Monthly Archives: May 2012

On Pacquiao, responsible journalism, and respect

There are three things I learned this week:

1. Read carefully

2. Write clearly

3. Respect opinions

Over the weekend, I attended a media literacy seminar conducted by AIJC president and UNESCO consultant Ramon Tuazon in AiJC Greenhills.  The seminar discussed the use of new media, and how to effectively communicate to readers.

A few days later, with the publishing of Examiner.com on its interview with Manny Pacquiao, the bombardment of the hatred status on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs against him, (read here and here),  I realized that even well-known journalists need to go through the media literacy seminar as well.

The Examiner.com writer Granville Ampong wrote an apology letter, explaining his literary style (read here). Ampong said “nowhere in my supposition and integration of my interview with Pacquiao did I mention that Pacquiao recited this Leviticus 20:13 nor did I imply that Pacquiao had quoted such.”

Ampong used Leviticus as a source for Pacquiao’s opinion on same-sex marriage.  So who made a mistake?  The Examiner.com writer  tells the journalists who misconstrued his writing,  to READ CAREFULLY: ” being writers for USA Today and LA Weekly respectively, should have a better reading comprehension than I do, rhetorically.” 

This drives me to the second point – WRITE CLEARLY.

In today’s digital world, everyone is on a rush. Speed reading is a norm.  Do you expect an average internet user to sit down, and understand a literary style?    I for one made a grave mistake (thinking of seeing a comma) because of my rush reading when I saw a headline in Inquirer that says:

Fil-Am girl Jessica Sanchez leaves ‘American Idol’ judge J-Lo speechless (read here)

My mind read:

Fil-Am girl Jessica Sanchez leaves, American Idol judge J-Lo speechless

I thought I saw a comma.  I thought it was really PR stunt and tweeted it.  I had a rush of complaints afterwards. So I went back to the article again and read it carefully.  I had to apologize for that.

In comparison to Pacquiao, people like to stop reading on the headlines, others would  just skim the write-up.  Journalists really should be careful with this. As Ampong learned it the hard way- by inserting his source (Leviticus) after Pacquiao’s quote- explaining:

I have simply reminded in my column how God made it clear in the Old Testament time that such practice of same-sex marriage is detestable and strictly forbidden, in as much as God wants to encourage his people practices that lead to health and happiness and fullness of life. As my style of literary writing suggests in almost all of my columns, the critical thoughts I tied up in the structure of thoughts I wanted to convey pertinent to this issue at hand do not translate Pacquiao’s point of view, however conservative I am in my exposition.

Journalists: leave your poetic, and academic style writing in privacy!   The internet world is full of speed readers. Be simple. Be understandable.

Harvey Levin, TMZ producer and lawyer, reads Examiner.com article on Pacquiao, then tweets: The Grove has banned Manny Pacquiao because of the anti-gay comment, but it looks like he didn’t say what is in the story.

Respect other people’s opinion.   US President Barrack Obama used to be against same sex marriage and no one hated him then.  He changes his mind, some critics see it as political motivation and not policy (read here), but the American public- Liberal or Republican….-  still respected it.

But here comes Pacquiao, a man who was asked about his stand, and voiced out his answer against same-sex marriage. Local and foreign netizens suddenly slammed him for his opinion, and called him names.  I always thought the US is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Apparently, I realized that to be respected by the public, it is imperative that one has to conform to the dominant opinion, or be silent in fear of being ostracized.  And all because of  the Leviticus “Death to gays” quote- which Pacquio didn’t even invoke.

Sadly, the journalists will go write his apology, others wouldn’t.  Tomorrow will be a different story. But Manny Pacquiao will have to live on the irresponsibility of these writers.

Tulfo vs Barretto/ Santiago: What really happened in Naia

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photo by abs-cbn

Columnist and radio host Ramon Tulfo had a brawl with Claudine Barretto and spouse, Raymart Santiago along with other friends on May 6, 2012 at the Naia 3 terminal.  According to Inquirer, the columnist initially sympathized with Baretto, who was complaining about their off-loaded luggage. But when the stewardess was viciously balled-out by the actress, Tulfo decided to take photos using his cellphone.

