Thursday, June 12, 2008

How the dam broke

From MLQ3:

My own understanding is that is that it was the government station, NBN-4, and not the wire services that broke the story. It was the government that forced an end to the embargo by reporting the kidnapping of Ces Drilon and Co. on its Monday evening news program. Since news on a government station has an official nature to it, it’s logical to assume that it was then that the wire services, which I understand had been unable to obtain a statement from ABS-CBN up to that point, could run with the story.

So let me say first of all that government appeals for “restraint” are pure, unadulterated bullshit. You have a rare instance where media exercised prudence (not altogether altruistically, as I’ll explore in a bit) but government, always eager to appeal for “restraint,” jumped the gun…

is there some malicious intent here?

UPDATE: From Amando Doronila:

Most of the Metro Manila news media knew of the abduction of TV journalist Ces OreƱa Drilon and two of her crew in early Monday morning, a day after their abduction, allegedly by the Abu Sayyaf last Sunday afternoon in Sulu province.

The state-owned TV channel NBN-4 broke the story in its Monday evening news broadcast, making the abduction public knowledge. It was followed by a statement by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye, who said, “We appeal for caution and restraint in media reportage (so) as not to unduly hamper efforts to rescue them.”

At the time of the statement, there were no rescue “efforts” under way. Government security forces were as stunned by the abduction as the public and the media, so much so that they were immobilized. In this state of paralysis, the government appeared to be trying to score points with the public over its impotence to make Sulu safe not only for journalists but more so for visitors.

The appeal to the media for “restraint” was superfluous. It was trumped by the fact that most of the media embargoed the story for a day to avert putting the lives of the hostages at risk because of premature reporting.

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