist”.

The news media industry is in bad need of adult supervision. Its leaders need to reflect and act quickly lest this “Fourth Estate” continue to flounder under pressure from a social media onslaught they can only pretend to “fight”. The future of this industry does not lie in a playground full of high-fiving kiddie “reporters” but on professional management captaining news organisations that have the courage to compete with grace through the application of innovative new ways of working.

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*Addendum:

Ms Litton has since responded and I take her point that she had not asserted in her previous tweet that her statements were part of the news.

My apologies if it came off that way, nowhere in my post did I say we were the news.😊 It was meant to be words of encouragement for people who have been working round the clock and running to all the venues to get (accurate) stories on the games and athletes.

With that, I fully appreciate the grace with which she had conducted herself — a standard of conduct I — and, I hope, many others — aspire to hold myself to.

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