“One Hundredth of a Second”: Ethics in Photo-Journalism
I stumbled upon on Friday of a video post on Facebook. The video, i thought offhand, was just a clip of a movie being just in 5:28 minutes. However, i’ve just discovered a while ago that it was indeed an entire movie: “One Hundredth of a Second“.
The movie is all about a war photographer–Kate–who is “facing the ultimate dilemma of her profession. She is forced to ask herself; if a person is in mortal danger, do you continue to do your job by taking a photograph rather than getting involved and helping?”
“We’re not employees of ABS-CBN, we are talents…”, quipped entertainment host Boy Abunda last week during Showbiz News Na (SNN) over ABS-CBN.
Maybe to some, the statement is something fuzzy if not ridiculous. Only few has enough understanding between an employee and that of a talent in a broadcast station. The latter is referred to as an independent contractor who usually signed with management a 6-month contract.
Our labor laws had no distinguishing provisions between an employee and a talent until the Supreme Court….
Have you tried calling your mobile networks hotline or your credit card company and talked to the call agent? Maybe, you can hear a recorded message prior to your conversation which may sound like this: “…your conversation with our call agent may be recorded for future reference.“
Maybe you also overheard the radio announcer over your favorite radio station: “sir/mam…live ka karon sa DYxx…“
If you proceed talking to the call agent you’re giving the company your consent for the conversation recording. Similarly, if an interviewee allows the on-air interview then it would be construed that he/she is giving the consent for the recording of such interview.
The new battleground for committing libel is now the internet. A lawyer has said the Philippines has no specific internet libel law making doubts if libel cases stemmed from defamatory statements on Facebook and other social networks shall prosper.
The world’s first-known libel case on Facebook was filed in Europe in July 2008, by British businessman Matthew Firsht against his former school friend, Grant Raphael who alleged the former as a gay. Firsht won and awarded damages for the libel case and breach of privacy.
In the Philippines, the first libel case on Facebook was filed by celebrity cosmetic surgeon–Dr. Vicky Belo against writer-lawyer-activist Atty, Argee Guevarra who imputed on Belo as the “Reyna ng Kaplastikan, Reyna ng Kapalpakan” referring to the alleged malpractice of the Belo clinics.
In the offing for a possible libel battle are the controversial shout-outs of Film Director and Actress Gina Alajar on her Facebook making some negative comments against young starlet–Krista Ranillo over the alleged affair of the young star with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. Read in one of the shout-outs of Alajar’s account: “If I am Jinkee Pacquiao, I will not give up Manny. “Krista Ranillo is not at all worth it!”
Definitely, libel on the internet as well as in broadcasting are not specifically mentioned in our libel laws. However, there is a provision in the law that covers every means of libel.
Meantime, I am reserving the rest of the spaces on this page to my Media Laws & Ethics class at the University of San Jose Recoletos for further discussions….
I saw how our Muslim brothers fought against government forces while their families were assisted by the government at the evacuation centers… I saw them fall down as they were hit by government bullets… I saw how their families mourned later that day… I saw how our Muslim leaders displayed their long arms even inside shopping malls… It’s a greed for power… It’s an arrogant display of power!!!
USEC Zamzamin Ampatuan, in a rare interview, admitted there is a “culture of violence” in their place in Maguindanao and according to him ” it’s a problem”. USEC Ampatuan belongs to the Ampatuan clan who is now the center of criticism and persecution by those who grieved for the death of the 57 victims of the so-called “Maguindanao Massacre“
I asked my students in Masscom 8 (Media Laws & Ethics) to find out how the Philippine Press was clamped by then President Ferdinand Marcos during martial law. A series of video clips on a video documentary–“BATAS MILITAR: Martial Law in the Philippines“ can be played in YouTube.
As an introduction to the subject matter, i told the class that Marcos regarded the press during his regime “as a tool of repression and as a means to maintain itself in power”. (Journalist for Change: Development Communication for a Free Press, Richard Shafer, PPI 1991)
CRISIS MANAGEMENT MOMENTS
An Opportunity in the Middle of Crisis for Alberto’s Pizza
We were in our last lessons in Radio & TV Advertising class (MC-14) when the food poisoning incident involving Alberto’s Pizza broke out. The lessons were all about Public Relations which, of course, includes among others–Crisis Management.
But before the incident was reported in the media, one of the groups in my class had submitted their TV Ad material featuring Alberto’s Pizza with a slogan: “You’ll Live for it”. The TV Ad project was awarded “Best Message Strategy” during the recently concluded JOEY AWARDS (All-Advertising Awards of the USJR). Check the TV Ad below and the rest of the TV Ad projects of my class.
Before the finals, i asked the students to formulate a Crisis Management Plan for Alberto’s Pizza. Here are the excerpts of their plans:
“US Ads” Group
“It is obvious that Alberto’s Pizza gained bad publicity. However, whether it be good or bad publicity, it is still publicity. People who have never heard of Alberto’s can now recognize the store.”
