A-List: Of St. Francisco de Sales, The Power of Media and Charlie Hebdo

     The carnage of 17 people in Paris, the dogmatic and agnostic reporting of local media and the fight for freedom of speech. These might be the wrap up for the first month of the year. It’s all about delivering substantial and balance news to the masses. Unbiased and no side- takings– well, not in the Philippines.
    But let start with the killings of 17 journalists in Paris, France last January 7, 2015. When an islamic group trespassed the head quarter of french satirical magazine ‘Charlie Hebdo’. French people at lost and condoles as they condemned the carnage of the said journalists. World leaders together with 4 million walked and marched to show hatred about the latest killings. ‘Je Suis Charlie’, cartoonists around the globe showed sympathies by means of cartoon skits expressing their  condemnation of the killings. Media organizations also condems this inhumane act as it was an act of killing the freedom of expression. This was one of the powerful stress that media delivered across the globe. People startled and joined millions of people to take a stand against the latter.
    ‘Mercy and Compassion’, the theme of the Pastoral Visit of His Holiness, Pope Francis in the Philippines. Pope arrived at the Villamor Airbase last week, January 15, 2015 straight from Sri Lanka. Millions of Filipinos monitored the pastoral visit of the Pontiff until to his concluded mass at the Quirino Grandstand where the crowd estimated at around six to seven million. And media is there to cover such historical event. Again, the media was an effective medium platform of delivering social news from time to time. From online streaming, articles and televised coverage.
   The power of media have its pros and cons delivering a substantial and unbiased news. Let’s take for example of the media coverage of some well- known media organization to the Pastoral Visit of the Pope in the Philippines. One online media organization tells stories that are not so ‘news’ or factual about the historical visit of the Pontiff. They posted several headlines in which when you open it, the content was more on opinionated, dogmatic and sometimes, agnostic article. Other news agency was hailed for their media coverage of the Pope visit but on their news website, some did not focused on essence of the event. An example of this one is about the psalmist on Pope’s mass. Giving the pleasure for the viewers of what they want to see and hear. And that’s what you call ‘biased reporting‘.
   How far does the media gone so far? As the news looms about the beheading of one of the two japanese reporters by ISIS. The question is, are we, supposed to be the news anchors and not the news makers? For an instance, determining and setting a boardline between effective and persuasive news to the people means alot of factors to discuss. It is okay to express our own thoughts, as it is our  constitutional rights. But lets also take note of the risk of delivering news. Let the facts counts not our self-imposed opinions. Report responsibly, know your boundaries, determine your limitations.
     Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Social Communications. As we, social communicators of change, we want to deliver a news that is factual and not fabricated and distorted. Let us not be the dawn of bloodshed like what is happening now on our world, but let us be the sunrise of change.



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