Wednesday ∗ 15 Dec 2010

pinky and press ethics

you’ve got to give it to the Webbs, yes? I mean you may believe differently about Hubert etal getting that acquittal. you may want to read up regardless, because at the very least those in Bilibid Prisons need an open mind — your open mind. I believe that 15 years is enough, I even think that 10 is enough, even just one year, when there’s a slim slim possibility that anyone’s innocent, a teeny tiny chance that they aren’t guilty of the crime they’ve been accused of. to a certain extent, the shame, the lost years, the lost time, the sadness, the silence, is enough.

and it is silence that someone like Pinky Webb, politician’s daughter, media personality, sister of recently freed Hubert, knows to keep, and consistently. if there’s one thing that needs to be said a day after Hubert’s acquittal, if there’s one thing that we might want to see as one particularly bright light in all of this, it’s this.

in another media personality’s hands, this sister would’ve considered this her scoop, this would’ve been milked all it was worth, almost her chance at fame and fortune given the kind of media stardom that is now possible for members of the press.

especially in recent years when the media personality has made the news not necessarily for her professional achievements or public service, as it has been for the personal news that she herself feeds, Pinky is a breath of fresh air, one that’s surprising actually, but is such a measure of breeding. as it is of a clear sense of ethics that in this case is about the distance she keeps from the media spotlight that wants nothing but for her to speak of her private self.

this refusal to speak, the decision at silence, for me is just a wonderful example — one that we rarely see, yes? — of how the public media personality should handle any news related to her private life.

of course in third world philippines the extreme opposite of Pinky is the peg that Kris Aquino has created, also a politician’s daughter, also a TV personality, who likes to get the scoop, who uses her personal relationships as scoop, whose lack of ethics is most measured in instances when her own family is in the news — and they always are, not just because her mother was president, and her brother is now president, also because she likes to make the news. literally, she creates news about herself. case in point: if you saw that TV Patrol live patch, Ted Failon actually didn’t know what hit him as Kris just kept going on and on. making fun of others should be illegal in Kris’ hands; i wonder about the freedom of speech, too.

and it is because of Kris and every other media personality who has appeared in a magazine talking about her personal life, every media personality who speaks of personal things in 140 characters or less on Twitter, every media personality who has turned — quite shamelessly — into a lifestyle host in the guise of current events host. it is because of all these that we barely know to see Pinky Webb here, maybe because we don’t know how to deal with such class, such grace, such a display of press ethics.

sometimes and here, in the most tragically beautiful of ways, we are still surprised by members of our media. and in this horrid state of affairs when Kris and Boy are considered credible, and Korina and Noli can just go back to being “objective” newscasters, well.

thank goodness for Pinky Webb. may she be remain the peg for the right amount(s) of silence and quiet, the correct refusal to sell private self, that we so aspire for in the members of media. because that is a measure not just of their ethics, but also of their trust in us as audience who are mature enough to deal with media personalities without the personal. we get what we deserve, I know. and maybe Pinky Webb’s proving to us that sometimes we deserve the people with breeding and class, the ones who hold their privacies dear, because we all should, too.

Posted in: bayan, iconography, kawomenan, komentaryo, media, TV

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35 Comments/Pingbacks

  1. Pearl
    December 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    It’s just so funny, Kris and Pinky goes way back in CSA days, both coming affluent and privileged family, friends and HK buddies, as they say, so to speak before in CSA; but with regards to ethics and social responsibility, Kris has nothing compared to Pinky’s class and culture. I admire her strength and her family’s as well. Being quiet, aloof from everyone, visiting her brother for 15 years, boy, this woman is worth everyone’s respect.

