In disini, Atty. Disini writes of an intriguing case of potential “digital murder”:
Thirtysomething blogs about the alleged hacking incident involving Level Up’s 2005 Ragnarok Philippine Championships.Ã‚Â Some guild masters believe that someone within Level Up Games hacked into their accounts and deleted their characters.Ã‚Â I’m not too familiar with the details but if what they say is true, then the crime of hacking has been committed.Ã‚Â What’s interesting for me is that this seems to be a case of digital murder because characters were irretrievably deleted.Ã‚Â In the end, however, the “murdered” victim was virtual — composed of so many 1 and 0’s.Ã‚Â So, the law treats it the same way as any other piece of electronic data without regard for its underlying value or other extraneous factors.
Disini also links to Media, which hsd, indeed, as Disini says, an interesting article on media bias. The note in the end is particularly interesting:
Anti-bias crusading as an elitist practice
Accuracy in Media claims the the news media are biased toward liberal politics. Fairness & Accuracy in Media
claims the the news media are biased toward conservative politics. Supporters of these views see one group as right and the other as wrong. But the reality is not that simple. Yes, AIM and FAIR each point out coverage that appears to bolster their various claims. At times, the media do seem to be biased one way or the other. What these groups don’t say, however, is that their mistrust of the media is also a mistrust of the people. Those who complain most about media bias would see themselves as able to identify it and resist it. They get upset about it because they question whether the average American is able to do the same. If the average American can identify it and resist it, then there is little need to get
upset about bias. The AIM and FAIR web sites are full of material to help hapless Americans avoid the cognitive ravages of the “evil” conservatives or the “slandering” liberals and their media lackeys. I believe the average American is quite capable of identifying problems with news coverage. In my opinion, crusading against political bias in the news media is an elitist practice.
Now in the Philippine context, I think the same applies as well. Philippine media and journalism hark back to the level of development (or, depending on your point of view, underdevelopment) of American media in the early to mid 20th Century, when media moguls ran their businesses like unenlightened despots. At the height of the newspapers’ influence in the country, that is, when newspapers were still a genuine mass media (today I think they’re not: too few people read and too few can afford papers to qualify the papers as mass media), people still often subscribed to more than one paper, while the papers that did lead the market, such as the pre-martial law Manila Times were known for the greater self-control of their owners than the others. The papers known for more blatantly espousing a party line never had large circulations.
Trust in the reader or the viewer is an iffy thing, in that I do think the market helps correct abuses, by the audience voting with its feet or pocketbooks; on the other hand, there is an ever-widening gulf between segments of the viewing and reading public. By this I mean that the tendency of the papers and other media to pander to sensationalism and show businesses (an inherent danger in the profession), becomes less and less subject to correction because the traditional guardians of some sort of ethical behavior, the middle class, is dwindling and its clout, as a result, evaporating. Hence the increased frustration of vocal middle class values exponents, who find themselves drowning in an ocean of indifference -they can’t dictate the market, because their influence is dwindling.
Meanwhile, in Philstar.com – The Filipino Global Community, Teddy Benigno writes off the younger generation:
But there is another media issue that rankles and disturbs me no end. The old journalists have died, even their immediate successors after World War II. The remaining ones like Amando Doronila, Max Soliven and myself are the vanishing breed, the last of the Mohicans. As in TV, so in print and radio, no promising youngsters have emerged. Women communications graduates, it seems, have almost all flocked to TV, the glamour medium where money is made more easily.
TV programs are mostly entertainment fare. Information is given short shrift. And most talk show programs are ignorant, insipid and imbecilic, the hostsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ delivery the continuing whine of a toadstool, and if they roar at all, it is an elephantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s trumpet call during the mating season. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mention names. They will be my enemies for life. Oh yes, there are one or two or three who are promising, but in the arid desert that is local TV, they will never fulfill that promise.
Red-hot issues with deep intellectual roots are not taken up at all. Gossip is the favorite fare, one-liners, a verbal slash or two, flicks of the camera where certified idiocy of face after face is beheld with wondrous awe.
Not having built up and trained the forward reserves for the next decade or two, Philippine media will just have to hack it like a pugilistic journeyman up against a bouncing ball that refuses to be snared. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers. In the past, we were never at a loss for good journalists.
Teddyman of course ignores the reality faced by all people working in traditional newspapers: the disappearance of readers. Young people are reading papers less and less; if they want news, there’s tv, or the online media, which of course derives much of its content from the newspapers, but which are putting together more modern ways to source information and present it. For example, Inq7.net derives content from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, but also has its own stable of reporters who, it must be said, are less susceptible to editorializing because of the need to provide news quickly and simply. Of course the process is only as good as the professionalism or ethical dedication of those supervising this transition; I can say with a great deal of assurance that the editor-in-chief of Inq7.net (who happens to be one of my best friends), tries to be responsive to the changing expectations of readers. For example, Inq7.net fully disclosed its ownership structure here in INQ7.net, Inquirer, GMA Network ownership disclosed – INQ7.net which is unprecedented. Most media outfits’ ownership is known through the rumormill, but open disclosure isn’t normally practiced. And yet, despite the murky nature of things, I suspect most readers and viewers know when to take reports with a grain of salt and when not to.