Storifying the Purisima resignation (Police Chief). Tricks of the trade.
The banner of most major news organizations is that: PNP Chief Purisima’s resignation had been accepted by the President.
(Purisima is the “brains” behind Operation Wolverine that resulted in the death of 44 SAF troopers, 18 MILF fighters, and 4 civilians, and the capture and death of the target, international terrorist-bomber Marwan). The source is a “Cabinet insider”.
“Cabinet insider” could either be a Cabinet sec or usec or a Cabinet staffmember or a Cabinet food handler who eavesdropped. Do you see how this works?
The report is denied by both Malacañang and Purisima’s lawyer. Perhaps, the resignation letter has not been written, so there are no documents. Perhaps, it was just uttered in a meeting. Perhaps.
On the other hand, some news organizations are not as lucky as to have a direct and “reliable” source, such as a Palace “insider”.
What to do when you don’t have a source that could confirm the rumor. Tricks of the trade. Storify the denial. Ask the relevant government official whether the rumor is true, and they would deny it — then, build your news story on the denial. So, you have a news peg and a news story.
Interaksyon 5 did one better—the news peg is: “Purisima resignation swirls…” and the lead is that the Palace spokesperson has no information on reports that swirled that Aquino has accepted Purisima’s resignation.
Swirl is like a dance, right? But that’s just me.
Tricks of the trade. How to storify an unconfirmed report: newspeg it on the denial.
Anyway. i’m just swirling on port vintage wine. Here are last week’s media monitor:
Fom Lily Grace “xxx Radyo Singko last night xxx the host kept saying that he disagreed with calling the Mamasapano Encounter. He said that it was not an encounter and the President should’ve called it a massacre instead. In my opinion, this is not in accordance with the SPJ code of ethics and this was also part of our discussion yesterday wherein we agreed that “massacre” is not the right word and that it is a loaded term.
“However,xxx the host provided at least some background for the said story. He defined what MILF and BIFF were, which was a point in his favor because not everyone can tell the difference between the two.”
From Celina: On “The article rappler.com/netizens-aquino-who-gave-orders?
“… posted by Rappler features some twitter responses to a discussion faciliated by Rappler’s twitter account that encourages civic engagement (@MovePH). It zeroes in on how Aquino was not able to give a categorical response on who gave the orders for the operation. It was impartial in that it featured only responses from netizens, but it was cluttered because it focused on different points of the speech and other aspects about the “misencounter” (questions like ‘can the MILF be trusted?’, etc).
“It would be better if the article only focused on what the netizens think about Aquino’s “hand-washing” and expounded on that, rather than including other Twitter responses to less related questions.”
From Fayetallow: “… from InterAksyon.com, the online news portal of TV 5. The article was titled: “PNoy says he wasn’t told about SAF specific action; group says prexy ‘washed’ his hands of the mess.” In this report, not only did they write up about the president’s conference with the media last night but they took the sides of the parties involved in the Mamasapano issue. They provided context regarding the speech of PNoy, if it did answer the question of the people and what really happened in the Mamasapano. They did seek truth and reported it, which is what journalist should do in covering stories.
“On the other hand, what I noticed in the article is that though all sides was given a voice the MILF wasn’t given deeper consideration. Only one sentence coming from their side was put in the article. You will also notice than in the sub topics discussed in the article which are: “PNoy knew covert mission?” and “Clueless or not telling the whole truth?.” In my opinion somehow this shows bias. they are not pro PNoy’s information given to them.
“On the media conference itself, the second reporter to ask question was able to ask the questions that are necessary like “Why didn’t Mar Roxas and such didn’t know about the operation?”, then both officers were also there. I think another representation of seeking the truth and reporting it.
“Here is the link to the article I used: interaksyon.com/pnoy-says-saf-just-executed-warrant-vs-marwan-but-group-says-prexy-washed-his-hands-of-the-mess “
From 2012-23839: “Nais kong punahin ang huling bahagi ng episode ng TV Patrol kahapon, Enero 28, 2015. Sa huling bahagi noon, gaya ng parati nating napapanuod, ay nagkaroon ng maikling pagpapalitan ng kuru-kuro ang mga mamamahayag. Aking napansin na nabigo silang sundin ang SPJ Code of Ethics 2014 na nagsasabing “Label advocacy and commentary,” sapagkat sa pagkakataon nanamang iyon ay naglabas sila ng kanilang sariling opinyon na hindi na parte ng balita. Nagbigay sila ng kuru-kuro na walang paglilinaw na ang mga sasabihin nila ay opinyon na nila at hiwalay na sa balita.
“Pangalawa, napanuod ko rin ang report ni George Carino ukol sa balitang napatay si Marwan. Masasabi ko na nasunod ni George Carino ang SPJ Code of Ethics 2014 sapagkat nilinaw niya na walang siyang sapat na impormasyon o ebidensya na nakalap upang ibalita na napatay nga si Marwan. Hindi agad siya naniwala sa mga sinabi ng mga tao roon na isang magandang ugali ng pagbabalita.”
From Mars: “News report by Lei Alviz (Saksi): gmanetwork.com/pnoy-tila-iwas-pusoy-kung-may-basbas-ba-niya-ang-pnp-saf-operation-sa-mamasapano
“xxx followed the provisions in the SPJ Code of Ethics. In the first part of the report, Lei Alviz accurately summarized the statement of the president. It also featured properly cited and labeled news information from another media organization (Manila Standard Today). The report also featured comments from other relevant sources such as the founding member of the PNP-SAF. Aside from the news about the conflict, the report included comments from the families of the deceased SAF officers. Background about the long-standing conflict between the government and the opposing parties was also provided (mention of Erap and FVR’s actions when they were in office).”
