Media Violence and Violence In General

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In the latest news, the PNP is now asking for a directory of mediamen in the country so that they can be better protected. With media groups protesting left and right about violence against the so called press, what can the policemen do?

Let's try to look at it in the flip side. Understandably, being a reporter/journalist is a dangerous job. It's definitely more dangerous than say, being a computer programmer, whose biggest threat is choking on a piece of cracker while snacking secretly on the job. However, it can't also be denied that there are OTHER dangerous jobs out there, albeit far less influential.

Here's my point:

If we can protest Violence against Mediamen, why can't we protest against VIOLENCE only? Journalist or not, if you get shot in the ass, you're gonna bleed, and as far as I know, I am no less expendable than, say, that guy in Inquirer who keeps on writing about Kris Aquino. What makes journalism such a special classification of work that it has to have extra security? I mean, sure, journalism is dangerous, but probably only for the 10% of people involved in digging into really dangerous things. I doubt people like Jobert Sucaldito (arguably a mediaman, in a very loose sense, particularly the man part) ever gets lifethreatening incidents at work as long as it's not about Willie's ruined career. According to article, every person involved in journalism will be protected. Does that include even the bloggers like me? How about Pia Guanio?

But Jet, you tell me, journalists are the keepers of the freedom of speech! They NEED to be protected! Please. First of all, it's not like our news is the most objective thing on the planet. And thanks to the internet, more and more of our news are coming from non-journalists anyway. Freedom of speech will go on. With or without journalists. Moreover, looking at the reported cases, not all of the complained cases got killed because of something related to work. Considering that, they shouldn't be treated any more special than that other guy who got stabbed while singing "My Way" at a level that will make even Jimmy Santos Cringe.

So where am I getting at? If it's just protecting jobs that are fairly vulnerable to violence, why aren't we seeing mounted protests against violence on public utility drivers? These people are vital to our economy. Without them, how will you even be able to go to your work? I can't find statistics for it, but I'm sure they tend to get into trouble more than mediamen as every taxi driver I know has at least one other friend driver who's gotten mugged, carjacked, or flat out stabbed and killed. No Human Rights lobby groups cry out for them on TV. You don't see newspapers saying "Whoah, whoah, THIS is just unfair!"

I'll tell you why. It's because unlike the media, they're less able to air their concerns. Who would listen other than their passengers, who probably care less than Kris Aquino cares about delicadeza? The police need to protect these guys too, but you don't see them preparing databases for Juan Manibela. To be honest, I don't really like the idea of seeing messengers get shot any more than everybody else, but I don't like either how people are somehow glossing over other concerns to prioritize the media simply because they have the ability to gain broadside attention - and the ability to polarize the images of people who can't give them what they want.

That's just plain bullying - no different from the government the media has almost seemingly sworn to fight against every step of the way, necessarily or otherwise.

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