When should journalists stand aside from coverage?

I’ve seen some comments re Tunying and Gerry, dzMM’s popular anchors, inhibiting themselves from commenting on the Iglesia ni Cristo mess. READ various INC reports, starting with this.

I think it’s the right decision. Very, very right.

Look, we all know by now the INC dynamics. We’ve heard both sides speak on deep-seated tendencies to obey — others say “blindly” but that’s a judgment call. It would be very hard to see our INC colleagues — and there is nothing wrong with being of that faith, as far as I’m concerned — as disinterested (never mind, objective) parties.

By the very nature of their faith dynamics, that would be very hard.

As events unravel, it’s stand with the powers-that-be or bolt with the others, or mull over the situation. I have no idea where both stand. And I will respect their personal stands.

But, face it, whatever the two will say will be construed differently, depending on where the audience is coming from.

That would be like a Mrs. Somebody commenting on Anderson Cooper’s reportage on Yolanda. Or the sister of a convict reporting or commenting on her brother.

Too near to the topic, too invested (and I DO NOT INTEND TO IMPLY financially).

This goes beyond journalists having opinions and sentiments on issues and trying their best to be fair to all sides. By the dynamics of their faith, every INC member is now a main actor — even just to themselves — in the unfolding drama. CHECK THIS OUT

An instagram post on an abs-cbnnews.com slideshow
An instagram post on an abs-cbnnews.com slideshow

If they stand with the powers or if they bolt, they become news subjects, right?

If I were their editor or director — I am not — I would ask them to desist from reporting and commenting on the issue.

Any good commentary stems from reportage. There are times you need to take reporters away from coverage.

I think Tunying and Gerry did the honest thing, whether you like them or not.

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