Here in the Philippines, it is election season.
This is a financially promising time for some (or many?) journalists.
This is the sad reality of life.
As I pondered upon this election season, I recall a few years back when I was very active as a journalist back home.
It was election time also and as a news reporter, I covered a political gathering of local candidates.
After a while I was about to leave the affair, the top local candidate (I won't even mention what local elective position he was running for) went to me and handed to me a cheap, lousy, political T-shirt and something else ---yes, cash, of course (to add to the T-shirt).
Those shirts are good for one or two wears, after which the paint gradually rips itself off.
It wasn't really a tough situation for me because I was not acceding to the offer.
But what made the situation tough was on HOW to reject the offer.
You see, it also requires tact to reject a bribe.
You do not appear popish, visibly self-righteous, and embarass the "honorable" briber in front of other people.
The better way I think is to discreetly, but decently reject a discreetly indecent proposal.
By the way, I noticed that the other candidates were secretly keeping an eye on me, and trying to see whether I was a bribe receiver. (If they saw me receiving bribe, I think the other candidates would have folowed suit and bribed me also).
The candidate tried to insist the cash to my hand, to no avail.
In the end I was able to successfully ward off the cash, but I 'appeased' him by just getting the T-shirt.
The obvious reason why candidates, during election time, bribe media people is because they want favorable coverage in news reports.
That is bad on media's part because a bribed reporter will not be able to report the news objectively and dispassionately.
Later, let me blog about how media management deals with this bribery affair with their reporters.
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