As a friend remarked, disasters bring out the best and the worst in everyone. When it comes to the latter, camaraderie in a profession gets thrown out the window—apparently, even among journalists covering the same event, witnesses to the same human tragedy.
There were good stories, like how, in Tacloban, Inquirer reporter DJ Yap was graciously given a ride by the GMA 7 team led by Jiggy Manicad. In another instance, however, a female newspaper reporter got a serious brush-off from an online reporter who got quite selective about who to lend his satellite phone to.
Newspaper girl had asked, and online guy had every imaginable excuse—he was charging, the signal was bad. That was fine, thought the girl; after all, it was his phone. Then, the online reporter proceeded to lend the phone out to every other news agency reporter who asked.
When newspaper girl tried again, he simply crossed his arms on his chest, and said coldly, “Them first.”
Now, we’re not sure if online guy (or his agency) had an axe to grind against newspaper girl (or her publication). Like we all know, there’s a time and place for everything. If you’re all trying to get a story out, then, really, your respective agencies aren’t going to fold up because you shared your resources. Or if you just didn’t like newspaper girl’s face, then maybe, under normal circumstances, you can be as much of a jerk as you want, and it will be your right. Then again, dude, these circumstances are anything but normal.
So: the best and the worst of Filipino journalists?