“Repackage the image. Once the company packages their food as healthy, tasty, and safe, customers will be coming back. They should emphasize that what happened was only an “isolated case”.
“The company must set some station objectives for the attendants to follow in order for them to have a uniform and accurate service. These objectives include steps on how to prepare and set the food, how to handle customers, and proper hygiene.”
“D’ Sweet Girls” Group
“The owner himself should face and show up to the public to give them assurance that the management is taking the full responsibility of the incident.”
“In addition, the management should formulate a tagline expressing the thought that the management cares and prioritizes its customers.”
“Mad Brew” Group
“After repackaging, they could also have a strategic alliance with companies (i.e. Tokyo Tokyo, Thirsty drinks, Coca-Cola) with a name to cover up easily in terms of good publicity, organization costs, and customers (especially that the products are really a hit to the Pinoy taste).”
“OPERATION: BRING BACK ALBERTO’s. Goal: Bring back the image of Alberto’s Pizza by correcting its lapses and overhauling its store presentation.”
“Tell the public that the controversy is a learning experience for the store that the former will be assured that the pizza house will be stricter to ensure that the same incident will not happen again.”
“Tariman Girls” Group
“Hopefully, Alberto’s establishment has time and resources to complete a crisis management plan before they experience such crisis.”
“They should have used metal tables than wooden tables. Studies show that wooden tables can acquire and produce germs and micro-organisms.”
“Young Tycoons” Group
“Was the marketing department (of Alberto’s) involved in the issue? Yes, because aside from its pyschological effect on the people, the issue also affects the financial aspect of the company. Its “temporary” closure is a big lost for them which is why there is a need for the marketing department to intervene in order to create strategies that would capture again the attention of the customers despite the issue.”
“Their abrupt action of closing their stores to conduct their own investigation is an evidence that Alberto’s Pizza is doing its responsibility as a firm.”
“Chicas Dulces” Group
Problems like these are inevitable. So, if this kind of crisis occur, the company or management should have at least prepared for these problems and if not, the company should immediately seek for a P.R….”
Here are some of the observations and views made by my students in “Media Law & Ethics” class regarding various children’s television shows.
I asked them to monitor children’s television and child-friendly programs. By definition of the law (Children’s Television Act of 1997), CHILDREN’s TELEVISION programs–are those that are specifically designed for child viewing while CHILD-FRIENDLY programs–are those that are NOT specifically designed for child viewing but can help in the development of the children provided that it has no content which would cause physical, mental, and emotional harm to them.
Here are the comments made by my students:
The following are some of the reactions from my students in Media Laws & Ethics class at the University of San Jose Recoletos following their attendance in the Marshal Mcluhan Forum on Responsible Media held on December 7, 2007 at the USRJ audio-visual room:
From: “Dangerous Creators”
It is quie ramarkable when Maam Inday Varona pointed out that “If a nation has no civil liberties it has no right to call itself a democratic country.” Funny, how this quote reminds us on the realities behind our present dilemma: yet we were not able to apply them as far as press freedom is concern. Thus, she added that democracy is still under siege.
From: “Mga Banggiitan”
CEBUANO 101: My CEBUANO JOURNALISM experience
Radio broadcasting is a passion. TV-casting is glamorous. Newspaper reporting is once-upon-a-time exclusive for the English-writers.
Today, the Cebu media has bear the fruits cultivated for years by the vanguards of our own Cebuano dialect. Our local tabloid in Cebuano language—BANAT NEWS and SUNSTAR SUPER BALITA enjoyed much wider readership than the regular paper.
Cebuano journalism is a fashion that AM radio broadcasters were once the only practitioners in the media. But today, Cebuano journalism proves to be an effective tool in delivering news to the great masses.
CEBUANO 101: The Cebuano Language Sentence Structure
Writing in active voice is a must for news. It means, our sentences in the news should follow the Subject-Verb-Object order. It’s not only that the S-V-O format makes our sentences shorter, it also identifies first the doer of the action.
In some local broadcast news that i have been monitoring, the writers are trying to follow the S-V-O format for their Cebuano newscast programs. So, some of the lines in the newscast would go like these:
“Kapolisan mosikop sa mga kawatan….” (Kapolisan is the Subject; mosikop is the Verb; mga kawatan is the Object.)
“Mayor Tomas Osmena mopaguba sa gitukod nga edipisyo sa Cebu Provincial Police Office…”
If you have notice (as you read aloud) the subject of the sentences above would seemed the recipient of the action instead of being the doer of the action. Though, the subject is properly situated before the verb.
The reason for this awkward tone when reading Cebuano sentences like above is simply our language doesn’t work like that. Cebuano language is said “predicated“. I don’t know exactly how to explain what is predicated but i understand it refers to the verb and the object in the predicate.
Maybe this explains…