Monday, March 14, 2011

News anchors' misdemeanor during a Japan quake interview

News anchors are figures who are looked up to by the public. They hold vital positions in the society and can influence popular opinion.
While taking breakfast, I tuned in to a popular online Philippine radio. The veteran anchor-commentators held an interview to an earthquake expert discussing the Fuskushima nuclear power plant that exploded a few days ago following Japan’s 8.9-magnitude temblor last week.
During the course of the discussion, the anchor asked the expert, "Maaapektuhan po ba ang tulong na tinatanggap natin sa Japan?," referring to whether or not Japan's aid to the Philippines will be cut.
His co-anchor later said, "Sa Japan naman nagsimula iyan, sa Japan din..." not completing his statement, which meant the disaster started from Japan, Japan will also...
They went further discussing for a few moments and felt sorry that the Philippines obtain projects from Japan's authorized agencies such as the JBIC and JICA, and I had the notion they felt sorry the Philippines won't get more donations from the heavily-damaged country, which understandably the devastated country needs itself.
I deem that such statements are uncalled for, totally selfish without regard to the welfare of a great nation who had been the Philippines’ biggest donor country over the years. It is "mendicancy mentality" in action.
In fact, the Philippines is the fifth largest borrower and recipient of technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). And who owns the ADB?
Manila is also the ADB’s largest client for approved private sector loan, equity investment, and guarantee operations.
Those are only some examples of the help we had been receiving from them.
Then there is the tourism industry, businesses, government scholars, etc.
During the two great disasters that hit northern Philippines in 2009--typhoons Ketsana and Parma--I was witness to the Japanese’s generosity in sending financial support. They even helped us raise funds for the typhoon victims. How the Filipino community in Sapporo appreciated all their assistance.
I feel ashamed by what the two popular Filipino anchors said on national radio. It was insensitive to say the least. I apologize to the Japanese people on their behalf.
If any, the Philippines should spearhead helping them in any capacity it could.
I hope that this will serve as a lesson to all who are supposed to be responsible to every word they will say to the public.

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