Fighting Mainstream Media Through Blogs

Capitol consultant Pablo John Garcia was on the right track, it’s just that he was sidetracked by his political intentions. I am referring to his attempt to fight the attacks against Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her policies at the Capitol by some Cebu commentators and columnists. He set up the “onion-skinned” blog (onion-skinned.com).

Because he is running for Congress in the third district, however, he failed to keep up with the endeavor. His last entry was a blind item entitled “Editor on the Way out?” That was dated March 14, 2007. And I doubt that he can attend to the blog again if he wins in the May elections.

Still, I like the idea of people using blogs to target the excesses of mainstream media and present another. It expands democratic space, sort of. Some commentators and journalists need to be put in their place and errors need to be corrected. Those with complaints against some media people and feels that they are not given a chance to air their grievances through the same need not resort to violence. They can blog.

It helps though that, like Pablo John, you have knowledge of media work (Garcia, I think, was once an editor of the publication of the University of the Philippines.) Having the ability to write also helps, although not that necessary. One can write in Cebuano if one has no command of English. The important thing is to acquire a voice.

I myself don’t like the direction radio commentaries is heading. It looks like products of the so-called Bombo Academy are setting the tone in the style of handling commentary programs in Cebu. This is happening because most of the commentators now have, at one time or another, worked with Bombo Radyo and have been influenced by the loud, shallow, sometimes profanity laden method of program handling.

Frankly, I cringe every time I hear these commentators lash at their subjects like they are not people or like they don’t have relatives that get hurt. People are presumed innocent until proven guilty; and even if they commit crimes they should still be accorded humane treatment. You don’t call them tonto or bogo when they are clearly more educated than you are. But this style has gotten to be the norm.

More on these in future posts.

-Candido O. Wenceslao, April 9, 2007

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