Airport Scene. (parody)

Tulfo: *thinking* Scoop to! Ma lapitan nga, at maidag-dag nga ito sa column ko against budget airlines – baka heto na yung opportunidad na maka- fly-all-can na ako!

Barretto: Sir anong gingawa niyo? (*thinking* naku, si Tulfo to ah. Mahal to. Wala na akong pera pambayad dito)

Santiago: Sir, ano hong ginagawa ninyo? (*thinking* naku, paparazzi.  Ang taba pa naman ng asawa ko, pag wala akong gagawin, lagot ako!!)

Tulfo:  Anong pakialam mo? (*thinking* sino na namang kumag tong nakikialam. Mauudlot pa yung lifetime frequent flyer ko.)

Santiago: Akin na yang cell mo, kundi suntukan tayo.

Tulfo: Tara Black belter ako!

Police Scene:

Santiago: Nagrereklamo lang naman po ako sa missing baggage namin…Some of the children’s things and medicines were in the missing bags (*thinking* andun yung ipad, at si Barney! Magtatantrums yung mga anak ko pagwala yung mga yun!)

Barretto: “Pagpasok ko nag-hello pa ho siya [Tulfo], nang-aalaska pa. Tawa siya ng tawa hindi ko alam kung bakit. Ngumingiti-ngiti siya eh. Tapos nagbitaw ho siya ng salita na hindi niyo alam kung sino ang kinakalaban niyo. Iyon ang sinabi niya sa amin. Thrineaten niya ho kami.” (*thinking*  I bet, sisirain niya career ko sa Bitag!)

Tulfo: Hello lang, threat na (*Thinking* beware the Tulfo brothers)

Cebu Pac management: Whew! Buti nalang nagaway.  Wala kami pakialam dyan ha!

First Gentleman Arroyo: Si Raymart lang pala katapat ni Tulfo.  Beeeh, Buti nga !  HAHAHAHA!

Scarborough dialogue in my mind (parody)

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PART 1

PHILIPPINES-US TALK

This is how I imagine the conversation that happened during the US-Philippine Ministerial Dialogue at the Jefferson Room, State Department April 30, 2012.  The Philippines asked the US for assistance on the ongoing standoff with China on the Scarborough Shoal dispute.

Philippines:  We’re losing Scarborough Shoal to China. We admit, our Navy just doesn’t have the equipment to win this.

U.S.: What do we get from it, it does not have oil, or gold. We don’t want to side with anyone here, especially super power China.

Philippines: Are we not band of brothers, Joe? Did we not fight together during World War II?

U.S.:  That’s so last century, y’know.

Philippines:  Please, help us.  We will keep watching Hollywood films, and stop buying pirated DVDs!

U.S.: Fine.  We will help you  upgrade your  Navy.  Go to our dock, we have many ships there after Vietnam War that we don’t use anymore. Take your pick, just stop being annoying!

Philippines:  Oh thank you my white brothers!  We will now have air conditioned ships to help us fight China longer!

PART II

US -China talk

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in China on May 1, 2012 for top level talks on human rights activist legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who has taken refuge in the US Embassy.  According to Reuters, the United States also hopes the talks will encourage greater Chinese cooperation on trade.

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U.S.:  Our Chinese brothers, when will you help us with the fight with North Korea?  Kim Jung senior  died already, and yet we cannot defeat North Korea!

China: We want rich! We want trade our fake Crocs and Pradas to U.S..  Very good quality, better than Italy!  Very Cheap!

U.S.: Ok no problem, but you also have to help us with Iran.

China: We want richer!  We want trade our melamine milk to your milkshakes and mad cow to your hamburgers!

U.S.:  How about the Scarborough Shoal?  Our little brown brothers asked for our help to attack you.

China:  Hahahaha!   Remember: $1.2 trillion, how you pay us? You are poor country now compare to us.  But you can  still buy cheap melamine milkshake, and mad cow hamburgers!  Confuscious says:  You look fat, you still look rich! Come, come, we have giant dimsum for you. Agree?

U.S.: Agree!