Journalism is a dying profession in the Philippines. How can it survive when its very own practitioners cannot distinguish free speech from vested corporate interests? Thankfully, netizens across the Philippines are more than willing to lend a helping hand to our dear media practitioners when theirs are too full carrying all their bribes and ad revenue. Take for example yesterday’s statement by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines where they unfortunately confused the constitutional right to the protection of the press and individual expression with the profit margins of ABS CBN’s investors.
The association of so-called journalists decried the “attacks” on ABS CBN and criticized President Duterte for his alleged vendetta against the corporation.
The post is accompanied with a photo bearing the hashtags “No to ABS CBN Shutdown” and Yes to ABSCBN Franchise Renewal”. Weirdly, the actual post just uses one hashtag “No 2 ABS CBN Shutdown” making the other two just deisgns and not actual effective ways to spread the post through social media. But that’s a digression.
Besides the photo and the non-hashtagged hashtags, the post is also filled with comments from netizens who are absolutely not in favor of the media corporation’s franchise renewal.
Here’s the one which best sums up the feeling of the people against these paid reporters:
See, unlike the media who are paid by ABS CBN, most Filipinos can see that the President is right – ABS has long abused its privileges and its time that they stop earning at the expense of the country.
Ironically, these self styled journalists are willing to call a corporation their god and die on a hill to protect its privilege to operate, despite the numerous violations it has committed against the Filipino people. Or maybe we’re the wrong ones to think that its irony – after all, shouldn’t we expect that people will protect the hands that feed them?
The real threat to the integrity of the fourth estate is the practitioners themselves. If they can’t look past their own egos to see that they are doing a shitty job, then what use are they? They are protecting the good of a giant company and the interests of its billionaire owners and for what? Where in the Constitution does it say that media practitioners are saints who can do no wrong? If anything, they’re the most recklessly powerful people in the country and no one can regulate them. If they do try to attempt to end the abuses by media, like President Duterte is doing, then they cry wolf about free speech.
Can all these self deluding “journalists” just focus on one question – did ABS CBN pay their taxes or not? And now that they have nothing to say, let’s just reiterate that the freedom of speech is alive and well in the country, hence the number of vocal criticisms against the President that are meeting no suppression. The only thing that’s being shutdown is an abusive company run by oligarchs who made their million at the expense of the country.