By: Queenie Resmundo
The COVID-19 is probably the most unwelcomed visitor of 2020. The pandemic has infected more than a million people across the globe and still counting, leaving the world in utter shock.
Most of the countries are now on a lockdown and trying hard to contain the spread of the virus. However, there are people who need to leave their homes and fulfill their responsibilities despite the situation – our frontliners.
Like the other frontliners, the media also has a valuable role in our society, especially in times of crisis, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst risks, they unceasingly deliver the latest news and updates as part of their commitment to inform the public. As Thomas Jefferson said, “A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry.”
According to DZRH senior reporter and announcer Sherwin Alfaro, being in the media already includes risking personal safety, and it has been part of their daily routine in bringing truth and justice in this society.
“As a media frontliner, it’s a role we, in the industry, swore. I think, this is the only way I can contribute to save humanity. Media is the only means of uniting everyone in the purpose of battling fear and misinformation which can lead to magnitude of death and desperation,” he shared.
Like any other frontliners – health workers, armed forces, supermarket staff, bankers, and the list goes on – people in the media also take part in the front lines, putting their health at risk the moment they go to fieldwork or offices. For them, every day is also a battle they have to win over.
“The media bears the responsibility for searching for truth – or at least its approximation – and delivering it to the public. ‘Round the clock, journalists verify information on the ground: at government offices, checkpoints, hospitals, public markets,” said Tony La Viña and Jayvy Gamboa in their article on Rappler.
“We see journalists brave through each day not merely for their livelihood, but to fulfill their roles as watchdogs, so the public can stay informed inside their homes,” it added.
“Not all heroes wear capes,” they say. But the media use pens, cameras, or microphones, as their swords. And as we know, the pen, as well as all the new tools of the trade, is mightier than the sword.
We understand the significance of the role that the media portrays in the society. Not only have they proven their dedication in covering calamities, warfare, or police stories which expose them to any harm, but they have also been fulfilling their pledge to serve the people by disseminating the correct information especially nowadays that fake news can quickly spread.
To our friends in the media, along with the other frontliners, we in ComCo Southeast Asia would like to thank you for your valuable work amidst any crisis, and for your contributions in building a well-informed society.