  2. ina
    December 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    @kaye, wow, and i didn’t even know about her refusing to read stuff in favor of hubert on air. i wonder nga if this is also because she takes whatever limits ABS-CBN imposes on its news people seriously, and others just don’t. pero ang astig ng kuwento mo! :)

  3. ina
    December 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    @pearl, i didn’t make that connection at all! pero oo nga, CSA is what i know. friends pala sila, though i know that Pinky’s friends enough with Korina, which would also make us imagine that they could be the same diba, or that at least Korina would be able to influence her to do a tell-all, or a scoop of some sort. but i think it’s also breeding, and yes, class which isn’t about how much money she grew up with (as with Kris), but about how she knows when something is correct and decent. yes, very unlike Kris.

  4. marielle
    December 15, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    such an admirable woman!

  5. ina
    December 16, 2010 at 1:02 am

    @marielle, and consistent, too! she wasn’t on TV today.

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  7. GabbyD
    December 16, 2010 at 4:21 am

    isnt silence the correct thing to expect, considering she’s a journalist, while kris IS a media personality?

    why compare the two when their professions are completely different?

  8. ina
    December 16, 2010 at 7:08 am

    oh dear gabby d. do you watch a lot of local TV? THERE lies the comparison. to even imagine their professions to be different is a failure in seeing that in current media and journalism, everyone — artista, journalist, newscaster — is capable of being showbiz. too many are willing to make the private public, and the public persona a personal thing.

    and if you read the piece itself, the comparison isn’t JUST against Kris, too.

    • GabbyD
      December 16, 2010 at 8:48 am

      “THERE lies the comparison. to even imagine their professions to be different is a failure in seeing that in current media and journalism, everyone — artista, journalist, newscaster — is capable of being showbiz.”

      then the journalist who WANTS to be showbiz should be criticized for it. but kris isnt a journalist, she doesnt want to be one — so why judge her using that criteria?

  9. uh huh
    December 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Both of them are media personalities. The only difference Kris Aquino can’t keep her mouth shut.

  10. ina
    December 17, 2010 at 7:28 am

    @gabby d: “then the journalist who WANTS to be showbiz should be criticized for it. but kris isnt a journalist, she doesnt want to be one — so why judge her using that criteria?”

    read it again. i’m not just comparing against Kris. and really? Kris doesn’t want to be, doesn’t consider herself a, journalist? she’s got a whole magazine with her name on it. she’s writer and subject matter, she speaks about politics as if she is most credible. ikaw naman, basahin mo muna ang mga sinusulat niya sa magazine na yon.

    really, when was the last time you heard Kris speaking about herself? have you looked at how she’s built up by her home network? you’d be surprised that she actually thinks herself, they actually consider her, ALSO a current affairs personality.

    contemporary media culture will tell you that the dynamic between showbiz and lifestyle, and what’s considered news worthy, what’s considered as public affairs, is precisely that: a dynamic. that line you draw between journalist (Pinky) and media personality (Kris) is just wrong because it’s non-existent because it’s ambiguous because it’s been disproved. PCIJ talked about this in a book published in 1999. there is no reason to shoot from the hip about this gabby d.

    PLEASE READ: “From Loren to Marimar, The Philippine Media in the 1990s.” Ed. Sheila Coronel. Philippines: Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, 1999.

    • GabbyD
      December 17, 2010 at 8:33 am

      ok. first. i know u mentioned korina and the former VP, but for the purposes of a concrete discussion, and since the bulk of your analysis is kris (vs pinky), lets talk about kris.

      1) if your argument is that journalists become media personalities, OR media personalities become serious journalists in the course of their careers, then i didnt dispute that. lots of jouralists “become” something else. conversely, alot of “something else” (for specificity, celebrities) become journalists (i.e. Paolo Bediones).

      i’m sure coronel’s book is fabulous. if this is her point, i 100% agree.

      2) so, item (1) is NOT my point. what i said is, judge a person by what he/she WANTS/PURPORTS to be, rather that what she was/used to be. (as a general rule of thumb in life, too)

      3) so, the meat of the matter then is, what does kris WANT to be. my claim is she wants to be a media personality.

      your claim, as i understand, is that she can flit between serious/objective journalism and non-serious journalism whenever she wants to.

      lets test your claim.

