• Kim’s Dream
  • Orlando R. Ravanera

Information is power!  You inform to conscienticize the people so that they can act to be liberated from the vicious cycle of poverty. But if the outpourings of information are controlled by a few oligarchs, a few elite and a few powerful corporations to control the mindset of the people through the power of the mainstream media to perpetuate their heavy rakings under the guise of “prosperity for all,” then Press Freedom bows down to the dominant culture of the profit motive.

What has the mainstream media done to the mindset of the people? Bombard them with the gospels of materialism and consumerism that has produced a “throw-away” society? That gospel of information has brainwashed the people to give so much veneration to external looks, self-promotion and trivialities. Buy this, buy that so that you will be happy. Smoke “Marlboro to look macho, drink Coke as it adds life.” “Pasayawan ka lang sa TV ng isang guapong artista, panalo na!”

As owners of the mainstream media, these oligarchs continue to perpetuate their heavy rakings fronting the “trickle-down” development approach. Please tell them the truth that such so called “trickle-down” approach to the masses is just allowing what all those which already had passed the digestive system of cattle to be eaten by the poor. Don’t you know that in 2012 alone, only 50 families  pocketed 72% of the Gross Domestic Product? Who decides? Who controls? Who benefits? Only a few oligarchs! Well, these oligarchs also own the media outlets that are not informing us that one elite family is earning 500 billion pesos annually for buying foreign  products at a very low price but selling these at a high price. Don’t you know that a Lipitor pill is just bought in New Delhi at P0.35 but is sold at P85 in our country? That a bag of Ammonium Sulfate fertilizer bought in Ukraine at P50 per bag is being sold in Mindanao at P1500? Is this being told to the people? The opposite is true. Mainstream media through advertisements induce the consumers to buy! What Press Freedom are you talking about?

But such is just the “tip of the iceberg.” Globally, there seems to be a connivance in forming a wrong mindset and culture to perpetuate a wrong development paradigm, the contemporaneous economic model that only benefitted one per cent of the world’s population. This paradigm of imperialist globalization violently imposes the monoculture of greed and consumerism on all societies and the media calls it “economic reform.”

What is so puzzling is how the painful realties on climate change is being hidden by the media in connivance with climate change deniers “led by US President Donald Trump in cohort with fossil fuel global corporation.” Many studies have been done over time and these have never been published or broadcasted. To cite a few: a) “Climate change is increasing the global burden of disease and in the year 2000 was responsible for more than 150,000 deaths worldwide. Of this disease burden, 88% feel upon children.” b)  A Study shows that  some “400,000 deaths worldwide are linked to climate change each year, projecting deaths to increase to over 600,000 per year by 2030… Heat waves kill many, to be sure, but global warming also devastates food security, nutrition, and water safety.  Since mosquitoes and other pests thrive in hot, humid weather, scientists expect diseases like malaria and dengue fever to rise. Floods threaten to contaminate drinking water with bacteria and pollution. When the report looks at the added health consequences from burning fossil fuels – aside from climate change – the number of deaths jumps from 400,000 to almost 5 million per year.”

The Study concluded, “When disinformation by the media known to be false is systematically used to deny dangerous realities that harm public health and kills millions of people, the deception clearly crosses the line to become a crime against humanity.”

Information through the media must now be the liberating force be it against poverty by empowering the poor and the oppressed to be drawn into the mainstream of development processes or against climate change that is perpetuated by global corporations through the continuing use of fossil fuel or coal to perpetuate their massive rakings at the tune of 9 trillion dollars a year or 10 million dollars every minute. Indeed, “Veritas Liberabit Vos!”(the truth shall set us free!)  Be that voice as knowledge should be a liberating force not misinformation to promote consumerism, materialism, externalities and trivialities.

Gaia (Mother Earth) is being sacrificed to the altar of greed and profit by the oligarchs to perpetuate a flawed development paradigm that is using media to brainwash the people. Press Freedom is indeed so essential but one of liberation and not exploitation!