I don’t normally watch the evening news, because I personally feel that sometimes, all that the reports ever do is to create the impression that this world is one crazy, desolate place.
The prospect for watching newsworthy news pieces is even closer to nil in this side of the world, because sensationalism is deeply ingrained in the mindset of most news practitioners in this country.
Come to think of it really: What would it matter if you did not know that a call center agent was beheaded by her deranged lover in Taguig because of a love triangle, or some has-been starlet had suffered mental anguish over a poorly done tummy tuck operation? I don’t know about you, but my world would still continue revolving even without these nonsense clutter.
But while I was skimming through several news channels last night, I came across a certain news feature which really disturbed me.
It was about a family that was driving along one of Manila’s major thoroughfares. As they were stuck in traffic, two gun-wielding men on board a motorcycle appeared out of nowhere, and just as everyone least expected it to happen (because they were in a major highway, for crying out loud), one of the men opened fire at the driver of the vehicle.
Everything happened so fast that the onlookers were stunned and in utter disbelief at what just ensued. Death had just passed them by — and in the aftermath of the mayhem, the image of the wife wailing uncontrollably was as chilling as the earlier image of the husband being shot to death.
I later on learned that the husband died shortly after the incident, because he did not receive any first aid treatment, and the paralyzing traffic situation only exacerbated the helplessness that ensnared his wife. The attending physician commented that the victim could have been saved, because the wounds that were inflicted were not that fatal, but what caused his death was loss of blood.
Perhaps, if they only had a car emergency kit with them, the outcome would have been different. If this had been the case, then they would have been better prepared to deal with the situation, rather than feel helpless as the victim’s life was slowly spirited away from his body.
That news feature reminded me that right now, we live in a world that is savage as it is beautiful — and in the midst of unpredictable tragedy, we ought to be prepared so we can act accordingly.
In the end, it’s all about striking a balance between watching news pieces that give us awareness, and steering away from those that seem to trivialize journalism. In the end, we need to be aware of the goings-on of this world, not ensnared by the superficial satisfaction of satiating the sensationalist cravings of the larger society.