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Mass media should not be a weapon of destruction

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago


Atty. Aurora A. SantiagoMedia practitioners have a great role to play in the stability of a nation and in the personality of the individual. In the practice of profession as a journalist, as a broadcaster, and as a social communicator, it is important that they be guided by the ethics of the profession. We observe that there are some media practitioners who highlighted the worst in a person and the circumstances; some are prejudiced against the subject of their articles; some are biased, they already have a preconceived belief about the issue. Instead of objectively reporting an event, it is already colored and the reader or listener receives the wrong information or data, thus, it results to giving a wrong opinion or analysis of the situation. It is therefore important for the receiver of the report to determine whether the account of the media is true.

Pope Francis says that “journalism can’t be a ‘weapon of destruction’ of persons or even nations nor should it be used to nourish fear. Criticism is legitimate and necessary, just as is the denunciation of evil, but this must always be done respecting the other, his life, and his affect.” He affirmed how journalism “can serve for the betterment of the society in which we live.” The Pope highlighted three key elements in the practice of journalism: loving the truth, living with professionalism, and respecting human dignity.

1st key element – Love the truth. The mission of media practitioner is to state the truth, not what he knows is not true. Pope Francis states that “this means not only to affirm, but to live the truth, to bear witness to it in one’s work. To live and work, then, with coherence in respect to the words that are used for an article in the paper or a television service. The question is not one of being, or not being a believer. The question is being or not being honest with oneself and with others.”
The 2nd key element – “Living with professionalism. The media must be professional. Pope Francis says “this means beyond what we can find written in the codes of ethics, to understand, to internalize the profound sense of one’s work. From this arises the necessity of not submitting one’s profession to the logic of partisan interests, be they economic or political. The task of journalism is to nurture the social dimension of man, favoring the building of true citizenship. It means not only responding to the preoccupations, while legitimate, of one class, but keeping at heart one of the pillars in the structure of a democratic society.

The 3rd key element – Respect for human dignity. The media must always be respectful of his subject. Pope Francis stresses “this means even behind the simple account of an event there are feelings, emotions, and, ultimately, the lives of persons.” Pope Francis speaks of gossip as a “terrorism” which kills with the tongue. “If this applies to individuals, with family or at work, it applies all the more to journalists, because their voice reaches everyone, and this is a very powerful weapon. Journalism must always respect the dignity of the person. An article is published today, tomorrow it is replaced with another, but the life of a person unjustly defamed can be destroyed forever.”

The Pope concluded, saying, “I hope that more and more journalism everywhere is a tool of construction, a factor for the common good, an accelerator of processes of reconciliation; that it may know how to reject the temptation of stirring up confrontation, with language that fans the flames of division, instead favoring the culture of encounter.”


The Council of the Laity of Kalookan, headed by Atty. Aurora Santiago, sponsors LaYKo si Pads, Level Up (Habag at Awa) Concert – to finance the Rehabilitation Program of the Diocese for drug dependents who are surrenderers – on November 18, 2016, Friday, 7pm at PICC Plenary Hall, Pasay City. The Kalookan Clergy will perform together with guest celebrities Ms. Ai-ai Delas Alas, Mr, Gerald Santos and Mr. Michael Angelo Lubrin. Tickets may be obtained from the respective Parish Pastoral Councils of the Diocese or you may contact Au 288-0935; Gigi-287-3693


We thank those who attended the Recollection sponsored by the Council of the Laity of Kalookan in celebration of the National Laity Week. We thank the Recollection Master, Bishop Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” David of the Diocese of Kalookan, who gave a very enlightening and touching talk.

Bishop Ambo discussed being merciful like the father. He asked: “Do you want to know how Christ looks like? Then look at the person beside you, that is how Jesus looks like.” He shared the incident when he celebrated Mass at Malabon City Jail. He told the inmates in Tagalog: “I have good news for you. If you cannot go near to God, God will come to you.” The inmates applauded, because logically how can they leave the jail? Then Bishop Ambo said “If you cannot go to Church, the Church will come to you.” The inmates applauded more. Most of the inmates were victims of substance or drug abuse. It is already too late before they realized the wrong they have done. The cause of drug addiction is not exposure to drugs but being alone influenced by the human “playground”–family, friend, part of the community. It is important that we strengthen the family and the Filipino community.

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