Monday, November 09, 2009

Does the Philippines media overdramatize?

This is an actual bomb crater in Iraq as reported by MSNBC:

This is a bomb crater as reported by the Philippines media:

I'm seriously beginning to think that some of the Philippines' journalists have the same reporting standards as the gossip columnists and tabloid writers in the United States.  This type of sensationalism in the mainstream media creates a perception problem for the country, especially when it comes to foreign investment and foreign relations.

The Western intelligence community do not typically have front line assets in friendly countries to filter through the garbage to verify reports.  Whether these newspaper editors know it or not, the mainstream media headlines are translated into executive summaries, little one liners for heads of state and foreign ministers to read on their daily or weekly intelligence briefings.

For instance this article of  predawn explosions in Manila could be taken and translated as military grade bombs against key infrastructures in the country's capital, instead of what it truly is.  They are low grade, gasoline-in-a-Coke can pranks.

Multinational corporations also have their own risk and security assessment teams that scour through the Internet and media reports to send executive summaries to their employees abroad. Imagine this, if you are an employee of a Fortune 100 company working in Manila for the first time in your life, excited to see a new culture, and absolutely impressed with the megasize malls in Metro Manila....and then you get an email on your Blackberry --- YOU ARE UNDER ATTACK. HIDE FOR COVER, BOMBS IN MANILA! Stupid, right? But it happens all the time. From the unfair negative remarks against Mindanao to the bombs that's "rocked the capital" --- let's get real, shall we?

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