Journalists and Jueteng

Jueteng is again in the headlines of dailies and newscasts. Like a recurring fever that refuses to subside, it goes on and off the radars of journalists. Again, the expose of a high-ranking church official triggered the simmering reaction.

It is an old story with a new lead character. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz plays the hero this time. He recently exposed alleged transactions between local officials and Jueteng lords in several regions throughout the country. Refusing to drop names, he said many mayors and governors are in the payroll of gamblers or are the gambling tzars themselves.

However, Corruption and gambling are no longer the appalling angles of the issue. What's more glaring is media's "ningas cogon" attitude towards Jueteng. Journalists burn with passion in attacking the illegal numbers game at the beginning, but give them two to three weeks and their passion flickers without resolution.

This is how media institutions think today-- "Let us ride the times while the hottest issues bring ratings, ratings that rake in profit."

They had been consistent. There were "Hello Garci," "NBN-ZTE," "Quedancor," "fertilizer scam," "Morong 42," "Hacienda Luisita," "Ampatuan Massacre" and a host of other issues. They all started with a bang, but we hear nothing of them today. Whatever happened to these issues? Our gate-keepers just decided one day, "We're tired. Let's move on to the next."

"Journalism needs to be current," they say. But the last time we checked, Journalism as the fourth estate exists in the service of people. This attitude, if they haven't noticed has become to us a disservice.

And so, we are left with a multitude of loose ends which we unwillingly stash away until the "informers" remember them, until the "guardians of truth" decide that they're newsworthy again. Because of ratings, perhaps? Or because they just genuinely remembered? We do not know.

But one thing is sure, we wait patiently, hoping that this flash fire will finally burn Jueteng to the ground.
Next Next


Post a Comment