Sunday, July 12, 2015
When Viral and Trending News Need to be Subdued or Intensified
A panelist at a break-out session in one of the conferences that I attended once said that we should not be antagonizing the "big players" like those who monopolizes the industry since there's only one or few choices out there. We should be working with them instead since no one will be eager to work with you if you start out the relationship with ill thoughts towards the other. Instead we should focus on the positives they say. However, it is sometimes hard to ignore and not give any comments about the shortcomings and intentional drawbacks to progress especially if those responsible are coming up with absurd resolutions that only restricts, limits and gives us no choice but submission.
Just like the deafening question of whether we should react about the 12 year old child celebrity Andrea Brillantes who recently trended in social media because of a video scandal, we are split into either talking about it due to curiosity and our eagerness in sharing the latest news, or staying away from the issue out of respect to the people affected.
Though the issue about the oligarch monopolies is so totally different from the viral scandal involving the underage, both issues divides our decisions and warrants us to ask everyone else if we should side with a team or remain apolitical, and if we should protect the innocent and promote respect, or continue in sharing the news as it happens and how it happens.
We add to the noise if our news reporting is not based on well-researched information coming from reliable sources. But for those of us who do not have access to such privileges just like the big publications and TV networks, we try our best to release "balanced news and fearless views" coming from what is readily available to us. You'll be surprised that sometimes it is within the noise where we can find the most significant information.
We can be selective and we can filter out the trivial and less important, especially when we are too busy to share them all, but we cannot keep our mouth shut for issues we feel strongly about since we also believe that we should listen to every noise out there even if others don't give them importance.
News should not be all about the mainstream celebrities, politicians and other personalities. It should not be only about the big corporations and their lavish events. How would the little players get recognition and attention if we only highlight the giants? Thus many will argue that news should be about everything and not only about those with the budget to hold product launches, hire top endorsers and erect huge billboards across EDSA and C5.
However, some would say news should not deliberately sensationalize itsy bitsy acts that are not of national or international interest. If you have the money and the influence, the fanfare for some of our artists can be deliberate and orchestrated. But almost everyone is doing it so why complain? As long as there's somebody reading about the latest feeds about Kris Aquino, writers will continue to write about her.
We are sometimes clueless to the fact that interest can be about what newsmakers choose the public to receive. Most of the time, journalists are spoon-fed with what to write and when to write, just as how readers or viewers are influenced with what to read or watch. The coming elections offer a lot of opportunities for publications and networks (if you want prestige), especially those in online or new media (if you want to reach a greater audience).
I want to end this lengthy article and elaborate on my other points at a separate article. Let me just reiterate that I believe many would choose the right path when given a choice. But many would choose to go with the flow to satisfy the demand. Our society is not really ruled by the noisier group but by the bigger group with the financial and influential privilege.
Unless everyone concedes and admit that we are destroying our culture with all these damaging news that will eventually decay our society, we will forever be burdened with a bunch of less flattering recognitions.