Sunday, July 17, 2005

We've been with the Philippine Daily Inquirer ever since they started back in 1986 and the most part they did live up to their tag-line "Balanced News and Fearless Views." They're unarguably the number one newspaper in the country having tasked themselves to hound every administration if there are issues needed to be addressed. Then something came out.

The problems currently plaguing the incumbent president have hit the headlines of local newspapers and as everyone knows both the opposition members and those siding with the administration and those calling for Constitutional means of investigation have held massive rallies of their own (the latter held theirs yesterday by the Luneta Park). We have observed a less than balanced reporting of the paper has never been more apparent in the past week as the overall tone of their articles called out not for sobriety but for another people power despite the fact the majority of the country has had enough of extra-Constitutional means of changing the government.

And this sub-heading appeared in the paper reporting yesterday's prayer rally at the Quirino Grandstand near Luneta Park:

Click to read the story

While another newspaper, the Philippine Star reports:

Click to read the story

Why would the Inquirer say that crowd matches the one the opposition held when they themselves placed the estimated number of attendees in their article from 100,000 to 125,000? This is a very far cry from the 40,000 Makati rally attendees their headlines were screaming last July 14th. The Phil. Star goes for the exact 125,000, while the Manila Times go for the more exaggerated 250,000 (as I found out later this was estimated by Sec. Bayani Fernando).

In their article, the Inquirer avoided comparing the number of attendees of both rallies , while the Phil. Star did. The tone the Inquirer used in their article made it appear that this was only a pro-Government political rally, the Phil. Star reports that it was a prayer rally held for peace (Manila Bulletin agrees with this assessment, the Manila Times reports it was half and half).

One last thing, the Inquirer placed these articles on each side of their logo:

Click to read individual stories

Granted there were a number of "hakot" (people transported to the place in exchange for money or goods) and "hangers on" in yesterday's rally, then I have to ask why would they write glowing reports about the opposition rally in Makati but fail to mention the possibility of any in the other rally? And what about this curious thing:

It seems like they've been resorting to bullying tactics, drumming the people to resort to mob rule in the past few weeks (or months as some would argue). Fearless views, yes. Balanced news? Think again.

* Thanks to Tobie Abad for giving me permission to post the coupon in this blog.

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