Communication and Media Education: Key to Bridging Differences
Communication is not just about hardware. More important is the involvement of the heart and soul in an attempt to touch other lives. As a young citizen of this country, I can't help but admire how such a short statement could address one of the country's major problems that causes unending conflict between Filipinos.
There are a lot of things that happen because people do not communicate effectively. All people want to do is talk, that they tend to forget the real essence of communication which should be a two-way process of talking and listening. Without listening, how do we understand what our fellowmen need?
Just look at the problem in Mindanao. The rebel groups whether MILF, MNLF or Abu Sayyaf all rooted their rough relationship with the government because both parties do not want to listen to each other. All they want to do is to impose demands on each other. But have they empathized with each other? The current war and conflict is not just an offshoot of poverty nor religious discrimination but a clash of ideologies, selfishness and stubbornness. Reasoning falls on deaf ears.
Aside from the real nature of communication, which is our focal point- we have to consider media which serves as the primary means of bridging gaps. Because Philippines is an archipelago, communication poses some challenge but with the aid of media connecting people has never been easier.
Everywhere and anywhere you go, you're just a dial away from your loved ones an in an instant you are connected. You need not wait for days or months to get intended messages across. Today with our modern technological advancement, messages are sent in split seconds. Be it TV, radio, newspaper, mobile phones, fax and other gadgets, there's always something to augment communication.
The irony is that the more technology advances, the more the media seem to dumb the Filipino audience. True or not, there is a clear indication that Filipino audience are highly affected by messages relayed by the media. More often than not, the messages are oppressing. This is why the audience has to be educated well and be more critical of the media content.
The youth, especially those who are going to work for the media should uphold truth and liberty. It might sound to hackneyed, but hopefully the younger generation can pave way to making a difference in the industry. Instead of mudslinging the media try to be the agents of change; of improving what needs to be improved. And maybe, media won't just bridge the gap but breakdown walls along the way.