I guess the title says it all.

I noticed that it has been a long time since I watched the evening news on TV or grabbed a copy of the newspaper. I no longer find it relevant because most of the time I find the news to be either too melodramatic or too skewed that it no longer offers a balanced perspective on issues. I find mass media nowadays as a propaganda to pollute the minds making hapless preys to those who fall into its trap. I choose what I watch and what I read nowadays.

I prefer watching CNN Philippines nowadays, when I feel like it, because they are the closest to providing a balance in news reporting. I now do most of my news readings from social media and I have to admit, social media platforms offer a more balanced views on issues with both sides being discussed that eventually you will see the truth coming out. The best part in social media platform is that you get to see false news and its bearers getting “burned” by the truth. That alone is more fun.

Both local and international media were in a ruckus this week after local media reported that President Duterte allegedly “cursed” the US President. The alleged act is now being alleged as the reason behind the cancellation of a meeting between PRRD and President Obama in Laos. Of course, people who were critical on PRRD used the issue as a leverage to claim that the act can affect Philippine-US relations. These people further claimed that PRRD should not have done that as we need US support right now especially with the current West Philippine Sea tension.

Obviously these people who made these claims quickly got “burned to death” on social media after transcripts of the interview were released and it quickly refuted the local media’s claim. I will not go to details as it is now all over social media and has actually made “decent” people shut up. The revelation had shown that PRRD did not, in any way, disrespect the President of the United States. The “putang ina” that was uttered by PRRD was a show of disgust against the hypothetical question raised and was not directed at anybody. But then again, media outlets needed a drama to unfold for their news so they had to make it look as if it was directed to President Obama and people who love looking for PRRD’s mistakes were all quick to the draw.

Yes, we did get the drama and in the international scene, at that. The media manipulation has thrusted the Filipinos once more into the limelight in the guise of balanced reporting. Ito yung mga panahon na sobrang proud yung mga bumabatikos kay PRRD sa pagiging Pinoy nila. But then again, the glory that you basked in was short lived. Reality kicked in that there is no truth to the news that you all valiantly stood on for a couple of hours and days. The sad reality is that it took the more observant non-journalist Filipinos and international news agencies to show you the truth.

So… ayun na-shut up kayo.

As if we have not learned from the mistake, the Philippine Daily Inquirer gets burned by the Presidential Communication on their Facebook posts clarifying the statement given by Secretary Tugade in reference to Manila’s traffic. The broadsheet headlined that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation claimed that Metro Manila traffic was just a “state of mind”. Of course, the ever dependable bashers of this administration was quick to make hasty comments and started their tirades. Again, a proud moment for them to say that they were right.

But alas, the Facebook post popped the surprise on them.

It turned out that the Philippine Daily Inquirer maliciously quoted the secretary to sound off that he was undermining the current traffic situation in Manila and made it their headline for the day, much to their embarrassment. Now we have the Presidential Communication making the necessary correction by issuing the actual statement done by Secretary Tugade where he mentioned that Filipinos using traffic as an excuse for being tardy. This “state of mind” aggravates the problem of traffic.

Obviously, Tugalde did not refer to Metro Manila traffic as a “state of mind” but it was the major broadsheet who made the reference based from their own “manipulation” which they fed the public as truth. I am still in deep thought as to the purpose of such “manipulation” of a broadsheet. Too bad though that some people, who has found their new passions on highlighting the negatives of the present administration, was again quick to go head on.

So I guess… na-shut up ulit kayo.

You know what bothers me the most? The silence of these so-called “enlightened and intelligent” people when ABS-CBN released news footage where they documented an actual murder happening. The crew admitted that they never called the attention of those who were involved or did not even attempted to seek police assistance. They JUST shot the video as it was a much needed scoop even if it meant that they were in the process of losing their humanity for the sake of ratings. It went viral but only a few people took social media to show their disgust.

So… bakit kayo na-shut up?

These incidents are reflections of how media has done their “responsibilities” in the guise of the so-called “Freedom of Speech”. It is disappointing to see how much misinformation has been fed to the public as truth. Mainstream media has put too much premium on the marketing value of their news more than truth. They love to sensationalize and put too much drama just like our regular staple of soap operas on television.

So it is no wonder that most people find fascination on mainstream media as a drama series and often associate it with tabloid kind of reporting. Let us face it, most of us think that the news that we read nowadays are exaggerated with half of truth to it. We are aware that most of the news that we watch and read today are tailor-made to create a show that tries to appeal to emotions more than the truth.

So please… let us not wonder why people think and believe that the Martial Law Years were just an exaggeration by the media.

Let us not wonder why people think that the alleged extra-judicial killings are just an overkill of the media.

Mass media had fostered this kind of thinking so let us not be surprised.

Mass media is now more of a showbiz talk show or an afternoon drama where tears and high emotions are a necessity. It is now all about intense drama rather than providing balance information. It now has come to a point that the news make the news for itself for ratings even if it means feeding the public with the wrong information.

Kaya huwag na kayo magtaka kung bakit nasha-shut up kayo… tayo.

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