From Daveguino “Dave”: “xxxKaninang umaga sa isang programa sa DZMM na Kabayan kung saan si Noli de Castro ang anchor, patuloy niyang ginagamit ang salitang massacre imbes na Mamasapano encounter. Mali ang terminong ito sapagkat ang dalawang grupo naman ay parehong may mga armas. Maaari nitong ma-mislead ang mga tagapakinig na labag sa SPJ Code of ethics. Dahil dito, patuloy na namamasama ang grupo ng MILF at BIFF sa mata ng publiko kahit wala pang ebidensya kung sino talaga ang may sala.
“Sa isang banda naman, tinuligsa ni de Castro si Pnoy lalong-lalo na sa kanyang pagmamadali para sa Bangsamoro Basic Law. Nagbigay pa siya ng komento na nararapat daw bago ang pagtutok sa basic law ay maresolba muna ang kaso ng engkwentro. Makikita rito na talagang may kinikilingan siya.”
From Robby: “…tweets, may xxx be not professional journalism, seemed to follow the guideline since they have been waiting for the side of the Government and not generalizing and oversimplifying the commentary since only the side of the ‘victims’ has been heard.”
From Claud: “Natasha Gutierez’ entry on Rappler entitled “Aquino: I talked to SAF chief before Maguindanao ops” tackled the most important points regarding the issue as compared to others (written reports from ABS-CBN and Interaksyon). This is because the article carefully examined the important parts of PNoy’s speech and not just narrated what he said. Gutierez also included the implications of his statements to the current situation and to future plans of the government such as the Bangsamoro Basic Law peace treaties. This is clearly important because not all people have a context of the situation. Thus, with the given background and critical analysis, the readers are informed of and given the chance to formulate their own opinions regarding the matter. Another notable element of the article is the subtopic “What now?” where the author discusses the reaction of other high-ranking and influential officials on the event and even includes a specific date of when they will start evaluating the event, which also gives an update to the readers.
“Regarding the media personalities that had a chance to ask questions right after the president’s speech, I believe that they did well because they were able to clarify PNoy’s statements which were sort of playing-safe. Although some questions were answered vaguely, the mere effort of asking somehow lead to a conclusion that there are still some details that are vague and questionable, which in turn, the media may still use to critique and follow up on the story.”
From Margarita Mina: “News coverage regarding President Noynoy Aquino’s speech on the Mamasapano Clash varied in terms of media framing and angle. Every agency chose a particular segment in Noynoy’s speech to focus on, although a noticeable trend is the acknowledgement of Noynoy’s incapability to answer who really is responsible for giving the greenlight for the operation. Although the speech of Noynoy was quite lenghty, news agencies were able to summarize the important parts.
“GMA News emphasized on the problematic statements of President Noynoy, such as not being able to directly answer who gave the “go” signal for the attack; his defense about being unaware that the SAF was about to go through with the operation, considering the SAF had been given the warrant of arrest beforehand and thus had the right to attack at any given moment; and his cluelessness as to why Roxas and Espina had been unaware of the operation. GMA also gave a different angle, as they had been able to come up with was providing the audience with the other side of the story—MILF Iqbal’s reason regarding why they attacked the SAF; a means of defense in their own part. GMA hadn’t given a general background overview on the operation regardin the clash, however.
“ANC News was more comprehensive in their reporting. They were able to provide context—a summary on the events that transpired during “Oplan Wolverine,” while paralleling them to particular parts of the speech stated by Noynoy. Their news coverage focused on the cluelessness of the President regarding answers he has yet to find out, after consultation with Board of Inquiry in the future; and the lack of coordination, that resulted in the killings. They were also able to provide information regarding MILF’s side—using an interview of Iqbal with DZMM as a source. Iqbal’s view was that coordination with the police and Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) should have been set before the operation. ANC also provided information in the Q&A that transpired after the speech, giving emphasis when the President said that the MILF doesn’t have a fault in any of this; stating that the camaraderie with them is even necessary to help clear things.
“Philippine Star was able to provide a general overview about the operation that had transpired; and their angle focused on Aquino’s being incapable of answering who was responsible behind giving the “go” signal. Something I noticed only in their article was their choice in focusing on the relationship between Aquino and suspended PNP chief Director Alan Purisma—someone whom the president had been in communication with regarding the operation, because he had been knowledegable about the plans being made.
“GMA and Interaskyon also devoted articles on the reactions of netizens regarding the speech. GMA had even set up a discussion and hashtag on Twitter for the general public to voice out their thoughts. They compiled the reactions into an article. The netizens had two views on the situation: either they were badmouthing the president for “washing his hands” and trying to act like a goody-two-shoes for lingering on and on (paliguy-ligoy) without actually directly answering the questions thrown at him; or they were empathetic about the families and the SAF that had been affected, saying that now is a time for mourning and that we should all pray for the affected.
“Generally, the news agencies had been able to write a “neutral” story– neutral, in a sense that were able to voice out the problematics stated in the speech without coming off as “rant-y” or showing any emotional bias to the news. They merely laid out facts and acknowledged the problematics in the speech. All the emotional biases and reactions were provided by the netizens.”