To avoid misquoting the President-elect Duterte and end up distorting the facts, a Mindanao-based journalist offers her unsolicited advice to fellow journalist in a viral post.
In a Facebook post shared 190 times as of Thursday evening, veteran journalist Edith Ging Z. Caduaya published an article containing important survival tips for fellow journalists who will be assigned to cover the incoming President.
In the post, Ms. Caduaya felt nostalgic and recalled what the newspaper editor told her when she was tasked to cover President-elect Duterte 20 years ago.
Study Duterte’s mouth and his body language for you to understand him better.
Please read the full text of her post below for your indulgence:
Understanding Duterte’s mouth
President-elect Mayor Rody Duterte is now the subject of the media after he issued a statement about some members of the Philippine Press.
I used to cover Duterte as my news source for more than two decades now.
Covering his press conferences and his day to day activities as mayor of Davao was more of a challenge than just a coverage.
First, Duterte talks the way he thinks on the issue and you cannot stop him from explaining when he wants to emphasize certain points.
Davao media is aware that Duterte sometimes use a particular case to contextualize what he means to emphasize his point.
“Interviewing Duterte sometimes mean, you need to do a research because he often give you a figure of speech and if you do not know the issue you will end up misquoting him,” says one of my mentors when I was about to join the mainstream media in 1992.
The editor who fielded me to the daily newspaper specifically pointed out “study Duterte’s mouth and his body language for you to understand him better.”
True enough, for how many years covering the Duterte mayorship, I heard in many instances, Duterte ended up asking the media “is this what you mean? please repeat your question, I didn’t get it”.
During interviews, Duterte provides every answer to your question.
But IF YOU TAKE HIS WORDS HOOK LINE and SINKER AND WITHOUT CONTEXTUALIZING IT, YOU WILL END UP MISQUOTING HIM AND YOUR INTERPRETATION OF FACTS WILL BE DISTORTED.
His recent statement about the media killing was A TYPICAL situation, he was asked “what is your policy on media killing?’
I guess Duterte answered on the premise that a broadcaster was killed in Metro manila and he went on with his usual explanation about how the media work and how some members of the media who are on the take works.
But he emphasized, “There are so many good members of the media.”
Now, the question and the answer was not contextualized–the result?? oh well, SOME MEDIA GROUPS URGED JOURNALIST TO BOYCOTT the Duterte press conference.
But, during the last three weeks, Duterte only held three announced press conferences– In many occasions, it was the media who spied and held ambush/tipped interviews.
Now, who gets what?
What are your thoughts on this?
SOURCE: Edith Ging Z. Caduaya
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Mindanao-based veteran journalist to Manila-based colleagues: “Understand Duterte’s mouth”