The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is appalled by the utterly uncalled for and, in the end, unjustified public confrontation pro-administration social media enabler Sass Rogando Sasot forced on BBC Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head as she took umbrage over the British network’s interview of Jover Laurio, who is behind the anti-administration Pinoy Ako Blog.
We are sure the BBC is fully capable of explaining the circumstances behind the Laurio interview and as equally confident Sasot can expound in detail why she is so angered that a “very minor blogger” deserved notice by the international network after her identity was outed “but not someone like me whose social media following is way, way higher than her, whose Facebook engagement is way, way higher than her.”
What we do object to, however, is the gall with which she lambasted and attempted to blame a journalist for content published by his outfit in which he had neither control nor participation, points she eventually had to acknowledge.
But the fact aside that all that Sasot succeeded in doing was betray her utter ignorance about how the media work, confronting Head over content that, as she most probably knew, he had nothing to do with sets a dangerous precedent if her deplorable behavior is emulated by the wide following she claims.
Such an indiscriminate attitude of singling out people because of mere affiliation with media outfits Sasot and her ilk, as well as their followers, may disagree with or find objectionable is extremely dangerous and can only worsen the impunity with which the profession and its practitioners are attacked in what has long remained as one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists.
We note that Sasot was with Assistant Communications Secretary who should have known her job well enough that what Sasot was doing was not only wrong but dangerous.
Atty. Jo Clemente, acting chair
Dabet Panelo, secretary general