For the POC Pinoy LGBT: Queer vs. Media – Who watches the watchdog?

In time for the scheduled National Day of Outrage event today happening in several parts of the Philippines and abroad where Filipino queers are located, I created a solidarity series to share my views on the Jennifer Laude murder case that’s making the local media buzz — and making queer advocates cringe. Find out why in my series, as published in the Phil. Online Chronicles’ Pinoy LGBT channel. Other queer writers in our channel have also chimed in so read the multitude of queer voices there for added perspectives and insights.

I was planning to write just one article about this, maybe two. But backreading the news items, I can’t let this pass. This is media, this is writing, this is queer advocacy — elements of my life revolve around and within such themes, so I feel I have to say something, really. It’s quite close to home in more ways than one. I’m sure some folks could relate.

Here are some excerpts:


“Queer vs. Media: Who watches the watchdog?” (Part 1 of 4) – I set up the series with an intro on what’s going on, what’s this all about, and where I am coming from in my analysis. Inspired by the running theme in the graphic novel/movie work “The Watchmen” I take on that title and rework it for this series. An excerpt:

To watch the watchdog present the facts and describe the figures in this hot news item is a bit heartbreaking for a media practitioner who happens to be a member of the LGBTQ community as well. From the various newspaper reports, we could trace just where there are still gaps in the business of journalism and the practice of reporting. And the gaps are still scarily found in the basics: presenting the facts.


“Queer vs. Media: Who watches the watchdog?” (Part 2 of 4) – What’s in a name? This is the part where I discuss how Jennifer Laude was, according to a transwoman advocate ally, “murdered and misgendered” repeatedly by mislabeling her identity. Because it’s not just a name, but it’s an identity, they get wrong. An excerpt:

Obviously, Jennifer Laude’s prevailing identity in her life was that of a woman. Even her own mother has already accepted and embraced this fact. Her own mother gave her the name Jeffrey to write in her certificate of live birth. But for as long as she has chosen to live as Jennifer, stories suggest that her mother is okay with it. So my question is, if her own mother doesn’t have a problem with it, why do people have a problem with it?


“Queer vs. Media: Who watches the watchdog?” (Part 3 of 4) – I get down to business in analyzing examples of how PDI, Phil. Star, ABS-CBN News Online and GMA News Online reported the case. Screenshots of examples accompany my points. An excerpt:

While the rest of the global north media may have been practicing this for a while now, it is only now that we are trying to update ourselves to keep abreast of the latest in the world. For news organizations that should be preoccupied with delivering things that are NEW, isn’t updating one’s own style guide to accommodate newer developments a default thing to do? But alas, news organization = old guidelines. What’s a queer advocate to do?


“Queer vs. Media: Who watches the watchdog?” (Part 4 of 4) – And now for the home run, I analyze samples of a community media newspaper and an independent news outlet as they presented good examples of the pros and cons of writing about this issue. I conclude the series here with a hopeful encouragement as well of having our own LGBT community media. Yes, I am a dreamer, what can I say? An excerpt:

I’m always happy to note of the existence of alternative media and community media outlets anywhere, as I believe mainstream media should not be the sole conduits of information dissemination anywhere. However, alternative/independent and community-initiated media should also abide by basic journalistic codes of conduct both in the way they should run the paper and the way they present their stories. I should also add that these media outlets, especially the people behind them, should also conduct themselves in a manner that befits a respected practitioner of journalism.

So there. It’s interesting to note that as I finished writing this series, a whole new set of materials just popped out and begs to be analyzed further. I have to calm down first and I’ll see if I could add to this series pa. I am still debating whether I should touch upon how readers naman are commenting on social media. I still don’t have the heart to analyze that, because that entails analyzing the sad culture of a nation’s bias against people like us — like me. Saka na, ‘pag kaya na ng powers ng lola niyo.

Anyway insightful reading to all. Feel free to share. We need to educate further — and farther. I hope this helps.


~ by leaflens on October 24, 2014.

One Response to “For the POC Pinoy LGBT: Queer vs. Media – Who watches the watchdog?”

  1. Reblogged this on Lakbay Haraya.

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