      “Kris doesn’t want to be, doesn’t consider herself a, journalist? she’s got a whole magazine with her name on it. she’s writer and subject matter, she speaks about politics as if she is most credible. ikaw naman, basahin mo muna ang mga sinusulat niya sa magazine na yon.”

      so your best argument is that she has a magazine where she writes her opinion about politics. first of all, i dont think K! can be confused for Newsbreak. Second, with covers like “Embrace Change: Kris moves to a smaller house thats big on style”, the magazine cant be confused for serious reporting. third, even if the mere act of having a magazine makes you a journalist, then Kerygma is all about journalism too.

      she makes the story about herself, her lovelife, etc, because she is a celebrity. she knows this is her job.

      finally, like you, i think pinky is a capital gal. i also really like bernadette sembrano and kara david. not only do i like them, i admire them as professionals.

      now, if kris starts hosting a public affairs show, or becomes a newscaster, THEN she ought to shut up about her life. But, if she sticks 2 endorsing, making movies, and hosting game shows, writing articles (probably hiring a ghost writer, actually) about self-improvement and makeup, then i will happiliy judge her as a media celebrity.

      • ina
        December 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

        dear gabby d, if you think objective journalism exists, then you really should read that PCIJ book. tapos magusap tayo ulit.

        and really, to think that you can “happily judge” kris a media personality? good luck. what world do you live in exactly?

        • GabbyD
          December 18, 2010 at 4:20 am

          hhmmm.. u seem to imply it doesnt exist. then the PCIJ book is… propaganda?

          “and really, to think that you can “happily judge” kris a media personality? good luck. ” — what do you mean?

          apparently, in your world, people have a strange, powerful hatred of kris aquino, that, in any example that requires a whipping girl, you’ll cite her.

          • ina
            December 18, 2010 at 7:51 am

            dear gabby d, you obviously don’t know the book, so why judge it.

            in my world, people are well-informed and give well-thought-out comments that are responsible, that are self-reflexive and well grounded in the terrain of the subject matter at hand, and will create intelligent debate because the opinions are smart, not myopic, and NEVER ill-informed.

            Kris is not one of those people. congrats.

          • GabbyD
            December 18, 2010 at 9:40 am

            to remind u, u were the one who said that responsible objective journalism doesnt exist. in that case, how would u describe/judge the PCIJ book? what do u call something that doesnt exist? imaginary?

            i like your world alot. i dont necessarily disagree with your implied negative description of her.

            i guess i can now describe “my” world: its similar 2 yours, except when someone doesnt come up to our standards, we dont need to bash them in every opportunity.

          • GabbyD
            December 18, 2010 at 10:50 am

            let me try to bring this back. my objection is simply — by what standard should we judge kris’s actions?

            in the post, you compare pinky webb’s action vs kris’s actions. ex: “who uses her personal relationships as scoop, … also because she likes to make the news.”

            webb doesnt do that, kris does.

            my point is: webb doesnt do that coz she is a journalist. kris does that because she is a media celebrity. Her job (if u will) is to make news with her life. they are famous for being famous. it is but natural for her to make her personal life as her nest egg.

            as you point out, implicit here is that there exists objective journalism, and we should uphold good journalistic behavior among journalists.

            my point has this implication: if and when kris aquino complains about bullying by the media (lack of privacy), then we can call BS. her career is about letting the world know about who she’s dating, so she cannot complain about negative press. so, tough for her — if she being a media celeb comes with good and bad things.

            so when she complains about celebrity, i will be one with you saying that this is a load of BS from her.

  11. uh huh
    December 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    What one calls delicadeza something a lot of media personalities don’t have including the Presidential sibling mentioned in the article. Kris can’t keep hey mouth shut.

    • ina
      December 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm

      @uhuh! thank you. yes. delicadeza IS something that EVERYONE we see on tv should have.

  12. joyceinheels
    December 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Pinky Webb is very professional. A class act indeed.

