Sunday, April 20, 2008

Gorrell and lifestyle journalism

Luis Teodoro, PJR Reports editor and BusinessWorld columnist, writes an insightful essay on the Brian Gorrell controversy. He tackled issues related to blogging and journalism, including ethical and professional standards as well as libel. The controversy, he writes, highlighted the problems of corruption and lack of professionalism in journalism.


Teapot tempest
Vantage Point
BusinessWorld
April 4, 2008

"(T)here’s a real story in the Gorrell to-do, and it’s in how journalism — or what passes for it in the lifestyle pages — is so far gone in corruption and unprofessional conduct, among other reasons because many of the people who’re into it are there not for their skills as journalists but for their claimed connections with the high and mighty. That’s what mainstream media can be condemned for — for allowing this to happen: nay, for encouraging and abetting it, to the detriment not only of people like Gorrell but also and primarily that of the foolish Filipinos who follow the lifestyles of their self-proclaimed betters more assiduously than they do extra-judicial killings."

Read more here.

Speaking of lifestyle journalism, I remember an article I wrote for the old Philippine Journalism Review back in 2003 ("The Society Page: Weddings, Birthdays and Other Earth-shaking Events"). That year, the Philippine Daily Inquirer hired society columnist Maurice Arcache. This prompted Inquirer founder Eugenie "Eggie" Apostol to ask the paper to remove her name from the staff box "forever" on the day Arcache's column appears in the Inquirer. Having his column in the country's largest and most influential broadsheet, Apostol then wrote board chair Marixi Prieto, "will be a great disservice--yes an insult!--to your readers. His froth and frippery would contribute nothing to the nation-building to which Inquirer is pledged."

Although I did not write about freeloading activities in lifestyle/society journalism (as alleged by Brian against some "Gucci Gang"members), I wrote that the lifestyle/society pages are regarded as major sources of advertising and circulation revenues for newspapers. Many advertisements, most of them catering to the social and moneyed elite, appear in these pages . It is also not surprising to see a columnist lavishly praising a certain product or service and alongside the column piece, a full-page ad on the product or service the columnist was gushing about.

Since it first appeared locally in fashion magazines such as El Bello Sexo (The Fair Sex) and La Illustracion Filipina during the Spanish period up to the present, one thing can thus be said about the society/lifestyle page, I wrote. "(T)he society page is symbol as well as representation of the divide between the classes, a clear demarcation line on who's rich and powerful, and who's poor and powerless in Philippine society."

2 comments:

luthien said...

pano kaya kung napunta ako sa lifestyle...? ngii kamuntik na. buti na lang sa iba ako napadpad. yung contemporary ko andun pa rin.

Dana said...

grrr. i hate that controversy.

walaaaa lang.

 
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