Saturday, July 29, 2006

Titans' lessons to fellow mortals

YOU CANNOT be cynical.

So says a journalist whose work, one can imagine, can make cynicism easy. She remains pigheaded, a slave to hope, a fighter at heart.

In a room of merely 50, but a room full of idealism, she urges us to be aware of those ideals, to not let go of them. The fight for righteousness is a hard one; she urges to stand by the non-negotiable.

She counts off three factors crucial for her field in our country:
1. skill level
2. sophistication of message
3. world view

You’re only as good as your last story.

She prides herself in working harder than anyone else.

Objectivity is thrown out the window. It is not human. She embodies this. Her emotion. Her passion. It shows.

She understands her role. She understands the immensity of it.

In journalism lies power. She urges to strive to be worthy of it. She urges to be humbled by it.

She presents the facts. She tells the story. She’s fair. She knows what we care about. She makes us care about what we should.

She matters. In our country. In our world.

She leaves. He steps up to the podium.

He poses a challenge. He questions our intent.

To be on TV? To be popular? To run for office?

Or to truly make change?

He jokes about the preposterousness of his industry. Models as anchors. Anchors who don’t write. It’s as if news and entertainment are no different.

He sets us straight. He tells us how it should be.

You can tell the news. But you can make change. The latter is the noble cause. The former is nothing more than a stenographer.

The biggest battles will be in the newsroom, he says. So when is a story a story? What story is worth telling?

That we should know and learn.

A young man from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) speaks out. So does a young woman from the police academy. She specifically makes a plea. We all have our roles. Let’s do them justly and in accordance to truth and righteousness.

Nation-building. It’s what becomes of everything in the end when things are done correctly.

Outsiders may say that in all of us in that room lies romance, youthful idealism, ignorance.


But in that room lies integrity.

The world will try to take that away. Pragmatism is always easier than righteousness.

People will wait for us to fail. But we don’t want to be like what they’ve become.

We thank the likes of Maria Ressa and Ed Lingao for imparting their knowledge and sentiments.

We pray to be like them. To remain pigheaded, slaves to hope, fighters at heart.

This is a reflection of sorts about “Clash of the Titans,” a forum on journalism and media ethics in the Philippines, organized by Katipunan. Journalists Maria Ressa of ABS-CBN and Ed Lingao of ABC were the two speakers.


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