Award-winning actor John Arcilla pointed on September 10 that there were journalists who were unaware of their actual role in society, endangering the truth by how the public perceives the news because of overall sensationalism.
“That there are some journalists or media people who are not so aware of their real role in society, that they have to introspect from time to time, regularly,” said Arcilla in the media con of On The Job: The Missing 8.
The actor, who played a journalist in the movie, found out how media personnel was being manipulated by powerful people in delivering twisted stories, leading to them being ‘biased’ or one-sided.
“Kasi whether we like it or not, we don’t know to whom are we really working for. Kasi hindi natin alam baka ginagamit na tayo ng isang grupo, ng isang organization, isang powerful na tao.
“And yet yung ideals kasi natin as a human being, as a citizen of a certain society, of a certain country, akala natin dinadala no’ng isa nating mentor or ina-idolize na tao, yun pala eh malayo na tayo sa mismong tao.
“Kasi we’re supposed to be serving the people as journalists and we have to be fair. And yet nagiging bias na pala tayo, akala natin ang pinagsisilbihan natin ang tao, hindi na pala.”
Journalism has a technique called sensationalism which refers to the selection of events and topics that would eventually excite the general populace.
According to Arcilla, the overuse of sensationalism was dangerous since it can [actually] change what is the real truth.
“Alam mo yung sensationalism, ever since, isa ‘yan sa part ng practice ng media. Because we want to get the attention, we want to get the attention of the audience, of the mass, of the listener, of the mainstream.
“And sometimes, because of that competition, para pumunta sa’yo, minsan nase-sensationalize yung mga bagay-bagay. And whether we like it or not, it actually changed the truth. Nababago n’ya yung katotohanan.”
The actor presented such danger since it would lead to a different public opinion because of the media’s sensationalized news, adding that journalists should tackle such matters to deliver accurate stories.
“So nakakatakot ‘yon kasi baka iba yung public opinion ang ating maibigay ‘pag sensationalized ang ating issues. Pero ano yun eh, part nang journalism lagi, para nga makuha ang attention. Kaya napaka-delicate ng idea na yun eh. Dapat pag-aralan, dapat pag-usapan, as in, ng media.”
That being said, the actor hoped for the media to be careful about using sensationalism to not be biased due to some twisted news.
“Sana lang maging careful tayo bilang media person kung saan natin dinadala ang prinsipyo natin at kung paano natin ginagamit ang technique na sensationalism. Kasi baka iyon ang makasira sa public opinion or mailiko natin nang konti ang katotohanan because of that,” he noted.
“It’s such a very delicate…napaka-metikulosong usapin sa larangan nang media and journalism. Kasi kapag mas’yado ka namang naging factual lang, wala kang audience eh.
“Ang hirap din i-balance di ba? So dapat mag-usap ang lahat.”
In On The Job: The Missing 8, Arcilla played the character of Sisoy, a reporter. In his role as Sisoy, he realized how his principles defeated the purpose of sensationalism to bring to the people what they needed to hear—the truth.
“Bilang si Sisoy, kahit naman papaano, yung kanyang idealism, yun din ang nag-save sa kanya when he discovered na mali na pala ang kanyang position.
“And he has to pursue with his beliefs, with his principles, as a fair journalist, as an advocate of free press and justice and truth, kahit na maging at stake na ang kanyang relationship dun sa kanyang mentor, itinuloy pa rin n’ya yung kanyang pag-search sa truth and justice. Kasi yun din naman talaga ang idealism n’ya.”