challenge of the blogs

must read: talk about kettles calling the pots black by dean jorge bocobo, where he takes on media guru luis teodoro, who deserves it for not finding anything good to say about blogs except that they pose a challenge to mainstream media, and who therefore advises journalists to:

. . . go into blogging to set examples . . . the principles of journalism should apply.”

ateneo communications professor chay hofilena agrees:

There should be verification and fairness even if it’s an opinion piece. There should be an effort to get the other side no matter how little the space you allot.”

ahahaha. what do they think they’re doing? they want to change the blogosphere, that’s what. they want bloggers writing like their mga alaga, i suppose, who only report both sides of a story, and who do not feel too strongly or care deeply enough about issues (for lack of reading and research?) as to make the mistake of pushing an opinion or taking a stand, oh no, that’s a no-no.

but that’s precisely what’s so great and radical about blogging – the unlimited space for opinions and ideas that are not welcome in mainstream media because, as bocobo tells us in no uncertain words:

Next to the government itself, of which the Main Stream Media are virtually a part, I cannot think of a more corruption-ridden, unethical, unprofessional, disingenuous and commerce-driven bunch than the Philippines Main Stream Media. Hiding behind veils of objectivity to hide prejudice, ideology, selfish agendas and vested interests, using innuendo, libelous and scurrilous attacks, whilst piously defending press freedom, what right do these kettles have to call the pots black and then to charge for it.

“Hahaha! At least when the bloggers use these same tactics they aren’t hypocrites about it and expect everyone else to bow down before their “codes of professional ethics”–which in our Main Stream Media are followed more in the exception than in the rule.”

my advice to journalists who would-be political bloggers: plunge in, get the hang of it, get into the loop, persevere, but don’t expect special treatment. like bocobo says:

Bring your ethics. Bring your standards. Bring your professionalism. Bring your Mama! But what really matters here is whether your ideas can compete with others and win! Your bandwidth is my bandwidth. My Liberty is your Liberty. Leave your stupidities and inanities at the door, or bring them along and wallow with the rest of the warthogs (which is allowed!). Here we are equals, and you’ve just come to the party a little late. Now, there’s a place at the table for everyone, but don’t expect a high place and automatic respect just coz you’re so used to one way conversations and call yourself some fancy name that really means nothing to most of us.”

what if, instead of trying to change the blogosphere teodoro found ways to raise the bar for journalism, raise the level of thinking and analysis through reading lists and interdisciplinary crash courses on history, politics, economics, environment, world trade and the like.

instead of putting down blogs, which is so crabmentality, yuck, traditional media should be upgrading and rising to the challenge of the blogs.


  1. Yet when Luis Teodoro attacked me for a letter of mine that was published in The Inquirer, foaming in the mouth, he presented supposition about me after supposition that were totally absurd…the gall of this man to say “the principles of journalism should apply.”’when he can barely apply them.

  2. As somebody pointed out in Quezon’s blog, when a blogger commits a stupid mistake, he can be corrected. But when a journalist is the one that does it, the stupidity remains.