Breaking News as of 5:24 am today from DZMM reporter Ruby Tayag: Nobody was killed by cops or by extrajudicial means in the last 12 hours today (or overnight “sa magdamag“) in the Philippines. Balita! Lahat ng tao, nakauwi nang … buháy sa kanilang mga pamilya. Exclusive ho: Walang namatay — tama ho — walang namatay!!! ngayong magdamag. (“News scoop: Everybody got home safe to their families today. Exclusive to ABS-CBN: Nobody was killed —– you got that right, nobody was killed!!! overnight today.”)
Based on the traditional “elements of news” (prominence, proximity, relevance, consequence, conflict, crime, tragedies, wars, epidemics, sex and violence, human interest, oddity or the oft-quoted “when a dog bites a man it’s not news, when a man bites a dog it’s news”)—
this report: “no- one — was killed today” should not be news, or is not normally news (the operative terms being “not normally”)…
When you’re explaining the traditional elements of news to wide-eyed sophomores, you sometimes use the extreme reverse to illustrate — by posing the following hyperbolic questions:
Howcome … (dramatic pause for emphasis) it is never bannered or reported as news that : “No airplanes… (dramatic pause) crashed today” or “All airplanes … landed safely today”, or “No cars … crashed on the highway today” or “All commuters got home safe today” or “No public funds were stolen today” or “All public funds were accounted for today” or … this report: “No one … was killed today”. Or “Everyone got home safe today”… That’s not news, right? Howcome? howcome… and then the discussion on the elements of news starts…
the killing spree occurring under the Duterte administration, extrajudicially, or denied as extrajudicial by the President, has changed the face of journalism in this country forever, or hopefully not forever for all of our sakes.
When photojournalists and reporters in the police beat are all reeling from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that they need to let out in documentaries and visual diaries and journals about what is happening to them while they photograph piles of dead bodies every night, something very abnormal and dysfunctional is happening not just to our photojournalists and our crime beat reporters but to the psyche and sanity of the entire nation.
The elements of news by then, or by this time, should be the least of our concerns — because something more fundamental and transcendental about our humanity is being violated.
Or perhaps, this – no one being killed in the last 12 hours in the Philippines this day – actually meets the elements of news:
(the Youtube video below is rated R16 by the blog admin for containing too many unnecessary profanities; click the soundcloud pod to stop the music, below the video, if you want to hear the profanities)
Now playing: It’s a Miracle, written and performed by Barry Manilow.