RURAL VIEWS: Friends from the media

In the event venue, the organizers see to it that there is a press room complete with facilities and amenities.  They assign a media coordinator or committee to see to it that media people are well taken care of.

The special attention becomes even more apparent when you listen to the speeches, from the welcome statement to the closing remarks.

All the speakers start with acknowledgment of VIPs and guests, heads of offices, directors, department heads, etc.  Then, the introductory part usually ends with, “friends from the media.”

They are not referred to as editors, reporters, anchors, newscasters, columnists, or commentators. But they are called, “friends from the media.”

You may no longer notice it because it has become very common, but the repeated use of the phrase “friends from the media,” especially by politicians is just a little amusing. They will not say friends from the government agencies, or friends from the non-government organizations, or friends from the diplomatic corps.  They will say officials, heads, representatives or simply guests.  But when it comes to the media, they are extra congenial.  They will say, “friends from the media.”

The special attention given to the media is understandable.  And the press people deserve it. As the fourth estate, the media is acknowledged for its vital role in building a nation.

We need not thoroughly discuss the primordial role of the media in shaping public opinion.  One popular comedian even said that the media can make or unmake you.  Although he was not exactly correct.  The media can only show what you actually are.  As another prominent newspaper columnist puts it, the media mirrors the society.

The press people are of course friendly people who may have established friendly ties with the persons they work with in their corresponding beats.  They are just like any other human beings in other professions or vocations.

They can be your friends, in the true sense of the word, not used as politicians’ cliché.
You can count on the support of your friends from the media in times of needs.  And in most cases, not necessarily in terms of publicity.

After the closing remarks, the master of ceremonies will say: “In closing, thank you to our regional directors, heads of government agencies and non-government organizations, and other guests.  And to our friends from the media, thank you very very much.  Thanks again.  Salamat gyud!”