[Right-up] Pulling the Trigger: Serving Translucent Information Amidst Threats -by Kristian Rivera

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Pulling the Trigger: Serving Translucent Information Amidst Threats
by: Kristian Rivera

Photo Credits: From PopularResistance.org.

Journalists around the world are facing new threats as they document the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 2,166,440 people globally, stated by World Health Organization (WHO). The COVID-19 pandemic is pulling the strings and cracking up the whip reality, a surprise stress test to every democratic state. Major democratic principles are under pressure, and governments’ respect for press freedom which is one of the pillars of free societies, is continuously eroding.

ABS-CBN was shut down and the loyalty of hundreds of journalists were provoked in such ways for delivering fiery information that only served the truth behind this modern- day societal issues. The right to information and privacy were dejected.

Mohammad Mossed, a reporter in Iran who criticized the government’s response to the pandemic, has been barred from practicing journalism and suspended from Social Media. Chen Quiche, a freelance journalist who was covering the outbreak in Wuhan, China, has not been seen since early February, when he told family members he was planning to report on a temporary hospital as a field reporter.

Social media platforms have assumed the role of news distribution sources. Due to this fact, the media have largely rejected the affiliated gatekeeper role of fact-checking to the content they allow on different pages and sites. This renunciation has led to the rise of fake news, disinformation and propaganda. We cannot see the entire effect of these unless we know how to comprehensively read and understand unfiltered news even in a different lens.

Moreover, this will result in echo-chamber of deception. We have the internet as our daily resource of information, and it is much easier to access data and information via google or the drastic Facebook pages that are emerging. Many leaders are manipulating and threatening the news and pressuring local media to obscure reality and divert attention.

This form of unethical information to the public consensus is satire. As the health of the entire nation comes under increasing threat, the concern for accurate and clear reporting is more essential than ever, it becomes a burden, the fact that we only want to serve as the voice and to only speak for the truth could lead to a one-shot destination that could probably end one’s misery. When disaster strikes — and the COVID-19 outbreak gripped the world right now, it certainly qualifies — domestic and local media outlets are vital to combating problems, including the spread of a disease that could decimate entire populations.

Today is about all of us and all the things closest to us: our health and safety as Filipino citizens, our children and parents, our ability to move and speak freely without the fear and dilemma. Our liberty to write and be critical without restraint.

This is what it looks like when a crisis of leadership makes its way into our health and our homes, when lack of prudence induces panic, when diligence and the assurance of refuge is in need. When a lot of people won’t either trust and listen to the government because of inequality, overpower and suppression. Under any circumstances of the government’s incompetence, I am more than willing to engage in political retribution, counter blow, and an eye to eye against the administration, even though it would be a prime mover.

As a youth, I want to uphold democracy as much as I could, as our democracy today is under aggression. As we pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made to build this nation, it is important that we remember the full cost of liberty.

My message for the youth is to listen to dangerous words, be calm when the unthinkable tries to shock you, be a patriot, be courageous and speak when you can. Today, ask yourself about how many freedoms we have and how many we are in danger of losing. Every day, the sphere of politicism is trying to chip away at our basic rights and civil liberties.

The Philippines should not create another battle for us to transcend. Suppression days were over. We already shed blood and tears over the primitive times. Today, none of us doesn’t want to lose our valor, so choose to evolve, to speak, and to break through for a prominent eternity, for our country, the Philippines.

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