Wednesday, September 5, 2007

PROTECTING WITNESSES

In regard to the previous article, I have noticed a growing trend of witnesses being interviewed on national television. In some instances, their figurers are darkened, faces are blurred, shown from behind and/or their voices are distorted. However, since most of crime witnesses are known to the suspects or the people around the crime scene, it is not really difficult for the people involved to get an idea who the witnesses are.

In several past instances, supposedly anonymous witnesses have been exposed because of the sloppy media. For instance, a police general who spoke against the then PNP Chief Panfilo Lacson was exposed, a few minutes after being interviewed. It didn’t take long to figure out who the shadow (being interviewed) belongs to. Several rogue soldiers who anonymously read statements against the government were identified in the same manner. In regard to the witness in the hazing incident, I hope that nothing bad will happen to his family. This matter is of outmost concern since there is virtually nothing that can protect him, at this point. The witness is a poor and powerless citizen and the family members of the victim that he is helping are themselves poor and lives in a far province.

I’m telling you, I really won’t be surprised if he fails to identify those who brought the victim to the hospital or suddenly change his story. I won’t even be surprised if he ends up missing.

For the undue exposure of the witnesses, the blame exclusively belongs to the TV networks. In pursuit of that elusive scoop, they disregard the safety of their sources. I even suspect that the news people don’t really care what happens to the witnesses. All they are after is something that they can use to fill their airtime.
In fact should something happen to the witnesses, there will now be new material to show on air. The show continues.

2 comments:

jun.anteola said...

i so agree with this, and i find one particular tv station most reckless in this sense. the most they can is hide portions of the witness' face by pixelating the images? come on! it seems all they care about is the scoop, which, more often than not, is their biased hyping of the "news".

jc smith said...

It's sad to think that the press seems to think of it as nothing but business. Get that interview, air it and top the ratings. That way, more advertisers will come.

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