Carvajal: Patriotism is key

ALL opinions obviously reflect their owners’ bias. But so do news reports. Reporters have their own individual biases that make them light up an aspect or two of reality not to mention that their editors, publishers, and producers decide how stories are “angled” to arouse curiosity and interest, hence sell.

One of the Duterte administration’s successes has been to expose mainstream media’s bias. It got help from social media that in so doing also exposed their own bias. It was the bias of both pro and anti Duterte social media users that helped expose mainstream media’s bias.

Consequently, it does not serve truth to wrestle down an opinion or a news report from either mainstream or social media with an accusation of bias. Rash judging people’s motives, which are internal by nature, and name-calling do not help either because these also come from biased places.

Where lies the truth then? We used to think that freedom of the press is what ensures our passage to where the truth is? But where is it now when everybody knows that both mainstream and social media are biased observers, reporters and analyzers of reality?

If a patriotic search for truth is the sincere motive, opinions and news reports must be examined for their intrinsic validity. For truth transcends the biases of journalists, their sources and their readers, listeners or viewers. Otherwise, with all of us having our own biases, debates on any national development issue can be endless and yet not bring us any closer to the truth.

For us to transcend our biases, we must find truth in the exercise of two freedoms. One is the freedom of mainstream and social media communicators and their sources to discern and reduce such motives as winning an argument or selling a paper, radio-tv program and blog, etc. (that subsume their biases) to one of genuinely contributing to the search for truth. If I may ask a sample question, for instance, what is the motive behind insisting on the untruth that all killings in the drug war are state-sponsored?

Two is the freedom of the reader, listener or viewer to own up to his/her own biases as he/she sifts through a plethora of conflicting fake and genuine news, reports, and opinions from mainstream and social media and discerns as sincerely as he/she can which of these brings him/her closer to the truth.

Truth has to reside in the patriotic motive to search for ways to achieve the greater good for the bigger number. Patriotism is key to finding our national soul and achieving the national integrity both of which we never had before.

In the end our nation’s progress is in our hands for we alone decide and know how patriotic our motive is in joining the fray or in watching from the sidelines.

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