JKOD (Journalist Kidnapped On Duty): Badge of honor or disgrace for imprudence? When is it one or the other?

Spoiled Brats
By blogger Smoke

Over at Filipino Voices, butch insightfully discusses the kind of pressure journalists are under to provide ‘compelling content.’

‘Compelling’ of course, especially in the context of Philippine media in general, I pronounce as ‘sen-say-sho-na-listic.’ In less charitable moments, I might be given to pronouncing it as ‘pro-pa-gan-dis-tic.’

Leaving that aside, butch also pulls this quote:

“The rest of the world knows how to get attention,” Scherer says. “Targeting a journalist will get attention because journalists give attention to each other.”

And that’s what really got my attention. Shenanigans like the kidnapping Ces Drilon are quite obviously about getting attention. Like spoiled brats will sometimes break a vase for no reason other than to get noticed, various groups will often do something outrageous when they feel they’re being ignored by the limelight - or when someone else is hogging center stage. We all know this and understand this to be a fair conclusion.

Which makes me wonder why serious journalists even bother.

I get how most journalists have a kind of messianic complex when it comes to “the search for truth.” You can ennoble that complex by simply ignoring the fact that maintaining it requires a certain level of egotism to imagine that the whole ‘truth’ infrastructure will collapse without your contributions; in fact, we often do. It is practically blasphemy to say that some journalists are just glory hounds; they all have to be knights errant in pursuit of an obfuscated truth.

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Read also:

"Waiting", by Conrado de Quiros of Philippine Daily Inquirer.