Speech Unchanging Dreams and Media's Role

Manila Bulletin, July 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

Speech Unchanging Dreams and Media's Role


I also greet and congratulate the officers and members of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators for having been given the honor of being the lead agency for this particular event.

And to the leaders of communication education in Asia present here today, I say that our country is pleased and proud to host the AMIC Annual Conference once again.

To those of you who are visiting the Philippines for the first time, I extend the invitation for you to experience the warmth and hospitality of our people, as well as the beauty of our tourist destinations. I am sure that you will be delighted to discover that both the character of our people and the tourist spots in our country would remind you so much of home.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the Asian Communication Education Community, please feel at home here in the Philippines.

Promoting a sense of community

At the end of the day, I believe: That is what the developments in global communication have done - they have made us feel that home is no longer just our respective countries. Home is the world.

And peoples of other countries, regardless of race, creed, and political persuasion, have become part of a virtual village community where we all share similar challenges and aspirations.

Again, at the end of the day, I believe: That is what media is all about - it brings peoples of diverse interests, motives, and dreams into a world where they share a sense of community.

In whatever field a media practitioner might consider himself in - communication, journalism, or broadcasting - his mission is the same: To help remove people's false sense of isolation, to help them realize that no man is an island, and get them to participate in the life of that important organization to which we all belong. And that organization is called: Team humanity.

Three decades in media

I had been in media for more than three decades. As a broadcast journalist, I have covered nearly all aspects of the life of men and societies. As a young field reporter in the 70s, I closely followed and reported the unfolding political turbulence in our country. In the 80s, I closely followed and reported the determined efforts by our people to rebuild our democratic institutions. in the 90s, I closely followed and reported how our government is using those democratic institutions to build better lives for our people.

During those three decades, I witnessed the evolution of the various tools of media. In the 1970s, Philippine print media and radio on the am band were the primary shapers of public perception and opinion the 1980s, television expanded its influence in perception and opinion formation. And in the 90s, cable television expanded its presence in our country, together with the emerging tools of digital media. Both media forms hooked us up faster with the rest of the world and significantly changed the way we looked at life and ourselves.

Three decades of broadcast journalism experience. Three decades that saw the many shifts in political, social, and economic events. Three decades that saw the rapid evolution of the tools and technologies of communication.

Unchanging dreams

But amid these changes, there are two things that, I believe, remained basically the same. Constant. Unchanging.

One is dreams. The other, the role and mission of media.

Let me talk about unchanging dreams. In the 1970s, the political turbulence in the Philippines, which I covered as a young broadcast journalist, was mainly fueled by two factors. First factor: Widespread poverty. Second factor: Injustice.

In the 1980s, our peoplepowered efforts to restore our democratic institutions received much boost from two important aspirations among our people. Aspiration one: To rise above poverty. Aspiration two: To fight injustice.

In the 1990s and until today, we are using our democratic institutions to address two vital issues. …

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