Saturday, June 21, 2008

RG Cruz on the Role of Journalism

In an interview with journalist RG Cruz[1], he reiterated that a professional journalist has only one agendum ---that is to tell the truth, the whole truth. This is the case in any given situation. He gave light by explaining that each story has many sides to it to get the big picture -- therefore it is the journalist’s responsibility to report all sides and sniff out the sides which are not easily comprehensible or perceivable in as much as there are many sides to the same truth; that there are many ways to get to the truth. He further elaborated that journalists must make sure that they exhaust all possible ways at arriving at the truth. In the same grain -- one must also consider that journalists do not unduly hinder the law's search for the truth. He clarified that media must still respect police lines.

The issue of Peninsula Siege: However, he said that The Peninsula Siege was a unique case because there was no police line. He described the entire event as everyone’s ballgame. RG Cruz described it as, if the police authorities need to open fire and journalists are in the firing line --so be it. Police should just do their job. If they have to fire -- then they should fire. They can just warn the journalists to leave. But they cannot compel journalists to leave. They can bodily carry press people to leave. But they cannot arrest media for not leaving. Mere presence, he held is not obstruction of justice. Mere presence makes their job as hard as that of the police -- but it’s no different from them having to open fire at a bank that is being held up with people inside. He also said that journalists know the risks of their job. Coming into it --they know doing so is to approach a firing line because journalists go out of their way, flirt with danger to get a story. He stated that it is no different from reporters going into disaster areas or reporters covering the president being in the line of fire returning an assassin's bullet. Through the correspondence, he placed himself to be a proponent for responsible journalism.

“There are clear rules in the constitution in the limits of press freedom. Clear and present danger. National security. Those are only limits. Beyond that, press freedom is supreme.”

Journalist RG Cruz, said that media’s defined role for the society is to tell the truth and to find the truth---whatever it takes within the ambit of the constitution. He told that the charter is the shrine and limit of press freedom. It is the cornerstone of our democracy---a democracy that will only work with a free and responsible media.[2] Yes, journalists have the responsibility to report the unbiased, accurate information as it is received from reliable sources. It is their obligation to obtain all sides of a story, and to report on both the good and bad stuff. In that point, responsible journalism also requires a balance of the good and bad themes in doing broadcast reports.

[1] A correspondence was conducted by YPF with RG Cruz. RG Cruz belongs to
ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs who is currently assigned to do issues concerning
national affairs. He is a full-time reporter for news programs, Bandila and TV Patrol World.
RG Cruz signed a petition in the Supreme Court regarding the matter.

[2] RG Cruz defines responsible media as journalists who find the truth and tell the truth
within the ethical bounds of their profession and human conscience.
However, he declared that the problem is, some journalists are also not ethical---
and that’s where the profession needs to be strengthened.


Railey! said...

Wow!naiterbyu mo xa?
Para saan yan? hehehe.

In fairness, magaling siya mag-analyz!

yfur porsche p. fernandez said...

Hindi talaga panayam,kundi isang e-mail correspondence. Ginamit ko yan sa academic paper ko as supplement.:) I get to communicate with him through his blog/web (see my links)...those times when he used to post his personal phone number, hindi na yata ngayon.

I agree. Magaling siyang journalist.