    • ina
      December 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      @joyceinheels! yes! thank you for putting that in: it IS also professionalism that everyone on TV should have, especially those who dish out their opinions about the world we live in. :)

  13. ina
    December 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    @gabby d: only two books exist for you? the objective and the ones na propaganda? you’re a winner. for blocking out the critical.

    and i repeat, to everything you say: in my world, people are well-informed and give well-thought-out comments that are responsible, that are self-reflexive and well grounded in the terrain of the subject matter at hand, and will create intelligent debate because the opinions are smart, not myopic, and NEVER ill-informed.

    • GabbyD
      December 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      hmm.. i’m curious with your choice of words — can one be objective yet not critical?

      • ina
        December 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm

        gabby d, you should really read up. to see the trees for the forest, and really to not know the trees OR the forest, is just tiring.

        Althusser on ideology and ideological state apparatuses — http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/althusser/1970/ideology.htm

        Zizek on ideology — http://www.lacan.com/zizekloaded.htm

        Zizek on post-ideology — http://www.lacan.com/frameXXVI6.htm

        on the subject and subjectivity — http://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/s/u.htm

        freedom and subjectivity — http://libcom.org/library/freedom-subjectivity-lenin-philosophy-cyril-smith

        on media and objectivity — http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/6470

        local na aplikasyon ng konsepto kay Teo Marasigan —
        http://kapirasongkritika.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/target-panggitnang-uri/

        • GabbyD
          December 20, 2010 at 7:58 am

          well, reading the article on media and objectivity, i find:

          “Good journalism requires the discipline not to hide those biases, but to challenge them, to examine opposing views, to think critically, and to remain skeptical.”

          exactly the standard on which we should judge journalists — NOT media celebrities. do we criticize perez hilton when he fails to be skeptical? no.

      • GabbyD
        December 20, 2010 at 8:42 am

        on the other stuff, first thanks for the links…

        in one i read: “The corollary to Lenin’s heavy stress on ‘objectivity’ was that it left no room for subjectivity, for human values, that is, for freedom”

        this isnt what i thought of when i think of objectivity.

        the other, on ideology: ” One should take into account the irreducible duality of, on the one hand, the “objective” material socio-economic processes taking place in reality as well as, on the other hand, the politico-ideological process proper.”

        …is not what i thought we were discussing either. but i agree with it, even tho it has nothing to do with our discussion. but i LOVED his discussion of matrix reloaded. inspired, i looked for his comments on revolutions here: http://www.lacan.com/zizreloaded.htm

        he said: “So, at the end [OF REVOLUTIONS], nothing is really resolved: the Matrix is here, continuing to exploit humans, with no guarantee that another Smith will not emerge; the majority of humans will continue their slavery. ”

        do i smell a sequel? :) its heavily implied at the end,i think, that the machines did infact tell the humans in the matrix that they are in a program, and if they want to leave, they can. faced with that, some (most? — the park in the end was deserted?) humans would leave, and some wont. those that stay will experience a different kind of matrix. I dont know if thats slavery or not, but maybe u lacanian should explain what he believes.

        so, interesting diversion. thanks. i still have no idea how that relates to my earlier question, but if u cant explain it, then u dont have to.

  14. Bonnie Ladrido
    December 20, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Hi, would you mind if I re-post your blog on mine?

  15. em cee
    December 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    don’t compare kris and pinky webb. Magkaiba sila. Kasi wala naman kapatid si kris na drug addict.

    • GabbyD
      December 20, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      actually, pareho silang walang kapatid na drug addict.

  16. ina
    December 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    trees for the forest. trees for the forest.

    • GabbyD
      December 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      do tell me about this forest. can u be critical without being “objective” (in the sense of being a good journalist as defined by the stanford law link)

  17. Huh
    December 21, 2010 at 7:00 am

    The difference between Kris Aquino and Pinky Webb? Pinky Webb has delicadeza.

    • ina
      December 21, 2010 at 7:06 am

      exactly, huh.

  18. huh
    December 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Actually Hubert Webb was a drug addict. THe Webb family can deny this all they want but people from Paranaque knows.

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