Editorial: So, what again is the role of the media?

Editorial: So, what again is the role of the media?
SunStar File Photo

A "SADDENING story" appeared in the Friday issue of Sunstar Davao regarding Davao City's inclusion in Numbeo's list of cities in Southeast Asia with the highest crime rate. It stated that: "The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) remained optimistic despite the city joining the list of cities in Southeast Asia with the highest crime rate, citing the cooperation between the police and the citizens."

The article was based on a post by a certain Renan Castillo Aguilar, citing Numbeo's crime index in South Eastern Asia's cities in 2023, and yes, Sunstar Davao did not miss including this important fact.

The list placed Davao City in the top 19 with a crime index of 27.6 and a safety index of 72.4. And upon verification, the ranking is still on Numbeo's website for everyone to see. (https://www.numbeo.com/crime/region_rankings.jsp?title=2023&region=035)

In that list, the first two spots were held by Philippines cities, namely Manila and Quezon City.

However, this has created a stir among some sectors in Davao City with some even suggesting that we, as a media organization, should be "defending our beloved city and not dragging it down any further."

The last time we checked, it was never the role of the media to defend a city or a nation but to bring information to the public no matter how scathing or harrowing it is. This is the difference between propagandists, PR men, and media. 

The media bridges the gap between the government and the public and vice versa in the hopes that those who are in the powers that be hear the plea of the voiceless and the powerless. At the same time, it is also instituted so that the public will be informed about what their government is doing for their safety, health, convenience, economic development, and even personal growth, among many others.

However, it is appalling that whenever there is an article or news that does not sit well with the other party, it is always the media that receives the brunt when all it does is relay the information it got from its source/s.

The media is the watchdog of society; it is entrusted by the people to keep those who are manning the government in check.

And this is what makes news or an article “sad” for the concerned; when they are highlighted to challenge their performance. 

No, we can't tell the world a place is perfect when it is not. But we can all outperform our past achievements to make our world a better place than it was before. And maybe next time, we won't be included in Numbeo's cities with the highest crime rate in Southeast Asia list any longer.

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