Too little too late is how I’d describe the token gestures of the Inquirer.net and its bricks-and-mortar rag to deliver “balanced” news. The Inquirer editor has been so imbalanced for such a long time that his efforts to be a bit more balanced comes across as quaintly infantile.
Consider the cover of today’s Philippine Sunday Inquirer, (2nd May 2010). Arnel Endrinal in his report on how the Inquirer is behaving today concludes that “judging from the news contents, including the photos featured, the Inquirer Front Page today did a favor to [presidential aspirant Gilbert C.] Teodoro”. And I gotta agree with Endrinal’s astute choice of words. It’s all just a favour, delivered with the sort of non-class that Filipinos are renowned for.
Indeed, Endrinal has been monitoring The Philippine Daily Inquirer Front Page since the 15th of April 2010. He has since kept score of how much coverage each candidate has been getting in that venerable institution of self-described fairness. Each day he assesses the Inquirer and decides on which candidate or set of candidates were given primary coverage on that day and assigns one point to that candidate or set of candidates for that day.
Here are the results as of today, Sunday, the 2nd of May after more than two weeks of monitoring:
Number of times the Inquirer favoured
a particular candidate on its front page:
All the rest: 0
Needless to say, the Inquirer editor has a lot of catching up to do if he is to meet commonsensical criterial on what it means for a newspaper to be fair and objective. But then with just seven days to go before the elections, Mr Editor has only got seven or eight points with which to work with to re-balance — not enough to tip the scales away from the elephantine 12 points popular presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III enjoys with that venerable relic of 1980’s emo politics. Considering too that those are seven points that have to be spread across four major competitors of Noynoy Aquino, that’s an evenly-distributed 60+ percent of people who will be voting against Noynoy who won’t be too happy with the way Inquirer has been living up to its responsibility to the Filipino people.
Look who’s laughing
all the way to the bank…