Facebook & a Filipino Journalist

September 15, 2009 § Leave a comment

rgcruzFacebook is one of my favorite social networks. Aside from the wonderful apps, Facebook allows one to really enjoy talking with people you don’t know or friends you have not seen for a long time.

Unlike Plurk, Facebook is fun to use. You don’t feel that the platform is intrusive. In fact, you enjoy it too much, most of the times you really feel free sharing personal info and views over there.

That’s what happened to fellow blogger RG Cruz. RG is my colleague over at FilipinoVoices. He’s very active in blogging, Facebook-ing and Plurk-ing. He’s always around. Same as Sandra Aguinaldo, Nelson Lubao and some other journalists. They’re very active.

Recently, however, they’re nowhere to be found. Even their blogs have become inactive. Why?

Maybe they heard what happened to RG Cruz? RG, if you still don’t know, was reportedly admonished by Korina Sanchez for his alleged disparaging remarks online.  In a letter with the heading ” A Letter to Management”, Korina Sanchez put RG to task for publishing those comments against her while Mar was announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race.

Or, if that letter over at Atty. Marichu Lambino’s blog is to be believed, it was Korina who is asking for RG’s head.

Korina reportedly wrote that letter which if you read, does not entirely or directly call for RG’s head. There is an insinuation that RG will leave this world as inconsequentially as he entered it. Here’s a snipnet of what Korina wrote:

“So to you,  RG Cruz, I say, I hope that — as your Facebook entry  narrated — as you were “eating chocolate” and  indulging your gastronomical cravings while events at Club  Filipino on  the 2nd of  September 2009 were unfolding and all  you could think of and delight in, as written in your  Facebook, are your cruel attacks, pettiness, inanities and  insensitivities to the sacrifice of others and, horror of  horrors, make these public — you will, henceforth, attempt  to save yourself from the very real prospect of  disappearing, leaving this world without a trace, no better  and even worse than when you found it.”

What’s Korina’s point?

That RG has the responsibility not to express his thoughts online since its public domain? That, because they’re colleagues, RG should take the responsibility of  keeping his mouth shut when a colleague is involved?

As a responsible journalist, Korina should have instead, took RG to task for his views by not resorting to pressuring management to have his head served on a platter. I mean, we’re not living in feudal times anymore, right?

This issue is between Korina and RG—not management and RG.If there is a regulation that prohibits ABS-CBN employees from engaging in social networks, it should be expressly stated in their Code of Ethics or Corporate Manual. This is much as can be gleaned from Korina’s words, again, let me quote:

In the  interest of sound policy covering such misdemeanors to protect its employees and talents and maintain the civility  required of us all to achieve company goals — as  painlessly as humanly possibly — I have inquired with  management and have urged them to take a closer look at the  cyberworld as public domain and which is a potent instrument  for destruction and unwarranted personal aggravation of its  victims, especially in the hands of co-employees.”

So, for Korina, RG’s remarks are “misdemeanors” acted out in the “cyberworld”. In Korina’s world, journalists are not supposed to interact with other people particularly online because “that’s public domain”.

Journalists are human beings. They’re entitled to a life, right? What they do outside their off-office hours are theirs and theirs alone.

Now, this issue boils down to rights. Does RG Cruz have the right to express his views for or against a colleague of his online or offline? He does, as far as I know, because we’re still living in a democratic society, yes? Of course, views are to be tempered by decency and ethics, right?

In this case, what RG committed was not a misdemeanor; rather RG Cruz only lacked the acuity of judgment. He failed to be a team member. He failed in his obligation to be actually fair. And fairness dictates that after telling Korina that “she’s a queen without a crown”, RG should have qualified that to mean, otherwise?


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