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EDITORIAL: Reap What You Sow

Resort to online troll farms is a natural consequence resulting from the absence of some mainstream media outlets. It has only assumed a different name, although it spews the same volume of venom.

This is particularly true in the province of Camarines Sur, owing to the non operation of a number of broadcast establishments, among which are ABS-CBN’s Channel 2, Filipinas Broadcasting Network Inc. (DZGE) and DWKM FM 100.7 radio stations. While it may be true that many more broadcast entities have been born, still they do not satisfy the public thirst for genuine news, information and opinion.

Most of them have chosen to take the safe way by catering to music or if ever they dish out news and information, they refrain from touching controversial issues particularly in the field of politics.

Moreover, with all due respect, some of the members of the staff do not possess the necessary educational background. Worse, if ever they take up highly touchy topics, they do so upon the dictates of station owners. In plain, there is now a dearth of real professional journalists, which often happens when employees of the media establishments bow down to the dictates of the owners, usually for the practical reason of being in need of employment.

Besides, those who choose to embrace the highly sensitive role of professional journalism in order to survive, practice their job independently which is very demanding, financially.

On the other hand, many who have high regard of themselves opt to acquire higher education or training in order to land at a more secure employment free of meddling. In some instances, those equipped with academic advancement or skills take the luxurious trail of finding jobs overseas.

The now popularly described as fake news used to be dubbed with a taste of insult as black propaganda. In today’s times those who resort to black propaganda or fake news are called trolls. Before, the practice was a very shameful field of journalism, often times even using pseudonyms or fictitious names which until now persists online.

A media practitioner who makes use of pseudonyms or hides his true identity is the worst kind of one engaged in information dissemination or molding public opinion. Bicolandia, particularly Camarines Sur, is no stranger to this malpractice. Some find enjoyment in making fun of fellow beings without the decency of exposing their true identity. Others use fictitious names while making a mockery of someone, believing perhaps it was the safest approach to skirt the risk of being charged for libel.

Hiding one’s identity while talking or writing about a fellow being with ill intent, exposes one easily to the risk of being convicted of libel, because hiding behind a fictitious name in order to destroy the good reputation of others supplies one of the elements of libel, the presumption of malice. Moreover, any individual engaging incognito in black propaganda or fake news just to cause damage towards others is a weakling.

For this reason, those who have something to do with the scandal now trending online depicting a personality addressed as “cong” have the moral responsibility to unveil the personalities behind the scandal. They should man-up. Or else the popular suspicion that certain sectors are engaging in black propaganda have so much foul ingredients under their sleeves.

Hacking has become an ordinary occurrence. That is why extra caution is a must. If possible, fake news or black propaganda should be avoided. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Endeavoring to know the giver and the receiver of fake information is ridiculous, to say the least. What matters most is the motive behind.

The Holy Week which is just a few days from now happens to fall during the peak of harvest season. It is timely then to bear in mind that you reap what you sow.


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