As some sectors of the Philippine mass media become more and more preoccupied with making the news instead of just reporting it, some mind-bending semantic and journalistic disasters are bound to happen. This is what Jose Carillo's English Forum found out during the second week of its media coverage watch of the national election campaign. Imagine a business paper coming up with a headline that Nonoy Aquino "padded his poll lead" in the final Social Weather Stations pre-election survey that the paper itself had commissioned, and a leading Metro Manila broadsheet coming up with a headline that creates the distinct imagery of vice-presidential bet Jojo Binay hog-tying his opponent Mar Roxas while Noynoy Aquino scampers away from the scene of the crime. Ridiculous? Yes, but true! Read all about these language gaffes and more in my special media coverage watch.
To cap its campaign to help the electorate sort out truth and falsehood from the torrent of propaganda engulfing the national election campaign, the Forum is once again running "A primer on political propaganda," a cautionary essay I wrote during the run-up to the 2004 national elections. Along with my three-part series on the logical and verbal fallacies that the Forum posted earlier this year, I think this essay is as timely and as relevant as ever today. Please take time to read it before voting on May 10.