Saturday, December 24, 2016

Presstitutes: Mocha Uson's Unpublished Column Article on Philippine Star

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What can you say about these statements?

"Moving forward, how about the CEO/owners of these media outlets, could they use their position to affect the news reports? I think it is naive to think that they cannot influence what news reports come out and what must not; who to attack and who must not be touched. Can you honestly say that Rapplers alleged connection with CIA through the Omidyar Network does not influence them to attack President Duterte, who has been vocal in opposing USA’s use of their power to dictate us? How about the Chairman of Benguet Mining Corp. who is related to the CEO of Inquirer, can you really say they don’t influence the news at all? How about the other CEO/owner of other media outlets who are allied to Duterte’s political enemies, can we be sure that they are not using their powers to malign the President in favor of their allies?

Now, for those who refuse to believe that there are members of the press who can be paid, let me give you some examples. There are Private companies who will sometimes call for a press conference, and they will give “Presskit” to them with money inside. The press will now “review” the company but the real goal is to make the company look good. This is also the case when it comes to the press conference of some actors/actress who are promoting their movie or musicians promoting their new albums. These became normal for them but it must now be revealed and changed because they are also practicing it when it comes to politics which is already affecting our country. There is already a corruption in our press and if we want to change corruption in the government, it’s essential that we stop corruption here because they can deceive the people by painting bad and corrupt politicians as a hero, martyr, or a saint. To make matters worse, where do you think they would get back the money they used for the press?" - Mocha Uson (portion of her unpublished article at Philippine Star)

It is true that media can be controlled or manipulated, or to put it bluntly "paid off."

We've personally seen how some media, including bloggers, will omit or intentionally exclude certain information that would not be helpful for a brand or individual.

We were even surprised that certain news do not come out in leading newspapers when it involves big companies. One acquaintance from media told us that they might be advertisers of the publications or networks so it was easy for the company to ask these publications never to publish or air negative news about them.

There are even companies who reward media by rigging raffle draws. We remember a time when each of the representatives of the top TV networks of the country all won the major prizes of the event. It was more than luck or coincidence. It was obviously rigged, and the reason why the main host refused to read or announce the winners. These rigging is more evident when the raffle draw winners are pre-drawn.

Many media people do not share the entire story in fear of being banned or blacklisted. They do this because they also value their relationship with the people, brands and event organizers. Of course, who doesn't want to be invited again to those lavish events that they organize?

However, I believe once you ignore or leave out the negative parts of every story, you are now part of the lies and deception, regardless if it is minor or negligible.

The worst is when media voluntarily share information that they know has an ulterior motive. When they become part of a campaign that only aims to misinform or get your attention away from something else, or give some brands or people an unfair advantage over someone else, in exchange of favors, treats or rewards.

Many promote brands that do not even have any helpful benefits. Think of cigarettes, softdrinks, gambling, etc. We all know that they are bad for us and somehow immoral, yet they are still existing and popularly being promoted. These vices and junk products are even sponsoring advocacy and social responsibility programs.

Many look up to Brand Ambassadors / Endorsers / Influencers but fail to realize that majority of them are paid to represent the brands. Most of them get something in return. It is very rare that these and ambassadors do it entirely for free, or without any perks or privileges. I have nothing against celebrity endorsers since they do attract a lot of attention and interest, but I would be more interested if the brands would get "real" people and the experts who are very knowledgeable about the products or services that they carry.

Some bloggers may not be getting financial compensation, because they say they do it as a passion or an outlet to express their thoughts and emotions. But the brands do influence them by way of freebies, perks or privilges. Those little complimentary tokens that they send to their homes can somehow affect their point of views towards the brands, thus the writings are obviously influenced, one way or the other. Whether we admit it or not, directly or subconsciously, getting some "gifts" from brands could influence our stories. They may no be getting cash but the "kind" is nothing different.

There may be some who do blogging as a business, thus their blogs become something else instead - a promotional site that's for hire for any brand who would want to "pay" in cash or kind, in exchange for a feature or review. After all, blogging is not done without any expense from the blogger. He does have bills to pay - especially for bloggers who attend events and spend for transportation, and other necessities. Unlike media peeps who usually have a regular salary because they are employed with a publication or TV/radio network, bloggers usually are independent entrepreneurs. Now some online sites, which are already in the borderline of being a blog and a news site, or a trending/viral promotional campaign site, do earn from paid or sponsored posts and ads, and should no longer be described as a blog because most of them are already a company of sorts. Do we consider them as a reliable and credible source of information? Do we still count them as unbiased?

You may be wondering why we would sometimes hesitate to write about something or would limit attendance to certain events even though there are a lot of invitations. Because aside from having to many event invitations, we also select the events that we attend to considering the products, brands and people involved. Silently we try to support, or decline, depending on our own choices. However, there are also several times we are also intrigued of what they have to offer so we still show up and listen.

Basically, what we are trying to point out here is that it is really up to our readers to decide which brands they want to patronize. There are many great brands out there without the capacity to advertise or disseminate information about their products or services. The same with how some celebrities, singers, dancers seems so popular because they can afford to promote themselves better.

It is therefore advised to try everything else outside the popular mainstream brands which are mostly foreign in origin. There are local brands that are equally good, if not better, and some may not be cheaper because they do not have the luxury to mass produce or processed in bulk. However, there are also some local brands who deceive by marketing less quality products via false advertising such as repacking goods that came from other sources.

The moral of this story is, "Not everything is what it seems to be." We are at a stage when brands or personalities could easily promote themselves effortlessly (even make their own controversial issues if needed just to get some people talking) because they have enough resources to use or spend on grand and elaborate marketing gimmicks. While the new, low-budgeted brands could not even take off from their nest because they lack the budget or funding to initiate and sustain extensive marketing efforts....and somehow caught in the middle of them all are media people who are gravely influenced by complimentary gifts in the form of cash or kind.

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