By Mortz C. Ortigoza
With roughly 30 local legitimate and fly-by-night newspapers’ tabloid size in my almost three million populated province Pangasinan, we have roughly 250 authentic and pseudo –practitioners that include the village idiots who were whisked up by those two kinds of practitioners starting as errand boy and account executives that disseminate advertisement flyers until they (idiots) discovered the “bankability” of the trade.
This sorry picture of the media in my province epitomizes the larger picture of the Fourth Estate in the country.
One of the ugly facets was their bastardization of the English language that still sees print on newspapers and even on news blogs.
Just like their counterparts in radio, these print media practitioners are not paid if not paid well thus their news were all about the glorification of the “greatness”, holly molly, of a politician who could not even passed the average I.Q test.
These politicians, pockets fattened by corruption monies, flattered by the story give them three hundred pesos to two thousand pesos as their headline and photo as they depend on the prominence of the items on the eight pages weekly newspaper.
I thought Filipino paid hacks with their mangled English grammar monopolized these malpractices until I stumbled on NBC News’ Middle East Correspondent Richard Engel who wrote about journalists for sale in Iraq who were encouraged, gee whiz, by authorities who came from the bulwark of democracy and press freedom the U.S of A
Here’s the excerpts of Engel’s impeccably written book “War Journal: My Five Years in Iraq” that I relished reading and would keep it as my collection.
Sorry for those who wait for my give away books, I’ll just give you my Bob Woodward's stuffs instead but not this one kasi puro putukan at patayan dito that involved TV and newspaper reporters at pag binabasa ko nag aamoy pulbura ang kuwarto ko, son of a gun!
“A U.S Army officer familiar with the program told me Iraqi reporters were paid $35 (Php 1,715) for every story they managed to print in their newspapers, and $10 (Php 450) more if it ran with a picture,”Engel wrote on pages 238 and 239 on his 392 pages hardbound book.
He cited that Iraqi journalists said U.S commanders took Baghdad Press Club members to events that made the 3rd Infantry Division look good. They reported on soldiers opening schools or giving out toys and medicine.
“Anytime the 3rd ID had a dog-and-phony show, they called in the Baghdad Press Club. A spokesman for the 3rd ID, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Whetstone, told me he didn’t see any “ethical conflicts” the program”.
Engel’s quoted the Army that they did not tell the reporters that they only have to print positive stories.
“In fact, we don’t tell them what to write at all, and we do not look at stories before they go out.”
He said Iraqi reporters were taken to events “that involve their communities”.
The author said the Baghdad Press Club had become pariahs among their colleagues.
“We told them, we warned them, but Iraqi newspapers don’t have much money to pay their reporters (ha, ha, ha parang sa provinces ng Pilipinas din – MCO) , so they were tempted,” he said.
Engel explained that the problem the U.S authorities saw was many Iraqi reporters did not want to be seen covering American events so the Americans bribe them.
“A U.S military spokesman told me he didn’t know how many articles Baghdad Press Club members had printed since the group was founded in 2004, but that they recently averaged fifty-three a month’.
For me: ‘Nuff said!
So who said that reporters and politicians in the Philippines are guilty of this misdeed versus the ethics crafted for the Fourth Estate?
You have just read that Uncle Sam was guilty, too, of this malpractice.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)