BAGUIO CITY – The media must now be proactive and not reactive in delivering to the public deeper insights of the story in order to open the minds of the people to vote for performing national and local officials in the upcoming May 2016 general elections, a veteran investigative journalist said here recently.
Tess Bacalla, a member of the training team of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and a part-time instructor of the De La Salle University, said media nowadays has been contented with the reactive type of reportage that has deprived the people with sufficient information that will allow them to develop critical thinking in dealing with day to day issues aside from being circumspect in selecting the right leaders who will lead the country and their locality after the conduct of the elections.
Bacalla was the main speaker during the 2-day PPI Seminar-Workshop on Opinion Polls and Elections which was held in the city last February 9-12, 2016.
The seasoned investigative journalist said the public needs more quality information from the media, thus, the media must provide them the greater, bigger, better and broader avenue for public discourse to allow them to fully understand the true qualities of a leader who must be in power in order to be able to attend the national and local problems and provide measurable and realistic solutions to such problems.
According to her, it is high time for media to think out of the box and add up to the content and context of the news so that the untold stories will be the ones that will be given the limelight for the public to appreciate to help develop their analytical thinking on what has been happening around them.
She claimed media must be able to reach out to the grassroots level so that the public will be able to comprehend what is being delivered to them and eventually develop a politically mature society who will be subsequently voting for the right kind of leaders who will be able to move the country out from its current precarious situation.
Bacalla claimed that community newspapers should not be underrated because they are the ones being able to reach out to the grassroots level that is why it is best for media practitioners to be able to sustain the development of their reportage and bring out the untold stories for the public to appreciate and as a guidepost in improving their criteria in selecting a future leader, instead of popularity and stature in life, it should boli down to performance, competence and readiness to serve.
She cited media has that enormous power to provide the public the appropriate information in real time and helping them to decifer which among the aspiring politicians are telling the truth and are simply banking on their popularity to win the elections that is why media must now make the move of changing the type of reportage from quantitative to quality reportage.
By Dexter A. See