Media as Power: The Power of Media

I was asked to deliver the closing remarks in our recently concluded and well attended Gawad Lasallianeta Award at De La Salle Araneta University. The award was the final class project of our Senior High School Students in their Media and Information Literacy class. It was meant to honor the most influential Philippine media practitioners in print, broadcast, radio, TV, and social media. Media personalities graced the occasion  (one awardee was honored as the most effective endorser), so the whole University was so excited and so was I. 

But my feeling turned to a little disappointment because when it was my time to use the mic, the awardees left already save for about four of them. I was disappointed because I wanted them to hear my remarks about the power of media.

Thank  God, there is this blog.

I hope they read this and learn something. So here are some of the words I would have liked our media personalities to hear:

Recognitions and awards are meant to inspire us to become the best persons we can be in whatever field we are in. We are in the midst of some of the best and most influential media practitioners this afternoon. Congratulations once again.

Allow me to close this 1st Gawad Lasallianeta Awards by posing some challenges to all of us especially to you our awardees by making sense of the power of media.

First challenge is how do we view power?

Malcolm X, one of the great leaders of the civil rights movement in the US said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

This is what we call influence. This power to influence when placed upon the wrong hands can be disastrous as what happened to us 45 years ago when Marcos declared Martial Law. As the philosopher Voltaire said, with great power comes great responsibility. How responsible are we with the power bestowed on us?

One of the powers entrusted to us is the power to communicate. The questions for us to reflect are: How do we communicate? What do we communicate? For whom do we communicate?

Our hope as an academic institution who recognizes you our dear media practitioners is that you continue to communicate the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.