News, not nuisance 2

Having criticized the Star’s editorial the other day, I feel bound to point out that today’s editorial is, or may be, an attempt to pull back from the brink.

The issue highlighted by last Friday’s violent dispersal is now framed as a "test of wills," a contest between two less-than-perfect positions.

A government giddy over the junking of an impeachment complaint decides to coin a silly phrase to describe its decision to start bringing a semblance of order in the streets. Anti-government forces naturally respond to the virtual dare by staging rallies where they are not supposed to, because if they confine themselves to designated areas, where’s the fun in that?

The essential role that dissent and the freedoms of speech and assembly play in the democratic polity is given its due.

Pray in churches, light candles in shrines, camp out at the people power monument, shout slogans and stage plays in plazas and parks. Demand anyone’s resignation, expose anomalies and play incriminating tapes. There are enough soap boxes in this country for everyone. In the information age, nothing can be suppressed. But there has to be some compromise, some modus vivendi on the conduct of peaceful protest. That compromise must be reached soon.

Interestingly, publisher Max Soliven’s column today (written from Madrid) is a candid admission of editorial misjudgement.

What totally embarrass[ed] me is what I learned later. I discovered our newspaper The Philippine STAR had completely missed running the story of that tumultuous event – including the violent put-down by the PNP and its water-cannon of the group. I’ve called our Editors for an explanation. Who was asleep at the switch or whatever. The following day, a day too late, was a follow-up headline: "GUINGONA III: RALLY DISPERSAL FORM OF TYRANNY, OPPRESSION."



Filed under Readings in Media, Readings in Politics

4 responses to “News, not nuisance 2

  1. manuelbuencamino

    The whole purpose of rallies is to cause public disturbance. Unlike revivals, a rally is not meant to be held in tents.
    Rallies are meant to disrupt the normal flow of things so that people will ask, what’s all the fuss about?
    The Star wants gloria to merrily go along undisturbed by questions of legiytimacy.
    Their argument – “oh yes we respect your right to bitch but only where no else can hear you.” – defeats the whole purpose of rallies.
    If a tree fell in the forest and nobody heard it, did it make a sound?

  2. of course the tree made a sound -or more precisely, the squirrel that got squashed did, in the last few seconds it had left of its life.

  3. fandong

    nagbabasa pa kayo ng phil. star!!!!!!

  4. jusko. good thing someone dared call out the star on that editorial. do i smell a belmonte finger in the proverbial jar? 😛

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