Monday, August 27, 2018

Piñol calls out Inquirer over malicious article: NATIONAL NEWSPAPER INCREDIBLY PRINTS THRASH AS BANNER STORY





DA Secretary Manny Pinol / file photo from Philstar


On Monday, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol took on Facebook as he calls out the Philippine Daily Inquirer which is also known as the Inquirer over its “thrash” article, as the DA chief describes it.

Inquirer, a known private newspaper company bearing the “Balance News, Fearless Views” slogan was hit by Piñol for publishing an “outrageously malicious” story titled "NFA: 330,000 OF IMPORTED RICE INFESTED WITH WEEVILS."


“I am calling out the Philippine Daily Inquirer editors on this story simply because it is outrageously malicious and should have never passed the news desk.” He said on a Facebook post

The DA chief went on details by dissecting each paragraph that he believed were untrue, baseless and malicious.

Below is the complete post of Sec. Manny Piñol

NATIONAL NEWSPAPER INCREDIBLY PRINTS THRASH AS BANNER STORY
By Manny Piñol

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, which I must admit I read almost everyday, has sadly sank so low in its editorial standards that it is now publishing stories which otherwise should have been thrown to the waste basket.

I am referring to this banner story attached to this post which came out yesterday, August 26, titled "NFA: 330,000 OF IMPORTED RICE INFESTED WITH WEEVILS."

Now, read the first two paragraphs of the story so that you will understand why my guts churned and I almost threw up after going through it.

"Consumers may be wondering why the rice or fish they are eating have a funny taste.

"The rice may have been sprayed with insecticide and the “galunggong” (round scad) laced with formalin."

Worse, in the latter part of the story, this paragraph appeared out of nowhere:*

"The Department of Health, however, has cautioned the public against eating galunggong imported from China amid reports that the fish was laced with formalin, a chemical used to preserve corpses."

As a former journalist myself (I was a newsdesk editor of both Philippine News Agency and Tempo for many years), I have always adhered to the basic tenets of newswriting and that is a news story must provide answers to the 5 Ws and one H.

Five Ws stand for "What?," "When?," "Where?," "Why?" and "Who?" while the H stands for "How?"

Any news editor worth his salt would immediately massacre the first two lines with a red ink simply because they are all assumptions.

Let us dissect the first paragraph using the basic 5 Ws and one H.

"Consumers may be wondering why the rice or fish they are eating have a funny taste."

Who were the consumers who were wondering about the funny taste of rice or fish?

Why and When did they experience the funny taste of the rice or fish?

Where did this happen and How did this happen?

Clearly, the paragraph is a figment of the imagination of the writer or maybe a naughty news editor.*

Let us go to the second paragraph:

"The rice may have been sprayed with insecticide and the “galunggong” (round scad) laced with formalin."

Who said it?; When did it happen?; Where did happen?; How did it happen?

Again, the paragraph falls flat in the face of these basic questions and is simply an assumption made probably by the same naughty editor.

The third paragraph in question is actually a perfect example of a misplaced and malicious item in what could otherwise have been a plain and simple reporting on Weevils in the rice stocks of the NFA.

"The Department of Health, however, has cautioned the public against eating galunggong imported from China amid reports that the fish was laced with formalin, a chemical used to preserve corpses."

Who in the Department of Health issued the advisory?

When were the tests conducted?

Why was the information that Formalin is used only for corpses injected in the story?

Well, here are some facts about Formaldehyde:

"Formaldehyde is a simple chemical compound made of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. All life forms – bacteria, plants, fish, animals and humans – naturally produce formaldehyde as part of cell metabolism.

"Formaldehyde has a long history of safe use in the manufacture of vaccines, anti-infective drugs and hard-gel capsules. For example, formaldehyde is used to inactivate viruses so they don’t cause disease, such as the influenza virus in making the influenza vaccine.*

"Formaldehyde-based chemistry is essential in the production of many personal care and consumer items. These products may contain formaldehyde-releasing ingredients, which act as a preservative to kill microorganisms and prevent growth of bacteria and other pathogens, extending product shelf life."

This simply means that a very low dose of Formaldehyde in fish is not a proof that it has been doused with Formalin and that Formaldehyde is not only used to preserve corpses but also as an anti-viral compound and disinfectant.

I am calling out the Philippine Daily Inquirer editors on this story simply because it is outrageously malicious and should have never passed the news desk.

I do not claim to be a better news editor than those sitting in the Inquirer editorial desk now but I have to be very frank with these people whom I consider as colleagues in journalism (even if I now work with government) - THIS STORY SUCKS!

You are not only scaring people. You are also spreading ignorance as well.

Calling out Inquirer Editor-in-Chief Joey Nolasco: You can do better than this, my friend!

screen-capped image of DA Pinol's Facebook post 




Source: Manny Piñol