It’s an audience problem too

August 8, 2006. We had our weekly student council meeting yesterday afternoon. In preparation for our Mass Media Awareness Month event, we discussed the state of Philippine media.

Hm, let’s see here. I say, I don’t entirely blame media institutions if recouping investments and making profits are always part of their primary considerations. Broadcasting and print publishing, much like filmmaking, are still expensive ventures after all. Is media the way it is because it’s how the audience wants it? Or is media the way it is because it’s how media owners assume how the audience wants them to be? I think we’ve all been underestimating the Philippine audience too much as an entertainment-crazed people. Perhaps it’s not just a problem with media, it’s also a problem with a ‘silent’ audience which fail to provide enough feedback and comments for media to work on. Perhaps we should also call on audiences to be more vocal in expressing their needs for a more socially-responsible and transformative media and patronize and support those which actually recognize the call. I guess it’s one way of assuring media owners that being more transformative and pro-active is not totally a loss or an unprofitable venture. I think it’s one way we can urge and encourage media institutions to shape up.

So far, the media has been good in assuming and offering the public what it wants (entertainment, even in newscasts). How about what it needs? The moment audiences become more critical vocal about their reactions and comments on how media works, the more media would probably be reactive to these sort of feedback. This needs a bigger discussion, and I will not expound on the topic in this blog post.

Let me share with you something that happened while we were in our meeting. It was already past six in the afternoon and most of our co-council members have already left.

Stan: Bilisan na natin, natatae na ‘ko.
ME: Ikaw rin? Nautot na nga ako kanina eh.
Melai: Psst! Kayong dalawa talaga…
Max: Yuck, buti na lang ‘di namin naamoy no?
ME: Oo nga. Akala ko nga maaamoy ni Marella kasi katabi ko siya. Nginitian ko na lang. Sinabihan lang ako ng ano nginingiti-ngiti mo diyan?
Max: Nasinghot lahat siguro ni Micah kaya siya umalis.

After the said discourse, we proceeded to wrap up our discussion on the state of Philippine media. After a few minutes, Max and Mich frowned.

Max: Oh my god, ang baho.
ME: [Silent for a few seconds] I’m so sorry, I farted. Akala ko ‘di n’yo ulit maaamoy. [Everyone laughs their hearts out]
Max: Haha. Akala ko kung anong truck ng basura lang ang dumaan. It smelled inorganic!

Of course, it would be much more hilarious if recounted out loud. Hahaha. Tawa kami nang tawa. That was really embarrassing.

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