COTANGENT – By Daphne Cardillo
The past few weeks I’ve been listening to the radio almost nightly; Tiya Dely Magpayo’s program at dzRH and then Livewire at our own Radyo Diwa. And if there is anything that has greatly revolutionized public service and our way of life, it is text messaging.
Cellular phones have long existed in the First World countries but are mainly used for making calls and not for text messaging. I don’t know but people there perhaps cannot trust a simple text message. You’re more assured of a noticeable voice on the other line in a phone conversation. But here in our country peopled by those prone to small talks, tsismis, or simple chit-chats, text messaging is a trend. Well, text messaging is our new way of life and this holds true in our neighboring states.
Meanwhile, radio gives you a direct feel of what’s going on around the country, around town. For it reports immediately daily happenings in local governance, peace and order situation, public health and many other incidents of everyday life, be they of great or small importance.
Radio also gives you the pulse of the people in a way more accurate than poll survey does. And with text messaging, the feedback you get from the people is instantaneous, free, and unaffected. People’s response is immediate and honest and could range nationwide. Filipinos abroad who are tuned in to the program also drop their comments.
In the process, information and feedback is fast and clear, attending to the immediate concerns of ordinary people’s lives that cannot be easily addressed by government. In a way, the interaction “on the air” is a gauge for government to come in, to be more effective in answering to the people’s needs, and be more accountable in its mode of governance.
Unlike the newspapers which screen newsworthy stories, issues
tackled on radio are more reflective of our situation for they range a wide variety of topics from politics to religion. Advocacies in health and environment are widely discussed with references and contacts here and there. The public is being made aware, mobilized, and even organized.
The DZRH program in particular with Tiya Dely Magpayo as host is a very interesting form of public service. Guests range from a host of medical doctors giving free services, sportsmen, politicians, authors, public servants and a host of others who have advocacies to tell. And at 87, the grand dame is so adept at culling information in a conversational manner and with good humor.
Television is entertaining, but it is the medium for globalization. You get bombarded with advertisements from multinational corporations and imbued with stories of different cultures. In the long run you try to adopt the way of life promoted on TV; from what to eat, wear, household items to use, etc, etc. Even news on the big cable networks is slanted to protect great powers in business and politics. Television indeed is the fastest medium for colonization and the eradication of cultures in captive states.
So to get the truer picture of what’s going on around the country, around town, tune in to your radio every now and then and listen to the real situation of the people in our midst. It can be amazing.