THERE is no such thing as “free media.”
Let’s face it. Those who are in power are in total control. No matter how we say that this is a democratic country, still it is evident how the public are being manipulated by the people who say are serving them for good.
And some of those who are mostly affected, aside from the underprivileged, are the gagged.
I met one of the most sought-after and most controversial media practitioners - Stella Estremera, Sun.Star Davao’s editor-in-chief. And as far as I could remember, there is one thing she always emphasized there is no such thing as free media.
It is essential to know how much it is a struggle to all journalists and all those who work in the media to create the real picture of the society when that picture tends to destroy itself. When an essential part of a picture is lacking, that picture is worthless.
In the societal sense, people in the government destroy our picture. There are three things that they lacked: commitment, compassion and concern. In turn, those who expect from them a great output of leadership suffer.
About 16 laws in the Philippines, says Estremera, were created to, at some point, directly or indirectly to block any form of press freedom. There is libel, human trafficking confidentiality section in the Anti-trafficking law, and many more.
Perhaps it might be clear that being a journalist is not easy, more so, it shall never be easy. It is a battle between putting oneself in a shell of fear and fighting for the right of equality and humanitarian honesties. As per every minute you are bound not only to know and share the truth, but also fight for it.
So where is the free media now?
Nobody could really say. We can be free, only if we allow ourselves to be. Let us just speak for the hearts of the public, and only then we will know, we have always been free to speak. (Joshua Caesar Medroso)
Sunday Essays are articles written by students of Ateneo de Davao University for their Advanced Journalism class.