22 September 2015

How Far Can Badua Go?

Censored Press
Press Freedom Or Responsible Journalism? Basketball experts and followers may not have been prepared to answer this question or may wonder why they have to answer it in the first place after the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) decided to ban Snow Badua, a writer from Spin.ph.

According to Commissioner Chito Narvasa, Badua was banned from all of the league’s activities, including covering the games, for making incessant and baseless attacks against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel governor Alfrancis Chua.

Let’s pause and just reconsider the PBA just did. Was that really necessary? Is the PBA protecting Chua instead of asking him to explain about the Abby Poblador sexual revelation about their alleged affair? Is PBA curtailing freedom of the press by denying everyone the right to freedom of opinion and declaration … without interference ... regardless of frontiers ( UN 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights)?

While the PBA may argue that freedom of the press does not include the license to pass off half-truths and rehashed rumors as news, genuine opinions and constructive criticism as well as intellectual discourse unfortunately often gets caught in the dragnet of the authorities eager to clamp down on those spreading news with ulterior motives.

Online discussion is almost divided on the decision of the PBA, but if we remove the past hatred for Badua’s uncontrollable and less-desirable personality, almost everyone condemns PBA’s one-sided action. There was not even a public discourse that seeks to bring all interested and aggrieved parties in one table.

In the long run, the poor press relation move by the PBA reflects badly on the state of professional basketball league in the country and this in turn, will unquestionably leave a negative impact to the international community.

A free and vigilant sports press is crucial to restrain social injustice in the league that is constantly plague by accusation of allowing lopsided trades, nepotism and cultivating the presence of farm teams. Badua may not be the ideal journalist, but at least he enabled all opinions coming from the general public to be heard.

The media restriction imposed by the PBA also badly reflects on the country as a whole and affect the manner of the economic management and other national developmental issues.

Whether the society is democratic or not, can be defined by the factor of independent press and mass media in a particular country. After all, the main functions of mass media, be it broadcast, print and online media are to cover the events, gather and disseminate news or information.

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