ArchivesAugust 2010Journalism Prof. defends media coverage of hostage-taking

Journalism Prof. defends media coverage of hostage-taking


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A journalism professor has defended media’s right to report on the botched Manila hostage crisis, even as he slammed the negotiators for doing a poor job.{{more}}

Dr. Crispin C. Maslog, former director of the Silliman University School of Communication, said media has a right to report activites that involve the public and there should be no control over their activities except the usual ones, where media should not show violence or bloody pictures so as not to offend the taste of young people.

Maslog was speaking to alumni and faculty of the SU College of Communication Thursday on the occasion of the alumni homecoming in connection with the University’s 109th Founder’s Day.

“The hostage negotiators handled their job poorly. We need professional negotiators. I was suffering when all the policemen were pounding the windows and it took them 11 hours to have the thing opened. That’s a blow to the image of the Filipinos abroad,” Maslog said.

The bottom line was that media had a right to report; they should have handled the negotiations better, the former Manila Bureau Chief of the Agence France Presse-turned academician said.

He said that the biggest blunder of the police was when they arrested the hostage-taker’s brother, which was broadcast on TV and seen by the hostage taker. “That was really a mistake. It was the fault of the police rather than the hostage taker. They should have known that,” he said.

Maslog also said President Noynoy Aquino may not be blamed for the incident because he has not yet gone around to talking with police for procedures on things like this, “but that’s an area he should look at.”

Maslog also taught at the UP Los Banos and after his retirement in 1998, taught in schools in the United States, Singapore and Norway.
“You can never really retire if you love your work. You should not retire if you love your work because that’s the fastest way to the grave,” he advised his former students.

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