President Noynoy And The Working Press
Perception is reality.
The spanking new Secretary of Education, venerable Lassalian Brother Arwin Luisto broke the ice, in a manner of speaking in this simmering mini brouhaha over how the new administration has been relating with the working press.
The erstwhile De La Salle University president showed in bias against how licentious the Philippine media can be when he quite unnervingly said the new media “doesn’t help at all” in accurately reporting about the DepEd’s introduction on sex education modules at the elementary school level.
Then followed the news conference called by newly-minted Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda about Memorandum Circular Number 1 on the month-long reprieve for appointive officials who do not have career service eligibility and those who are co-terminus with the previous President.
Both officials were observed as having “mishandled” their maiden media encounters, leaving no less than President Noynoy Aquino to apologize for them and direct that Cabinet officials “undergo workshops on how to handle media.”
Before these two ‘face-to-face’ slip-ups, there was of course the episode with the website of Malacanang – http://op.gov.ph which still had Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as sitting President two days after P.Noy’s inaugural.
According to two sources, the web site had been left unattended as the contractual officials baby-sitting the op.gov.ph “were away.”
The result was no one had the administer password for the web site and no one had issued instructions to revamp it to reflect the entry of a new dispensation.
My humble take on this:
Call it “ fine-tuning,” call it versioning issues with MC 1 or other issuances, call it problems with media handling or on-line operations, the core issue always is whether messaging reflects what is reality.
Short fuses or prevarication never helps.
The perception you create and leave is THE REALITY THAT PEOPLE SEE THROUGH THE MEDIA PRISM.
And the buck stops with whoever is President.
His political capital, no matter how immense, is expended improperly when the communications effort is mishandled.
There are more important problems facing us.
Yet another, possibly troublesome, angle in this issue is emerging according to veteran journalist Ellen Tordesillas:
She’s now reporting that there’s “a stand-off ” at the Malacanang press office: