Editorial Cartoon by Jym Andalis
..."Journalism is not a game or a joke"
“Because of the unique role and function of the press sanctified by the Constitution, its practitioners have to be women and men who look on their work not only as source of income but as a vocation that demands continuous study, curiosity, enthusiasm, a level of joy, inspiration, integrity and laughter… Our motives must be free, as free as the press itself is envisioned to be.
“So help us God, unelected as we are.”
Now from the NUJP:
“With due respect, Mr. President, the NUJP deliberately wrote this statement in the national language to stress the importance of clear communications and to ensure everyone understands what we wish to say.
“In your interviews with media on Thursday, you again said you were ‘playing’ with us and are ’fond’ of ’joking around.’ Which is why it is the responsibility of reporters to examine everything you say, if it is true or not, and we are to blame if our reports do not reflect the message you wish to impart.
“We beg your pardon but, we reject outright your point of view. Not because we have no wish to examine your words—it is part of our job to do so—but because, as President of the Philippines, you have the responsibility and the duty of being clear in all your statements to the nation and the world.
“There are times for joking or even nonsense. But because you are the President, all your public statements are considered—and it is only proper to do so—administration policy. Besides, many of your ardent supporters consider even your jokes as marching orders while the corrupt and the criminals inside and outside government also use these to justify their heinous designs. In such a situation, would it not be more prudent if you stopped playing with us and tamed your penchant for jokes?
“…If your statements are not clear and if it is not clear whether you are serious or joking, the problem lies with you and not with us or with the people. We are serious in our work and obligation to treat seriously and report faithfully everything that issues from the President’s lips.
“Do not foist on others your obligation to speak clearly, Mr. President.”
And you keep mumbling to yourself, we noticed.
firstname.lastname@example.org, Inquirer News Service