Is there a threat to Cebu media?

By: Atty. Ruphil Bañoc September 20,2018 - 09:01 PM

BAÑOC

Recently, a politician wishing to run for the Senate was a guest in my Straight to the Point radio program aired over DYHP RMN Cebu. It was actually an arranged interview from our head office requesting me to conduct the interview.

The night before, the staff of the said politician had texted me the topics to be discussed. In fact, I also forwarded it to my staff in the newsroom so I could get a hard copy.

One of the topics was the “Threats vs. Media in Cebu.” The questions in relation to media that they prepared were crafted in such a manner that it would appear that the media in Cebu is under threat now during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

I felt awkward to raise the topic for an on-air discussion because insofar as I am concerned I am not privy to any information on any threats to Cebu media. This triggered me to ask my staff if they have an idea on such threat. They answered NO.

In the actual interview I propounded my own questions. I opted not to raise his preferred topic. But during the commercial break the said politician asked me to raise the “threat” topic. I entertained the idea that he has a reliable source as he is more aware than I am even if he is not from Cebu.

That prompted me to ask him the following questions: Is there really a threat to Cebu media? What outlet is threatened? Who is that media personality who received threats? Sadly, he failed to answer. I noticed that it was a scripted propaganda.

Admittedly, I myself had received countless threats, especially before when I was connected with Bombo Radyo. Based on experience the threats came from local issues triggered by our hard-hitting commentary, the marching order of Bombo management during our time. But seldom, if not zero, that threat came from a national issue.

Hence, I wonder if there is a threat to local media under this administration. Also, in the broadcast media we need to verify the threat because before this was used by some broadcasters to gain popularity in the radio rating’s game.

During the meeting yesterday of the Cebu Citizens Press Council (CCPC) Gen. Debold Sinas of PRO-7 categorically said that there is no threat to Cebu media in this administration.

The real threat now is the proliferation of social media that competes with the mainstream. Such media offers a lot of information too. It also has a lot of fake news.

This is a challenge to the mainstream media. We need to tell the truth, as emphasized by Auxillary Bishop Denis Villarojo during in this year’s Press Freedom Week. We need to maintain our credibility. This makes us unique from other sources of information.

If we allow ourselves to be used in any baseless propaganda, or if we publish one sided story or biased against the truth commentary, are we not the ones threatening our industry?

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