THE newly-minted presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, who was also Kabayan partylist representative in Congress, eventually get more attention than any spokespersons in the past. For one, he “figuratively” insinuated that he will throw off hollow blocks to the critics of the president, which gained the applause from the supporters.

But when he mentioned on telling supporters to go on easy towards the media, and reminded them of the role of the “mainstream” media, administration supporters, especially of the president, took this as a quick flip-flop and a “betrayal.” But did he?

If I would be the new presidential spokesperson, I might also get the ire of the supporters, because I will do similar things to Roque. There was something amiss, and that the supporters, especially those social media personalities and bloggers who took “offense” on Roque’s remarks, might misunderstood him by a wide gap. This can be because of his choice of words.

So, what triggered? First, was that on Roque’s pronouncements on “going easy” with the mainstream media, despite the supporters suspicions that there was a deliberate and orchestrated effort to paint this administration with all the negativity. Second, was Roque saying that he will talk with undersecretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson, who is famous of her social media presence the Mocha Uson Blog, on the role of the media in the society.

The second took it negatively because Roque also intended to “lecture” not only Mocha but also the many “DDS (Die-hard Duterte Supporters).”

For most of them, they believed that Roque underestimated the thinking capacity of the administration supporters, and by doing so, he did more defending the mainstream news media who have the tendency to destroy the reputation of the Duterte administration.

But is it? I believe there was a huge miscommunication.

We could not argue that there is a big number of Duterte supporters who are intelligent, who are professionals in different fields. But it’s a different story all in all, when it comes to media literacy, and in effect, how the mass media in general works, because if people are media literate, they should not fall for fake news and misinformation spread across the internet.

This is what I see in Roque’s intention, more so that he and his organization Centerlaw, were the lawyers of victims of the Ampatuan massacre in 2009 that until now there is still no justice being met. In that massacre more than 30 out of 58 killed were journalists and media workers.

To be fair to Roque, he has yet to prove his salt being the new spokesperson, and based on his statements, he wanted to be objective and balanced. Because, after all, he has to be careful in whatever he says to avoid being misinterpreted by the media, and he needs to gain a respectable relationship with the press.

The pro-Duterte media personalities will not understand this, they may have known and aware of how dirty the mainstream can become that it can influence the intention of conducting news coverage, but not all - especially those supporters who are not familiar with the media dynamics and interplay.

But before we could jump into further conclusions, the bottomline here is that it is important that the public will know first and foremost, what is the mass media, its roles and its diverse platforms. Mass media is not only limited to the “mainstream media” that are run by big media corporations, but advertisers, billboards, and even blogs are part of it. The nature of these media platforms are not just only exclusive to news and journalism, as herein also includes marketing, public relations, and propaganda.

It’s a long and discussion, but if that what Roque wanted the public to understand, then he needs to carefully choose his words in order to effectively communicate what he really meant.

(nefluczon@gmail.com)