Media and politics-A A +A
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
LOOKING closely at our national history since the time we were first introduced to American democracy and way of life, Philippines national leaders have always been adopting the ways of American politics.
I noted that most, if not all, of our early leaders have been associated first with media before they were drawn into politics. At the turn of the 20th century, there were the so-called pre-war journalist like the Sotto brothers (Vicente and Filemon), Vicente Rama, Sergio Osmeña, Sr., Jose del Mar, Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Paulino Gullas.
They figured later in Philippine politics as lawmakers and government officials. This is a basic reason behind the present tradition of our media luminaries becoming our national leaders and popular men in politics. Many of them were not only good writers but also good speakers.
The people whom the Cebuano youth today know as their elders in journalism and politics were people who were also names known in the Bisaya magazine or the Ang Nasud weekly newspapers. And when the radio came to Cebu before the war as a medium for news and entertainment, and also as political tool.
It was during the 1930s when the pre-war journalists started to use the radio as tool of their trade. I think it was the radio KZRC that started the popular weekly amateur hour with an American anchor who later on became a guerrilla leader during the war,
The late Talyux Bacalso and SD Tecson were two of the more dominant names as radio commentators in the late fifties and sixties. But there were many lesser stars in radio during the seventies and eighties. In fact, it was during these times when the so-called media-for-hire emerged. Politicians hired good radio speakers as commentators.
Well, paid broadcast by hired commentators and program anchors continue to dominate some radio stations whose owners use their stations as tool for survival. But then, television has overtaken the radio. And the radio today has become an obsolete tool for communication, used to reach far-flung areas where television is non-existent.
Lately, with availability of computers, cell phones and other advances in electronic communications, like the telefax, email, and all that sort of things that have provided mediamen and communicators with various means to connect with one another, it appears as if the globe has been reduced into a micro thing for all of us to play around.
I am afraid that soon, media and politics would pre-determine global politics and consequently, global leadership with just one clean sweep of the people's collective will.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2012.