Monday, August 3, 2009
Analysis of a Dogfight
I can’t help but understand the situation of the partisan radio propagandists in my place. There is a Filipino saying, “Ang pinakamahirap na gisingin ay ang mga taong nagtutulog-tulugan” (There is no people harder to wake up than the one who pretends to be sleeping). Yes, partisan broadcast journalists in our province, human as they are, have strong tendency to believe only what they wish to believe. That old situation add flame to the recent media dogfight in Occidental Mindoro.
When radio listeners are prejudiced either against the broadcaster of a politician or against the issue or concern which he/she advocates – and in many cases the listeners are prejudiced against both, because the propagandist and his/her cause, the announcer and his/her patrons or bosses’ cannot be dissociated – the media man faces a great difficulty in terms of credibility and so on. Under such circumstances, the majority of the listeners,- the non-aligned and independent audience, will generally consider the views and opinions of the man and woman behind the microphone with skepticism. This kind of listener will not give credit to the evidence adduced and will scoff at the politicians, officials or authorities mentioned. The listener may be even so apathetic and indifferent as to refuse to listen to opposing arguments; or if she/he listens out of fairness, he/she has always a tendency to discredit what he hears. Especially or even the so-called developmental (less controversial, less intriguing) news. Even shifting from news and public affairs to entertainment program would not help because as long as they are working with their political patron, the broadcasters are already and completely identified with the bad side or “notoriety” of a certain politician. Remember, our listeners are not dumb!
Not only the “one-sided” (read: political propagandists or employees of a media outlet owned or influenced by a politician) media men are affected by emotions but including their listeners. Very often, the listeners are convinced of the truth of an assertion, position or conclusion, of a wisdom of an act of judgment, or of the expediency of a course of action. But majority of the listeners may refuse to embrace the truth or follow suggestions laid by the announcer over the radio. No matter how good and helpful they may be.
In war,- as we all know, a dogfight is an aerial combat between fighter planes and pilots and the first world-acclaimed “dogfighter” was a German pilot named Manfred von Richthofen known as the “Red Baron” during World War I. Speaking of Germans, exactly 75 years ago today,- in August 3, 1934, after von Hindenburg died,- Adolf Hitler become the supreme leader of Germany by assuming both the powers of President and Chancellor (with the title of Führer). And the world’s most dreaded dictator was born...
Let us go back to the topic at hand. Being a community radio practitioner, it is very essential how we live our lives inside and outside of our workplaces. How we honestly interact and relate with people outside of the radio booth , especially the masses, those living in far-flung communities, including your political rivals or “enemies”, in a personal and face-to-face encounters with them. We must always keep this in mind, a vital community organizing principle in the Philippines : “Hindi gaanong mahalaga sa masa kung ano ang iyong sinasabi’t ipinaliliwanag, kundi kung papaano mo sila pinakikisamahan” (For the common people, what count most is not what you are saying but how you are treating them). No matter how politically correct, smart, useful, informative and appealing you and your message may be. They are all recycle bin-bound.
For it is only this thorough knowledge of the nature of man, the psyche of the people in the countryside,- their habits of mind, peculiar interests, likes and dislikes (in their socio-economic-cultural and political life) their idiosyncracies, their prejudices,- that the media man of a politician can adjust himself or herself –his/her language, his/her message and his/her actions – to those whom he desires to influence. Including of course his/her (or his/her boss' or patron’s)rivals or “enemies”.
Finally, this is a good time for a careful review and analysis of their role (as community media practitioners) in society and identify things that would unite them. We, media practitioners in the province, like all of our politicians and the Mindorenyos in general,- here and abroad, love Occidental Mindoro. And certainly we are united in serving our listeners’ dreams and aspirations regardless of their political colors. They, the people, our listeners are the true subjects and not just objects of our every endeavor as responsible citizens and human beings. Their welfare and development are ideally our utmost concern. This must be the only constant and unchanging thing that should move us . Unlike your political affiliation, the station and the politicians or personalities you are working with (for) which are not permanent. Let us remember, what unifies us is much greater than things that divide us.
In the present media dogfight, the people is appealing for a ceasefire! …
(Photo credit : cbsnews.com)