Thursday, February 17, 2011

News For Sale: The Corruption of the Philippine Media


The article entitled, ““News For Sale: The Corruption of the Philippine Media” written by Chay Florentino-Hofilena approaches the idea of how Philippine Media evolve through the years. It illustrates the peculiarity and distinction of media corruption in the post-Marcos era. The dissertation reveals how steep, more persistent and even more prearranged it was and also how distressingly creative and more intricate to detect such corruption practices in the Media. During the said epoch, dealings and connections have become more refined, and in some cases, even institutionalized. The manner in which the process of corruption is systemized is by means of network structure between journalists, public officials, and professional public relation people. The network itself is somewhat resembling and comparable with the operation of a criminal syndicate or much worst, a mafia of corrupt practitioners. Sadly, corruption in the media really exists. Salaries are low and businesses and politicians often buy favorable coverage. Some radio commentators use their microphones to peddle influence, and the military has also used radio journalists to foment unrest against communist and Muslim insurgents. Basically, the paper tackles the history of media corruption in the Philippines and it investigates corrupt habits in the 1990s, and ascertained how a free press can be bought. Most of all it tells us how the Marcos era began such tradition wherein powerful families are investing in the media to cement political and business influence for future purposes but the most endearing damage done by Marcos' martial law is that, it dismantled the structure of the press, it weakened the professionalism and ultimately politicized the media to a staggering degree.

After reading the whole article, I have come to realized that the Mass Media is not very different at all from other institutions in the Philippines like the government. Although they like to congratulate themselves over how they are the institution people turn to for justice and retribution, the truth is that the Mass Media are just as corrupt as any other government agency, and far more cunning and hypocritical in denying and hiding the fact. Some might portray the media as selfless defenders of press freedom, the reality is, the Mass Media is just as corrupt and dishonest as the people and institutions they attack, criticize, expose and defame. This saddens me a lot, personally I felt betrayed for the Filipino people! Why? Because for me, the media should be one of the principal vehicles for informing the public about corrupt activities, they should not associate themselves with corrupt acts! They must be the one investigating and reporting on corruption. They must be the one who will shed light on the wrongdoings of public office holders and corporate executives alike. Especially at this point in time, the 2010 election is just around the corner. The Filipino people will vote for a new President, Senators, and local government officials that will serve us for how many years. And during elections, Media plays a vital role. They will be the one to present the candidates and make the voters know more about the candidates. They let them talk. They let you see the candidates. They provide vivid pictures of what candidates propose to do. They help build party decisions. They provide reasons for changes in political strategies. They facilitate budgeting financial resources for a campaign ad and for running a campaign. Those who invest in media unwittingly carve pathways either to a lose or a victory in the final counting of votes. The more the investments, the bigger and wider those pathways become. The sturdier the pathways, the better the chances of winning.  The more pathways, the easier becomes the road to an elegant victory in the polls. Media pathways lead to the hearts and minds of voters that is why they must be free from corrupt practices. But in reality, Media is not always about the truth. It may merely be the dishing out of information, or an attempt to dissuade, persuade, or condition a belief.  Unfortunately, candidates who have taken the bold step of talking about their perceptions of the role of the media, as they were invited to candidates’ fora, simply settled for that unpolished objective which is to enable the media to disseminate information, to enable communications to facilitate the diffusion of science and technology. But through all of this, I still believe that there are still few conscientious media people who have leaped to the right direction for the course of life that is there, defined or them and their industry. I cannot help but think that there others in greater number who are emerging to join the flock of the corrupt media, secretly or lacking a sense of embedded profession and the twin sense of excellence in doing their supposedly patriotic and heroic job, to remain misdirected. It is their misdirection that leads voters and candidates to vote for someone incapable of a position in politics and this now affects the present and future of our country.       


  1. I've seen some truth to this, having worked for a newspaper for some time. It's a sad reality.

    Can't help but notice the youtube videos of Regine in your sidebar. Hello fellow Reginian haha!

    I hope you don't mind, I put my blog link below since your comment section does not have a field for bloggers with their own dotcom.

    Miss N of

  2. wow thanks for the comment... so you've worked for a newspaper before... which one? If i may ask. hehe..

    Small World!!! Hi My fellow Reginian... I have lots of blog entries about regine... if you want to read it... =))

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