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Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Seares: The Tito Sotto ‘twas a joke’ plea What news media may need to do

SENATE President Vicente Sotto III squeezed himself out of a tight situation involving credibility when he said he was speaking “tongue-in-cheek” about the difficulty of determining where fish at Filipino-owned Recto Bank actually came from. They could be from China, he said, in the same way that fish from the Philippines could also swim into Chinese waters.

The problem was that the media news that reported the ANC interview with Sotto didn’t tell readers that the senator was kidding. Apparently, he didn’t show any sign that he was joking.

And it wasn’t the kind that was by itself hilarious or funny.

Besides, the issue of Pinoy fishermen fighting to keep their source of livelihood was anything but a joke. And he, was good heavens, on a serious political topic, not an “Eat Bulaga” item.

Reporters covering our leaders may need to watch out for signs when they dish out opinion or information on major problems of the country. A “joke alert” in the story, like those spoiler alerts in “Avenger” movies, will help.


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