Saturday, 3 May 2014

"A message this world press freedom day"

"A message this world press freedom day"

At first, cheers to all writers and media enthusiasts this world press freedom day.

"When it comes to emancipating our minds, using our heads, seeking truth from facts and uniting as one in looking to the future, the primary task is to emancipate our minds." These are the words the late Paramount leader of Red China Deng Xiaoping stated during the early days of his regime. The post-Mao China had opened itself to the world with the latter willing to invest and thus made a China that is known today. 

However, Deng Xiaoping's quote mirrors the call of every writer or any other media enthusiast to enlighten, broaden the mindsets of everyone in search for truth. "Seek truth from facts" as what he said, and regardless the growing number of deaths attributed to media-related killings, every writer has its duty to seek truth from the realities being sought; particularly those what the common man seen and willing to expose such as corruption within the bureaucracy or rampant state repression with writers and media enthusiasts end with their lives sacrificed at the altar of freedom. 

Last time, this writer had celebrated with his friends in the media industry in commemoration of world press freedom day. In fact, despite the music being played, people whom are celebrating are deeply concerned about the welfare of every press freedom fighter in its quest to seek truth from facts and to guard from harms way. Bills such as the "Freedom of Information act" had been subjected to countless debates in the legislature while people continue to oppose the controversial "Cybercrime law" that includes online libel.

But, the most bitterly remembering in the history of journalism was the infamous genocide made by the Ampatuans in Maguindanao last november 23, 2009 wherein 32 journalists being killed by those whose intention is to silence those who oppose their order. That incident, as well as others like the assasination of Dr. Gerry Ortega whom exposed the anomalies of the Palawan bureaucrats involving mining, isn't surprising for most to say that the so-called freest press in Asia such as the Philippines is also once of the countries dangerous for Journalists to practise its craft.

But does it mean everyone within the media profession, even those of freelance reporters had to get away with it in calling the Philippines dangerous to practise their craft? Of course no! To have a freest press, like free speech and right to assembly, includes the right to inform, the right to expose and oppose, and the duty to safeguard the truth from those wanting to distort.  And if the state fails to guarantee those rights is nothing but a fool who speaks yet fails to act. Some legislators had opposed FoI bill for they are scared of having full disclosure of government information, even their statement of assets and liabilities, and even transactions; these are even the same people who wanted to insist the so-called "Right to Reply act" and even "Cybercrime law" that can be abused so as to silence those who oppose their controversial, fiendish moves.

Anyways, despite all these concerns, everyone is greatly noticed that most writers, both in mainstream and in alternative media had made everyone awakened and vigilant in pursuit of seeking truth from facts. As recent controversial events continues to be watched and read by many, of having it exposed further through whistleblowers and variety of trails (be it paper, online, anything to be exposed), it is the duty of the press people, even those whom willing to expose and oppose has the duty to defend press freedom the way asserting its duty of seeking truth from facts.