5 Significant Main Points:
- RATINGS STILL RULE: I have been giving talks on media and its impact on the audience, especially the children for many years now through forums for UNICEF, TV, KBP, MTRCB and different schools in the country. Very many good points are debated upon and agreed upon but in the end RATINGS is still the bottomline. RATINGS always RULE.
- THE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF MEDIA, ESPECIALLY TV: (as a potential educational tool) media is one of the most, if not the most powerful social force in our society. Media has elected a vice president and more than one senator, and has ousted a president. Never underestimate the impact of media on our society and family life, especially on the children. To understand why, let us look at how children learn values through media.
“Sampid ka lang” – 5-year old stamps her feet, may not know the word “sampid” but catches the emotion, absorbs the total image and uses the word correctly to express anger and insult. The look in the eye, the face, the body language, such is the power of IMAGES. It is powerful.
Children absorb values and images uncritically, totally, effortlessly, unconsciously and subliminally. It stays in their unconscious (especially when critical thinking has not yet developed).
- STUDY: on PBB done on different social classes: for ABC class, they view it as entertainment, for DE class, they view it as a source of knowledge, as education. So what do the masa learn?
It points to the AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY of media practitioners.
- MOST RAMPANT IMAGES: disasters, fighting, shouting, killings – a six-year old views the news and has nightmares.
Mini survey (UA&P) – children do not want to see killings and death, they want happy scenes. Let us listen to them. There are good shows like Batibot, Sineskwela, Hirayamanawari. But in TV shows, violence and LYING has become normal. Verbal insults presented as funny, putdowns, humiliations, making fun of appearances, disabilities are common.
THE MOST VIOLATED CORE VALUE IS RESPECT FOR THE PERSON’S DIGNITY.
- WHAT CAN BE DONE:
1st – understand and accept the power we have in our hands and reflect on how we want to use it. BE MINDFUL, not mindless.
2nd – decide on core values we want to impart. Honesty? Love of country? Etc. Use your powerful tool to do so.
3rd – Be conscious, mindful and deliberate not just follow the tide or current. Dignity, respect, diligence? Integrity? Honesty?
4th – most important – we need a leader who will start to change the rules to favor the interest and well-being of the children. A leader who has the power to chart a new course, will use his power to DARE change media responsibility to educate and impart new values, a leader who is willing to DARE TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
As Abraham Lincoln said: “Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”