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‘Don’t we have enough bad news already?’

10:31 PM August 07, 2012

“If Juan de la Cruz’s nightly fare is bad news, then his heart and mind will really waste away from lack of hope.” These were words President Aquino uttered at the 25th anniversary party of ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” news program. Later, it was clarified that “Negativity in the news” was what he meant. He had zeroed in on Noli de Castro, vice president during the presidency of Gloria Arroyo. “Wag na lang magsabing, ‘Magandang gabi, bayan,’ kung ang sabihin mo ay hindi maganda.” (Don’t greet the nation a good evening if what you have to say is not good.)  This was what the President said. That left his audience agape. ABS-CBN later called it the President’s “scolding spree.”

But I see the point;  that by adding snide comments to a newscast, what happens is a betrayal of the standards of journalism. Quoting columnist John Nery’s summary (Inquirer, 7/31/12) of the President’s remarks: there is “baseless speculation, irresponsible commentary and unacknowledged bias.”  Why do this? Don’t we have enough bad news happening in the country, without adding a subjective, negative  perspective? Not that one has to ignore the bad. But give a truthful and balanced view.

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There are always two sides to consider.  I find myself agreeing with P-Noy’s observation in this case of certain newscasters playing up the negatives. It seems that I am not alone in this opinion. As I write, there is a running poll among network users on this issue. At the latest count, 69 percent of the respondents agree with the President’s view of responsibility in managing the news, against only 18 percent who disagree.

There is a new twist about the proverbial “half-empty, half-full” glass of water. This was forwarded to me in letter form by a friend:

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“Dear optimist, pessimist and realist,
While you guys were busy arguing about the glass of water, I drank it!”

—DETTE PASCUAL,

[email protected]

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TAGS: `tv patrol’, Benigno Aquino III, Letters to the Editor, Media, news, opinion
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