I requested Inquirer editor @jnery_newsstand to comment on the @PinoyAkoBlog #PABoostNga circus, but he couldn’t be bothered to respond

I found it kind of strange that the retired Editor-in-Chief of the venerable Philippine Daily Inquirer would issue a public greeting to Yellowtard blogger Jover Laurio referring to her coming wedding knowing full well that a public tweet is fair game for anyone to respond to.

So I thought I’d do just that and respond to it in the form of what I thought was a reasonable enough question

I was shocked that I didn’t get a response! I guess I know now how a reporter feels when writing a story and offering the subject of that story the opportunity to comment on the angle being explored and getting no response. Quite funny that the erstwhile editor of the illustrious Inquirer finds himself doing exactly what frustrates practitioners of his esteemed profession.

I’m not worthy of course. Jover Laurio, after all, was crowned 2017’s Filipino of the Year by Nery himself. So I don’t really blame him for being partial to his own creation.

Maria Ressa in an interview with @karaswisher admits that journalists are now “forced to be activists”!

In a November 2018 interview with Kara Swisher, technology business journalist and co-founder of Recode, Maria Ressa admitted: “I think we’ve been forced to be activists now.” This is exactly the problem with journalism today which I laid out in my recent article, “What does Maria Ressa’s participation in New York City’s #NYE2018 festivities mean?

Ressa and her cronies have fatally-tainted the profession of journalism by engaging in this insidious campaign to raise their profile as “activists” fighting for “press freedom”. They are no longer acting as journalists and, instead, putting forth more of an activist brand.

Indeed, the trouble with “journalism” today is that its practitioners (or the sorts Ressa seem to want to mold the profession around) no longer objectively report the news as disinterested agents. Rather, they aspire to be part of the news if not the centre of the report itself. It seems Ressa would even encourage her reporters to take selfies of themselves making the news.

That’s just plain dishonest journalism. In fact that’s not journalism at all. That’s plain ol’ social media famewhoring. It would seem like Maria Ressa would like this “new breed” of “journalists” to act like the increasingly ubiquitous Snapchatting teenager!

Somebody from the remaining ranks of ethical journalists should stop Maria Ressa before she causes even more damaged to an already embattled profession.

[Credit to Twitter user @singulariDEE for tweeting the Decode article.]

Rappler recipient of “press freedom defense fund” in latest @pressfreedom fund-raising racket

The latest racket to capitalise on the “assault on press freedom” outrage fad has been kicked off seeing that the Committee to Protect Journalists and First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund Announce Legal Support to Defend Fearless Journalism.

And, surprise surprise…

The first recipients of this newly created campaign will be Rappler, the Philippine-based news organization, and its founder and editor, renowned journalist Maria Ressa.

But of course.

Any “press freedom defense fund” needs a postergirl (and girlettes) for a campaign to play the Victim Card.

The reality is that mainstream media had lost the confidence of a vast swath of its audience. Yet the latest CPJ brainwave describes Rappler as “a leading source of independent information and an inspiration to journalists around the world”.

Nice. Intellectual dishonesty seems to be the only real common denominator that binds the nebulous notion of “press freedom” and these “committees”.

Only gullible people buy the Persecution Complex of media personalities like Maria Ressa

The fact that the owners of the Inquirer did not pay their taxes and rent properly is enough proof that some in media think they can hold politicians by the balls and get away with it. They have played king makers for decades particularly after the administration of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Indeed, only gullible people buy this act by media personalities like Maria Ressa who claim that they are being “persecuted”. The fact is, they are still very powerful because they think they can spread lies without being held accountable. For decades, media had been the source of many problems in Philippine society

Who is going to buy TIME Magazine’s People of the Year Asia edition with Maria Ressa on the cover? Most likely the Yellows. The rest of the population already know the write up would be about Ressa’s false claim she is being harassed by the Duterte government.

Some people in media like Maria Ressa are simply trying to assert their power over politicians and others they don’t agree with. They want to change the narrative and manipulate the perception to suit their agenda. They don’t hesitate to use their influence on foreign media to get their way.

Stop the BULLSHIT around Maria Ressa’s @TIME “person of the year” title already!

The editors of TIME magazine come across as lazy for choosing people in their industry as People of the Year. Someone in their meeting probably had a brain wave and said “Let’s just praise journalists this year” for doing what they are supposed to be doing – their jobs.

And so Maria Ressa is one of TIME Magazine’s “People of the Year”? Not surprising since the distinction was given by her fellow journalists who are just promoting one of their own. The irony is, these so-called “guardians of truth” can’t fact-check Ressa’s claims she is being harassed.

