Docu film on Imelda, martial law stirs queries
How can a journalist tackle a story without getting caught in personal biases?
Is objectivity necessary?
Is it all right to use family members as news sources in a documentary film?
These were some of the questions asked by 150 mass communication students from colleges and universities in Cebu after watching the documentary film “Imelda and Me” at the Marcelo Fernan Cebu Press Center yesterday.
The 2011 video documentary by Al Jazeera correspondent Veronica Pedrosa, had the Filipina journalist interviewing Imelda Marcos, and examining the culture of impunity that has allowed those in power during Martial Law to remain scot-free and the unsolved 2009 political killing of 32 media workers in Maguindanao.
Pedrosa’s family was forced to live in exile in London during martial law after her mother, journalist Carmen Navarro-Pedrosa, wrote a critical biography of the former first lady, who is now congresswoman of Ilocos Norte.
In a post-film panel discussion with Cebu Daily News publisher and acting editor-in-chief Eileen Mangubat and youth leader Nicko Tubo of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, students asked if it was unethical for Pedrosa to do the documentary.
Mangubat said that while Pedrosa had her biases against the Marcos family, she remained “honest to the audience” by disclosing her background and setting its context clear. She also advised aspiring journalists to focus on delivering a “complete” story with all sides and “let the public make their own decision.”
“A reporter must render a complete story but be very conscious of one’s own biases. I think it is an illusion to say that one comes to the project and writes with pure objectivity,” said Mangubat.
ForTubo, a journalist must be motivated by public service and not use the profession for selfish motives.
The film show was attended by students from the University of the Philippines, USJR, University of Cebu, Cebu Normal University, and Benedicto College. A Samsung Galaxy Tab and other items were raffled off during the event sponsored by CDN and online shopping service OLX.
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