Friday, November 02, 2007

Glorietta "Bombing": Citizen Journalism or Irresponsible Blogging?

Last October 19, 2007, I received a call around at 1:30pm asking me where I was and to confirm if there was indeed a bombing of Glorietta 2. At that moment, I noticed my officemates were trying to browse the already slow Inquirer.net website. I tried to browse Philstar.com but information presented was vague so I switched to Inquirer.net's express edition and the initial report was an LPG tank explosion.

Within minutes I received pictures of the "blast site" in my email showing gory pictures and lurid details even showing bloodied faces of victims killed that can be identified. Thought of posting the pictures but the better part of me told me to exercise restraint. I didn't blog about this "bombing" incident in the first place due to many reasons: I don't have a first hand account of the incident, I don't use pictures taken by other people unless I have explicit permission, and I don't want to generate blog traffic out of the incident. Besides, the excruciatingly slow investigation on the cause of the incident was still uncertain with the police flip-flopping on the initial results wether it was LPG, C4 explosive due to alleged presence of RDX, or other powerful bombs pointing an accusing finger at the Abu Sayyaf (The Abu Sayyaf the following day denied they have anything to do with the "bombing."), Jemaah Islamiyah and the Raja Solaiman Movement (RSM).

However, many blogs started to post stories and pictures of it declaring aloud the "terrorists" behind the dastardly act. Media sensationalism again went full blast. The firebrand senator Trillanes cried it was a conspiracy that the government planted the bomb (kind of a projection actually since the "good" senator was the one seen on national television planting bombs in Oakwood (now Ascott) during their mutiny; wonder why many "educated" Filipinos voted for him). Politicians offered rewards on information to help arrest perpetuators of the "crime." The United States, United Kingdom, and Canada issued travel advisories.

Now, as to why I wrote this post, I noticed bloggers will post many things at the fastest time possible-- even without verifying the facts. The news of the "bombing" reached international media attention thus scared away potential tourists that this country badly is in need of.

Recently, as confirmed by foreign investigators, the incident was the the result of an accident and not a bomb. The news, sadly, was not corrected by some bloggers who've already cashed in on the incident. Many people reading blogs may have taken note of the "terrorist bombing" angle but were not updated on the accident angle thereby making the belief that terrorism again struck this already terrified nation.

3 comments:

  1. i agree with you. i was disappointed with many bloggers who posted their own interpretations of the incident without verifying the info they have.

    but you see, this wasn't limited to the blogging community. mainstream media committed the same 'mistake.' many columnists and TV talk shows discussed the issue based on mere assumptions and speculations. soon enough, people were preoccupied with the bombing theory, or whodunnit--all without basis.

    it would seem best if media and bloggers exercised caution, paused, and waited for facts first before rushing judgment.

    pero ganyan nga talaga tayong mga pinoy, ang bilis nating mag-react. :P

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  2. barrycade, such triggerhappy people. i see only a few posts correcting the mistake. many people who've read and heard about the "terror" act didn't get to know the truth. the damage has been done both by the mainstream media and the should've been responsible bloggers. that's media terrorism!

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  3. that's exactly what happens when we mix news reporting with opinions, that is, we tend to report what we think and not on what really transpired. that is blogging at its worst.

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