This tweet summarises what has been the typical mainstream story today…

TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year: Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of Rappler, a news outlet in the Philippines targeted by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Correction: Maria Ressa is a journalist who has been caught violating the law. She is not being “targeted” because she is a Duterte critic. There are so many critics out there who don’t get slapped with criminal charges. Stop the bullshit!

Rappler is more a cult of personality than a true news organisation. Its Twitter profile proves it

The Twitter profile of @RapplerDotCom shows that it is more a cult of personality than a true news media organisation. What other news outlet banners an image of its CEO as part of its brand collateral?

What Rappler should really be doing is reporting the news, not lionising its CEO who stands accused for tax evasion.

If the team of Rapplerettes in its payroll are serious about delivering real journalism, they should uphold a culture of sober and level-headed focus on facts and the use of sound information to underpin their news reporting.

Only a Philippine court can decide whether or not Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is guilty of tax evasion

The embattled CEO of Rappler continues her dramatics all the way to court to defend herself against tax evasion charges. In a recent tweet, Maria Ressa insisted that these are charges for crimes she “didn’t commit”.

But, really, Ressa’s innocence or guilt on the matter of her tax evasion charges is not for anyone to decide other than a Philippine court.

Nonetheless, Yellowtards continue to emotionally-blackmail its peers in the industry, ABS-CBN News and GMA News Online to “speak out” on Maria Ressa’s “plight”. Thing is there really is nothing to say on the matter other than that alleged crooks should observe due process and respect the ruling of Philippine courts.

The whole trouble with “standing with” Maria Ressa

The current fashion statement of Yellowtard supporters of embattled Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is to express on social media that they “stand with” Maria Ressa because they stand with “press freedom”. The trouble with that is you set yourself up for a potential problematic ideological conundrum whenever you declare loyalty to both ideas and people.

In this case, loyalty to “press freedom” is not that bad a notion. After all, without “press freedom”, journalists will not be able to write about the “truth”, right? Right. However, does the equation Maria Ressa = Press Freedom actually hold? What about those who are not standing with Maria Ressa but are advocates of “press freedom”? Does the fact of their ambivalence to God’s Gift to Philippine Journalism make them less of a credible advocate of “press freedom”? According to whose judgment?

More importantly, Ressa is currently in the midst of a legal battle surrounding her tax evasion charges. This means that, at some point, a court will rule on whether she is guilty of those charges or not. When that time comes and, say for purposes of discussion, Ressa is found guilty and convicted of tax evasion, what then? Will these self-described advocates of “press freedom” who proclaim their loyalty to Ressa continue to stand with her?

Therein lies the whole trouble with loyalty to people above ideas in political discourse and polticial “activism”. People change. Principles, on the other hand, remain relatively consistent over time. So-called “activists” and social justice warriors should exercise caution when locking in their loyalties with the trending personality of the moment lest they set themselves up to be repeatedly called out for inconsistency later on when cult of personality no longer reconciles neatly with the principles at stake.

Maria Ressa should behave like a professional rather than like a spoilt brat when facing her tax evasion charges

The demise of Rappler will ultimately be good for the Philippines’ news media industry — because Rappler, led by its CEO Maria Ressa, is disproportionately responsible for casting the entire industry under a bad light thanks to their taste for shrill dramas.

For that matter, why does Maria Ressa keep bothering the Filipino people with her problems? There are so many people dying of hunger and diseases but she keeps giving this impression that she has to be prioritised. Had she kept her affairs in order, she wouldn’t be in this predicament.

According to Rappler minion Chay Hofilena, Ressa declares: “I’m going to challenge the process and I’m going to challenge the charges…I will continue to hold the government accountable.”

To that we say, please do. But do it in a proper court, not in that Court of Public Opinion favoured by the Yellowtards.

Why does Maria Ressa get the lion’s share of international “journalism” awards?

One wonders why Maria Ressa gets a lot of kudos from one or the other “journalism” awards body. The way these international organisations gush about her, you’d really be led to believe that Maria Ressa really is God’s Gift to Philippine Journalism.

For example, according to a certain Peter Greste who, according to his Twitter profile, is “UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication”;

Nobody questions President Duterte the way my friend and colleague @mariaressa does. Nobody challenges the Philippines government with as much courage. Nobody deserves support more than she and her team at @rapplerdotcom

Well, gee whiz, that really puts to shame all the other hardworking and professional Filipino journalists in these parts. A good number of them actually work for the bigger, more established and far more editorially-sound news media organisations even.

But, yeah, Ressa is Number One, right? That’s according to the numerous stories she and her Rapplerettes write about herself and their organisation. This is, after all, a news outfit renowned for making the news primarily about themselves.

Spare a thought for all the unsung Filipino journalists who make the news about the stuff and the people who they report about and keep themselves, their creds, and their “personal brand” in the background where these belong in this line of business. Now that is what being a true professional journalist is really all about.