It is the right of the Filipino people to be informed. Up to what extent though?
I have been following the SAF 44 case. Bottom line is, what is the truth?
Can truth be generated with all the stories (with different versions) from all the news we are all receiving? Since we do not have first hand information, we do not really know which one is. And we are all dependent on what we watch, hear, and read.
I am saddened with how the case was (and is being) covered.
In delivering the news, shouldn't they consider both the dignity of the ones who were killed and the families who are grieving? Will it invoke empathy, if they show the dead bodies, the coffins, crying widows, innocent infants and toddlers? If it does, until when (warm glow effect)? Will it later on bring about justice to the fallen 44?
How many massacres, murders, cases, were sensationalized succeeded to achieve justice for the grieving families? Who benefited from these cases?
I should know, because I myself experienced pain and grief and I saw the media and the human rights commission as the greatest evil next to the person who orchestrated the death of my Mom. When my mother was murdered in 2007, apart from accepting the fact that my Mom was the same person lying down in the cold, ugly morgue of the hospital, there were other things to think of - autopsy, burial, a future without Mama, among others.
Some media outfits wanted to do an interview that I did not want to grant. Media outfits who wanted us to cry out loud, to be so mad at the killer...and I guess, my sister and I did not give them that satisfaction. Why would they want that? Will my Mom live again if we become hysterical and threaten the gunman?
The day my Mom was laid to rest, my sister told a journalist, no long shots please. He said yes. But he did it anyway. My "I just thank God it's over" answer to an interview when the decision for the gunman was given, became longer in the papers. For what reason? It was not sensational enough. Will the mastermind come out if I discussed in full detail what I really feel?
Are they really out to seek the truth and inform people? Or more because they want people to watch them...to read them...to listen to them.
Where is empathy? Where is their sympathy?
They ask the question, "ano ang nararamdaman mo?" "paano na kayo ngayon? ano ang gagawin mo?" What do they think a grieving person would feel, especially when their loved one is subjected for autopsy? Are they even aware that the face of the person, oftentimes is not anymore recognizable after the procedure?
The coverage of the SAF 44 is not much invoking justice and truth, but are succeeding in people hating the very institution that can help bring out the truth and justice for the death of the young heroes.
My heart bleeds whenever we point an accusing finger to whoever we can conveniently point to. How many of us are actually doing something about it? All talk. No action.
Up to what extent should freedom of speech be practiced? Oh, the thin line between ethical reporting and freedom of speech.