Here we talk about the tax evasion case versus Rappler, as an off-shoot of its defense versus the SEC order to close it down. Also whether or not the support for Rappler and Ressa have died down, whether or not they are being singled out by the Duterte government, and getting some perspective on the notion (spin?) of dissent that Rappler uses to fashion itself as hero. Part 1 is here.
Do you have any observations or reactions on how other local newsrooms have responded to the tax evasion charges against Rappler and Ressa? Do you think that they’ve lent enough support to them, or otherwise?
I do think the support for Ressa and Rappler has died down compared to early 2018 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered its closure. I’d imagine this to have been brought on by a number of things. There’s the possibility that mainstream media entities feel they have no choice but to fall silent about freedom of the press issues lest they become Duterte’s next targets. I’d like to think that to some extent many media practitioners can see right through this spin that fashions Rappler and Ressa as heroes, even as so many others are doing the same work they are — if not better work than they are. I’m sure there’s also the part where media entities just make that decision about which issues matter more — after all in the time of Duterte, when impunity, oppression, misogyny, and incompetence are on the rise, what to use our energies on is the first decision we make. (more…)