Pauline sister alarmed by ‘violent, obscene’ tabloid stories

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MANILA, Nov. 28, 2014 — A Daughter of St. Paul on Tuesday raised concerns over the violence and obscenity being peddled by a number of tabloid newspapers in the country today.

Some of these dailies flood the streets of Metro Manila with violent and lewd stories, assailing the moral weakness of the young, said Sr. Pinky Barrientos (FSP).

Sr. Pinky Barrientos, FSP working during a recent news coverage. (Photo: Fr, Leonido Dolor)

“Violence and sex are the staples of tabloid reporting,” she said. “The more controversial, the more appealing is the story to ordinary readers.”

According to Barrientos, tabloid stories usually magnify the actual extent of violence and bare more flesh in every print [publication], to sell rather than to inform, influencing the readers, especially the young.

“What we read shapes our mind, for better or for worse,” noting that the daily breakfast on violent stories could damage the sense of young people and later make violence an acceptable part of human community,” she said.

With nude photos and promiscuous stories greeting the eyes of the readers each day at sundown, Barrientos fears the society’s “moral collapse.”

Some tabloid newspapers have thrived by insulting the humanity of a person, noted the sister, who also serves in a media apostolate.

Headlines that lack for sympathy, like “Kelot dedo sa lasing” (Drunk kills man), are making money, Barrientos observed, by offending not only the soul of the departed, but also the sensitivities of the bereaved.

Barrientos agreed tabloids could useanother word rather than “dedo” to respect the dead and his family.

And if the victim of sexual abuse is alive, the assault to her dignity is made worse by headlines that further demean her womanhood in public to sell the paper.

“We need to be critical,” she said. “Not everything we read is good for us.”

Barrientos believes media are supposed to be tools for setting society right when it makes mistakes. Ironically, a number of tabloid newspapers tend to aggravate social ills, she said, rather than help address them.

“Let’s keep in mind media are gifts from God and should therefore be used for good,” she said. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)


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